Richard SJ Tol 10 hours ago

The arithmetic is really not that hard.

Greenhouse gas emission reduction requires government intervention.

Most fossil fuel reserves are owned by governments, and exploited by companies that are owned by governments or pay substantial royalties to governments.

Ergo, government would be the main victim of fossil-fuel reserves stranded by government.

13 thoughts on “Quite”

  1. It’s classic C. Northcote Parkinson:

    “For example, should central bank monetary policy be charged with a green agenda? Should central banks take it upon themselves to encourage and support the formation of liquid environmentally-focused markets?”

    If they have enough time on their hands for non-core business like this, then they’re already over-staffed.

  2. Wherefore the reference to Richard Toll? This is a FT Alphaville article by someone else referring to the comments of Nic Stern. I can imagine Tolls comments but do you actually have them?
    It refers to “fundamental changes in the environment”, which are generations away, but is in fact about “changes in the global economy in the next 15 years”. When has ANY 15 year economic forecast has been within a bargepole of the actual outcome? Stern is still banging on about fossil fuel “stranded assets” on the basis of “rapid improvements in renewable energy technology”. But he then alludes to “energy storage”. The most dense energy storage is nuclear, the second – fossil fuels. The problem “renewables” is the storage of generated electrical energy – still decades from solution and, in any case, purposeless whilst nuclear and fossil are still viable. You have it right Tim, no government is going to swap an income source for a sink for subsidy.

  3. I do not think that German Greens care too hoots about the financial impact on Saudi Arabia or Iran of banning use of fossil fuels. Mind you, their policies have vastly incref nuclear power – my local Green Party supporter assures me that the UK Greens have disassociated themselves from this policy.
    So pointing out that government X will suffer from the policy of government Y is mildly amusing but is not going to change anything.

  4. Err, no
    ‘Government’ owns nothing except that which is taken from its subjects (taxpayers). It is taxpayers who suffer if assets are ruled off-limits.

  5. bloke (not) in spain

    I’ve been thinking on that “energy storage” problem. The physics of it.
    If you store energy in the form of a chemical – say petrol – you’ve a great deal of energy packed into quite a small container. You can have a whoops with it. A petrol fire or even an explosion. But there are limiting factors. The petrol needs an oxygen supply so it can do the chemical reaction – burn – releases the energy. And it requires particular temperature & vapour pressure conditions – technically, the flash point – for that energy release to occur. And it’s by limiting those factors we prevent whoopsies & if one happens, we damp a whoopsie down.
    But there are other chemical ways of packaging large amounts of energy in a small container. Nitro glycerine’s a good example. Not nearly as much energy per gram. Nitro contains it’s own oxygen needed for the energy release, so a large proportion of the mass is that oxygen. But, for that reason, it can release its energy quicker. Extremely quicker.
    And that’s the problem with energy storage.
    You start packing energy into a battery at anything like the densities you can get with chemicals, you better be damned sure you can control the rate of release. If you dumped the energy required to drive a car a couple hundred miles in one go, you’d get something a lot more impressive than a petrol fire. Or a chemical explosion. You’d be headed for fusion temperatures.

  6. “I’ve been thinking on that “energy storage” problem. The physics of it.
    If you store energy in the form of a chemical – say petrol – you’ve a great deal of energy packed into quite a small container.”

    Exactly. Hence the interesting bit under the hoopla about fires in Tesla Model S cars. The reality is that a small handful of cars have had battery fires after suffering gross mechanical damage to the battery. The design of the battery (massive shielding above and below, with venting forwards) meant that the occupants had ample time to get out of the car – prompted by the car itself…. And watch the blow torch coming out the front.

    What may be interesting is this – as Tesla ramps up their new battery factory(s), there will be an increasing number of packs coming on the market for other uses. A massive drop in cost per KWHr is planned for. The question is at what point does a stack of Tesla batteries equal a cost effective storage facility?

    If you can create leccy from solar cells and store a days worth (i.e. shift the power to anytime, day/night)…

  7. bloke (not) in spain

    OK. That’s a few kW/h’s breaking loose.Now tell me what 500mW/h’s looks like on the rampage? Because that’s the sort of capacities we’re talking about
    I once worked for a company used whole Farrad capacitors. Heavy military radar. They treated those beauties with a great deal of respect.

  8. bloke (not) in spain

    “What may be interesting is this – as Tesla ramps up their new battery factory(s), there will be an increasing number of packs coming on the market for other uses. A massive drop in cost per KWHr is planned for. The question is at what point does a stack of Tesla batteries equal a cost effective storage facility?

    If you can create leccy from solar cells and store a days worth (i.e. shift the power to anytime, day/night)…”

    Depends whether you’re talking home generation or wind/solar farms.
    If it’s the latter, storage can be at the point of generation – Tesla battery pack stores the equivalent of about 25 liters of petrol. Less than a cubic foot of the stuff. About 19kg. How big’s a Tesla battery pack? 100kg? Bigger? Going to be a pretty sizable facility to tuck away a nights worth of electricity.at those sorts of energy densities.
    Or the storage can be at the point of use:
    But we already do this for home generation. In the cheapest receptacle possible, where weight’s not a problem. Lead/acid.
    And we know what the storage, rectification down & up, DC to AC conversion costs are. Last time I priced about £6000 for a few Kw’s.
    How’s any of this viable?

  9. bloke (not) in spain

    Just a word on energy densities & energy release.
    The quickest way to access the energy in those 25 liters of petrol & are to chuck it on the road & throw a match at it. You’ll get a big old fire lasts about a quarter of an hour. You might make 3000 deg C. Put that in a battery & you could probably pull the lot out in under a minute. A plasma arc can hit 25 to 30,000 degrees C, using a battery like that. Hotter than the surface of the sun.

  10. On the subject of massive energy releases, I once saw the full production of an LNG train dumped to the flare. Fuck me, you’d not want to see that out of control.

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