Monday, 27 August 2012



    "There is one quality more important than “know-how” – and we cannot accuse the United States of any undue amount of it. This is “know-what” by which we determine not only how to accomplish our purposes, but what our purposes are to be.” 

          Norbert Wiener

    "to render the total chemical and energy resources of the world, which are exclusively preoccupied in serving only 44% of humanity, adequate to the service of 100% of humanity, at higher standards of living and total enjoyment than any man has yet experienced.” 

  • Buckminster Fuller's definition of World Design   

     "Treat the Earth well:  it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.  We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

                                                     American Indian Proverb

….. I decided to look at the world’s current electricity generation, country by country (205 of them) together with their current respective populations, in order to arrive at comparable available electricity figures on a per capita basis in the form of kWh/person-year [kWh/py].  Taking the current UK per capita level of 5546kWh/py upgraded to a desirable 7500 kWh/py as not too unreasonable a level approaching Bucky Fuller’s design definition, country by country the per capita energy levels are updated where necessary, in addition to adjusting notional expectations for the year 2100 from the current world population of  ~7 billion to the UN median estimate for 2100 of  ~9 billion.

Based on those assumptions, here are some of the numbers resulting:
  •          of the 19 TW of current energy production, 16% of humanity consume 55% at an average of 9,320 kWh/py, the other 84% share the remainder at an average of 1,453 kWh/py.
  •          these remaining 84% would currently require an additional 7,853 kWh/py on average (416%).
      The top three countries in the world are Iceland (52,632 kWh/py), Norway (27,588 kWh/py) and Kuwait (18,903 kWh/py) ....
      .... and the bottom three are Niger (12 kWh/py), Burundi (12 kWh/py) and Chad (9 kWh/py).

         Calculating the total annual requirement on the assumptions quoted, the 2100 world output would have to be  ~1,554 TW.

And the results for World and Regions:

For a Civic Energy overview see

While the region of Asia + Oceania contains China as well as India, the continent of Africa alone accounts for two-thirds of the necessary increase in the World's 2100 estimated electricity production. Which may explain Otto Edenhofer's statements referred to in my earlier post at  See also: Chinese loans raise spectre of colonialism, The Times, 20 July 2012,  p.40. or Dambisa F Moyo: Winner Take All - China's Race for Resources and what it Means for the World, Basic Books, 2012

An illuminating view of the sheer enormity of Africa is shown by Diamandis & Kotler in their book Abundance:

Hydroelectric electricity generation obviously uses water, but what is less often realized is that all other power stations are only gigantic steam engines also using water.  When looking at all their respective water requirements it becomes obvious that there is just no way that conventional power stations, however mixed, could ever satisfy 2100 world demand, as here calculated, on account of their water requirements alone.

--- oooOOOooo ---


Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook

Electric energy:
US Energy Information Administration, Total Electricity Net Generation, by Region and Country, for 2009

 Fuel water footprints:
UNESCO Institute for Water Education, Research Report Series No. 29, March 2008

Operational water needs:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory):  A Review of Operational Water Consumption and Withdrawal Factors for Electricity Generating Technologies, Technical Report NREL/TP-6A20-50900, March 2011

Argonne National Laboratory, US Department of Energy, Environmental Science Division ANL.EVS/R-10/5: Water Use in the Development and Operation of Geothermal Power Plants, 2011

Capacity factors:
Wikipedia, ECOFYS and other sources

Available energy:
Maximum Power Contained in Renewable Sources, in
Peter H Diamandis & Stefen Kotler, ABUNDANCE, Free Press, New York London Toronto Sydney New Delhi, 2012

Friday, 17 August 2012


...without comment

How much electricity do solar and wind make on a global scale? Answer: “Not much”
Simple numbers are hard to get, so when Anton Lang pointed me at the EIA site (U.S. Energy Information Administration), I wanted to give everyone the straight answer to the question: just how much electricity do renewables make on a global scale? The EIA has the only database in the world with a this much accuracy.
The answer is that 80% of our electricity comes from the fossil fuels and nuclear that the Greens despise. Hydroelectricity, with all its pluses and minuses, produces a serious 16% of the total. But all the vanity renewables bundled together make about 3.5% of the total.
Wind power is a major global industry but it’s only making in the order of 1.4% of total electricity. And solar is so pathetically low that it needs to be bundled with “tidal and wave” power to even rate 0.1% (after rounding up).
For all the fuss and money, if the world’s solar powered units all broke tonight, it would not dent global electricity production a jot.
No one connected to a grid would notice.

These are the total global numbers from the US Energy Information Agency (The  EIA) for 2009.

 EIA Global Electricity production 2009 figures
Global Electricity Generation total
     Global Renewables total
  3,760 TWH
Hydroelectric Power
 3145 TWH
NON hydroelectric:
Biomass and Waste
  271 TWH
Global Wind power:
  262 TWH
Global Geothermal:
   63 TWH
Global Solar, Tide & Wave:
   19 TWH
NON hydroelectric total:
615 TWH
The figures here are the most recent whole year figures available. Some figures for 2010 are not listed on the EIA site yet. Even though there is more solar and wind power capacity now, China has been adding a 2GW coal fired station every week or two, so I’m led to believe that the latest pie graph would not look altogether different.

19 AUG 2012 addition:
And see also:

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


While I needed a few days in hospital to get a new knee fitted, I thought I read Volume 5 ‘Mostly Harmless’ of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – quite an enjoyable stimulant to distract from the initial painkiller diet.  Though not particularly notable at the time, one particular episode required re-reading shortly afterwards when switching from fiction to more factual writings.  Let me quote the fiction first:

 “…The next door wouldn’t open.  And that was a pity, because it was the very one that Ford had been making for. It stood there before him, grey and resolutely closed with a sign on it saying:


They were about ten storeys below ground level now.
Ford kicked at the door. It opened.
'Mixture of pleasure and pain,' he muttered. 'Always does the trick.'
The room was small, grey and humming.
This was the nerve centre of the entire Guide.

The computer terminals that lined the grey walls were windows onto every aspect of the Guide's operations. Here, on the left-hand side of the room, reports were gathered over the Sub-Etha Net from field researchers in every corner of the Galaxy, fed straight up into the network of sub-editors' offices where they had all the good bits cut out by secretaries because the sub-editors were out having lunch. The remaining copy would then be shot across to the other half of the building — the other leg of the 'H' – which was the legal department.

The legal department would cut out anything that was still even remotely good from what remained and fire it back to the offices of the executive editors, who were also out at lunch. So the editors' secretaries would read it and say it was stupid and cut most of what was left.

When any of the editors finally staggered in from lunch they would exclaim 'What is this feeble crap that X' - where X was the name of the field researcher in question - 'has sent us from halfway across the bloody Galaxy? What's the point of having somebody spending three whole orbital periods out in the bloody Gagrak‑acka Mind Zones, with all that stuff going on out there, if this load of anaemic squitter is the best he can be bothered to send us?’

`What shall we do with the copy?' the secretary would ask.
`Ah, put it out over the network. Got to have some‑thing going out there. I've got a headache, I'm going home.'

So the edited copy would go for one last slash and burn through the legal department, and then be sent back down here where it would be broadcast out over the Sub-Etha Net for instantaneous retrieval anywhere in the Galaxy. That was handled by equipment which was monitored and controlled by the terminals on the right-hand side of the room….

(If you are reading this on planet Earth then:
a)      Good luck to you. There is an awful lot of stuff you don't know anything about, but you are not alone in this. It's just that in your case the consequences of not knowing any of this stuff are particularly terrible, but then, hey, that’s just the way the cookie gets completely stomped on and obliterated.
b)      Don’t imagine you know what a computer terminal is….)”

Back home again, the book which had risen to the top of the pile of books-yet-to-be-read turned out to be

 Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert   [1]

by Donna Laframboise

To describe the cold-shower-effect from this ‘fact-vs-fiction’ read, I can do no better than recite the publisher’s own blurb…

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) performs one of the most important jobs in the world.
It surveys climate science research and writes a report about what it all means. This report is informally known as the Climate Bible.
Cited by governments around the world, the Climate Bible is the reason carbon taxes are being introduced, heating bills are rising, and costly new regulations are being enacted. It is why everyone thinks carbon dioxide emissions are dangerous. Put simply: the entire planet is in a tizzy because of a United Nations report.
What most of us don't know is that, rather than being written by a meticulous, upstanding professional in business attire, the Climate Bible is produced by a slapdash, slovenly teenager who has trouble distinguishing right from wrong.
This expose, by an investigative journalist, is the product of two years of research. Its conclusion: almost nothing we've been told about the IPCC is true.”

… as well as the back cover notes:

Blooming brilliant. Devastating. I read this book with mounting horror at the failure of the journalistic profession to do its job.  Donna Laframboise has done a lonely and thorough investigation exposing shocking bias, distortion and deception in an international institution.
Matt Ridley, author of the Rational Optimist

The intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has for long been a public disgrace awaiting exposure. Donna Laframboises’s accomplished dismemberment of that organization’s pious and often unscientific alarmism … is a must read …
Prof. Robert Carter, author of Climate: the Counter Consensus

Donna Laframboise does what good journalists do.  She does not parrot authority, but asks “is that so?”  In this book, she shines a hard light on the rotten heart of the IPCC.
Richard S.J. Tol, Professor of the Economics of Climate Change
and convening lead author of the IPCC.

…in this quietly devastating exposé, investigative journalist Donna Laframboise shows that the IPCC’s actual operations bear little resemblance to its public reputation…  If you have suspected these things yourself, you will want to read this book.  Its implications are far-reaching and the need to begin acting on them is urgent.
Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, University of Guelph

I don’t know what else to add other than to agree:  ‘it’s a must read’.

[1]  Donna Laframboise:  THE DELINQUENT TEENAGER  Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert,  
Copyright © 2011 Donna Laframboise, ISBN: 978-1466453487, 
Ivy Avenue Press, Toronto, Canada
Amazon UK has paperback and Kindle Editions, 
or download the PDF directly at which would have the added benefit of 1400 links to source material.

1.1   Who are the hidden persuaders controlling and Giga$-funding IPCC and other puppet theatres, governments, politicians, once reputable institutions, the near-global Gleichschaltung of media  and myriad other Lysenkoists?
1.2   Cui bono?