A reality check on renewables - David Why is VENEZUELA a CATASTROPHY? - VisualPolitik EN 4 months ago   18:35

How much land mass would renewables need to power a nation like the UK? An entire country's worth. In this pragmatic talk, David MacKay tours the basic mathematics that show worrying limitations on our sustainable energy options and explains why we should pursue them anyway. (Filmed at TEDxWarwick.)

Lesson by David MacKay.

Comments 973 Comments

Henry Acosta
What a great talker. Thank you!
C Michael Hoover
Unspoken by the commentors that I have read is the issue of storage for the two most used renewable s, wind and solar. electricity form the sun and wind is great, but what if you want to take a hot bath on a windless night. There is not enough lithium on earth to make the batteries to store solar and wind power for the time it is needed.
C Michael Hoover
Trying to get the Dem/Socialists like AOC to listen, much less understand is simply not possible in the US.
Conveniently leaves out hydropower, longevity of the types, cost of creation impact, and maintenance impact. Factoring in the impact damage it takes to create and maintain solar and wind, along with how short their use-lifetime is....they simply don't last long enough to ever pay off their impact. On top of that they have terribly inconvenient peak/low times which require building a whole energy storage infrastructure which has an insane secondary impact. That's a huge waste and won't help the planet. Hydro lasts 10-20 times longer and pays off it's impact. It's consistent power which doesn't require the same extent of energy storage. Tidal dams have very low economic impact and massive energy output. Big reservoir dams also have the bonus of providing a water supply in times of drought. Hydro is truly green. Wind/solar aren't.

Plenty of geothermal options also left off.

Nuclear is still best, but the cost of billions for convincing people is proving insane. A lot of nuclear projects getting cancelled after many billions are already spent on them. That opportunity cost could also buy a ton of hydropower.

But at least he was open to looking at the reality of the situation. Just wish he could have included honest longevity and impact evaluations.
Bio mass is way off because
It is not talking about algae biomass.
Robin Maule
I wonder how this talk would come out if you used current statistics. Huge off shore windmills, electric cars, led, insulation, photo voltaic twice as efficient , etc. all his points are well made but the technology has completely altered.
shashwata nath
we could just use the empty oceans to generate solar power ,they would be efficient and wont have the not-in-my-backyard problem ,you know...........
The real Inconvenient Truth is that Carbon dioxide emissions follow the multiplication of out human population. Whether you are a middle class Chinese or Indian or American everyone uses fossil fuels and there is no easy solution. Its not THEM it is all of US. Even the UN doesn't get this.
Joey Suggs
All of this was before we knew how much oil the US was going to make accessible through new technology. We now have centuries worth of fossil fuels. America now has more oil than Saudi. More shale than the rest of the planet together. We have vast coal and natural gas. Fuel is not now a concern nor for many generations.
Lightning Rod
biofuels are NOT even close to being green or transformational, Solar is, Wind is, i am sure this guy is smart, but he has no vision and is back of enveloping a legacy technology. Dont be fooled
We can build houses that are much much, much more energy efficient. A passiv house is a German concept, these houses can be build without a significant source of heat (well, a hair blower). https://passivehouse.com/ A passiv house uses less than 15 kWh / m2 per YEAR instead of 6 kWh per day per degree celcius. That is an insane difference. You can also upgrade your house to passivhouse standard by renovation.
Ian Macdonald
The worldwide figures paint an even bleaker picture. Currently $250 billion a year is being spent on renewables, mostly wind and solar. Over $200 billion for the past decade. The result; at most 2% of world energy transitioned, probably more like 1%.

I think David MacKay was telling us this, but was afraid to say it directly in case of offending the Faithful who explicitly believe all the advertising hype put out by the wind turbine industry.

Chiranjeeb Jena
In 80's, computers were the size of a room but much less powerful than an average smartphone of today. Just imagine, someone gave a TED talk in 80's. He would have said, We can't run simulations becz the computer will take half of a city.

This TED talk is just like that. It presumes the technology will not improve. Solar cells are more efficient than 2013. We have crossed 20W/m2 efficiency and the solar panels are becoming cheaper too.

If my argument is flawed, please provide a counter argument in the comments. [PEACE]
Since he his dead, which is sad, he saved 125kWh/d or he reduced 100% of energyconsumption per person a yr. this is a remarkable result. In the same time the kardashian clan burned half the planet by showing their meaningless live in fuckbook and all the other useless medias that influences the young generation all around the world.
Dominic Barber
Wow - a sane person, talking sense without an agenda. Amazing.
Alexandre MacKay
He is my uncle. So sad he passed away.
Chippy Steve
Awful sound quality.Virtually unwatchable.Someone is really taking the hiss! Is there another recording of this lecture somewhere?
James Robert Coyle
Next is Molten Salt Fluid Fuel Thorium Breeder Reactors.
Rolf Schneider
Tidal waves power generation
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Why is VENEZUELA a CATASTROPHY? - VisualPolitik EN A reality check on renewables - David 4 months ago   09:40

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