Penn State University Engineering Capstone Showcase, Fall 2018.

Penn State University Engineering Capstone Showcase, Fall 2018.

Thursday, two days before finals was the PSU Engineering Capstone showcase. Even though I have been a lecturer there for the last six years I didn’t realize it is by far the largest Capstone showcase of this type in the world, and it is growing year by year. This year there were over 88 Capstone teams competing, mostly graduating seniors, but a good number of freshmen in engineering, in all around 1000 participants.

The set-up began at 10:30 a. m. in the Bryce Jordan main Arena, with 88 senior Capstone projects displaying their results.

The success of the showcase is in part because of a large number of corporate sponsors, many who sponsor multiple projects. Some of these projects are the very cutting edge of  science, and provide a real challenge for the students.

My role as an instructor is quite simple: To convert the engineering students from students to world class engineers in 17 short weeks. The engineering students are organized in teams of 4 or 5 persons. Most of the teams consist of engineers from more than 2 engineering majors. So the teams must get to know each other, work together as a functioning team, do the research, build a prototype or a final product as a team, with deadlines to meet. This is quite different from cramming for an exam.

The projects are quite different: This fall I had the opportunity to coach 5 teams:This team was a delight to work with from beginning to end. From the first meeting with the sponsors (fig above) they worked together as a team, met all deadlines with ease, produced a high quality report on how to improve and automate the report of the inspection of parking garages and other concrete structures.

For their efforts they won the overall first prize for best project in the showcase.

this project attempted to use the internet of things to make public restrooms smarter by reporting over the internet the soap dispenser being empty, paper running low, overflowing waste containers, and the likes and report the results to the central janitorial staff for better and more efficient maintenance. They won second prize for best poster.

Then there were two projects with Siemens and their forage into Industrie 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution. One project

showed how to improve security in the Penn State Learning Factory yet to be built by having more secure personnel and equipment procedures using badge scanners, making sure who is in a specific room at all times.

The other team used the Siemens MindConnect to monitor equipment functioning and facilitate preventive maintenance through monitoring automation

And finally the robot competition, used as a recruitment tool for Boeing and Lockheed, who like most companies are looking for the most talented and best student graduates.

A good time was had by all, and at 3 o’clock it was time for the presentation of the awards. Free Penn State Creamery ice cream for everyone!

Another successful Showcase at Penn State University, making yet another batch of world class engineers. Yes, they come from all over the world, two of my teams had students from 4 different countries! (including U.S.)

A cold and snowy winter ahead? The signs (Ice and snow) are accumulating

It’s snowy and cold here up north.

True Climate Change starts to come forth.

It’s more clouds and more snow

Chills us down, just to show

it’s negative feedback henceforth.

This picture was taken Nov 15 from our porch in Boalsburg, PA. It was a very early snowfall.

Last night it was 11 F in Boalsburg, a new low for this date, and tomorrow night may set a new all time low for November since records begun.

This is of course local weather, but looking at the whole picture it seems to get colder in the Northern Temperate Region and in the Arctic in spite of temperature readings showing higher than average temperatures.

Let me explain: Everybody knows that in the Summer clouds cool by day and warm by night. Up North in Winter clouds containing snow, warm the atmosphere both day and night, and yet they cool down by depositing snow.

We are having earlier snowfalls in the Northern Hemisphere

This chart is from yesterday and is from the Canadian department of  ‘Environment and Climate Change’, so we can rest assured that the amount of snow cover is not over-estimated.

From Rutgers University climate lab comes this chart of fall snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere. This year’s snow cover is about 5% larger than last year at the same day, so we can clearly see that the increasing trend is not broken; if anything, it is accelerating.

From sunshinehours.net comes this chart, showing the Arctic ice cover has grown from being the lowest on record in October to the highest in the last seven years for Nov 21.

This is confirmed by the Danish Ministries for Energy, Utilities and Climate. The charts can be found at polarportal.com.

The

confirms that it was not just a flash-over of ice on a calm ocean, but real ice accumulation at a record clip since October.

This trend of increasing Fall snow and ice accumulation has not been well published. The earlier Spring arrivals with heavier than normal snow-melts have, but the reason for early Springs is not primarily increasing CO2. A bigger impact comes from the brown clouds emanating from mostly China.

The soot from these clouds make its way all the way up into the Arctic and is deposited on the snow, changing the albedo, leading to an earlier snow-melt.

When it comes to reporting of results from valid research, what is published is often cherry-picked to satisfy political agenda. True climate research is by no means settled, and the future is, at some time we will enter into the next ice-age, which is the normal state of the Earth. The negative temperature feedback from clouds limits the temperature rise. The Tropics has found its temperature, no amount of increasing CO2 will change that, the lack of increase in the tropospheric hot-spot in the tropics as the CO2 level increased from 320ppm to 410 ppm proves that. The insrease, if any is less thas 1/7 of what the models predict. In the Arctic there will be a winter temperature rise, mostly because of increased snowfall, and to a minor degree from increased CO2. The increased snowfall in the Arctic make the winters warmer (about 5 C), but the Summers cooler (about 1/2 C)

(From the Danish Meteorological Institute)

Climate Studies are fascinating, the Science is far from settled, we are still at the beginning of understanding the major temperature regulator of the world: Clouds.

 

 

 

 

Penn State University Engineering Capstone Showcase 2018.

Thursday, two days before finals was the PSU Engineering Capstone showcase. Even though I have been a lecturer there for the last six years I didn’t realize it is by far the largest Capstone showcase of this type in the world, and it is growing year by year. This year there were over 200 teams competing, mostly graduating seniors, but a good number of freshmen in engineering, and not a few graduate projects, in all over 1000 participants.

The set-up began at 10:30 a. m. in the Bryce Jordan main Arena, with 139 senior Capstone projects displaying their projects.

The overflow training area had over 70 projects from Civil Engineering and Earth Science, Nuclear Engineering, as well as graduate projects and the displays from the freshman Engineering Design course.

The success of the showcase is in part because of a large number of corporate sponsors, many who sponsor multiple projects. Some of these projects are the very cutting edge of  science, and provide a real challenge for the students.

My role as an instructor is quite simple: To convert the engineering students from students to world class engineers in 17 short weeks. The engineering students are organized in teams of 4 or 5 persons. Most of the teams consist of engineers from more than 2 disciplines. So the teams must get to know each other, work together as a functioning team, do the research, build a prototype or a final product as a team, with deadlines to meet. This is quite different from cramming for an exam.

The projects are quite different:

Here is a project to build a prototype fit-bit that monitors the total activity and inactivity of a subject.

Next is a happy team that made a LED light that can adjust the color and saturation of light and modulate upon command.

Not all projects are innovative. This project from Philips ultrasound division involved upgrading an old impedance measuring device to function with the newest hardware and software, in short a project that many computer engineers will experience; what to do with legacy hardware and software.

Next was a project to utilize the internet of things.

 

This project was interesting: Modify existing wood carving software to get a realistic wood carving of a dog from a photo.

They certainly seem happy!

My favorite project this year was to use a hololens to make an image of a liver projected in 3D in the hololens. The object was to help the surgeon by identifying nerves and vessels to improve the accuracy of surgery.

At 3 o’clock it was time for the presentation of the awards. Free Creamery ice cream for everyone!

Another successful Showcase at Penn State University, making yet another batch of world class engineers. Yes, they come from all over the world, one of my teams only had one American!

Duck, Duck, Go bankrupt, California’s energy policy.

Depend on renewable power

is chancy in sunshine or shower.

California’s surge

is becoming a scourge;

the losses add up every hour.

It started innocently enough. In 2012 the California power demand was nearly constant, with power varying 20% from maximum to minimum hourly demand.

Image result for duck curve california

Then California decided to have 50% of renewable energy by 2030, mostly by solar and wind, and passed it into law, but the hydroelectric capacity could not be increased due to “environmental concerns”.

The push for renewable energy has succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, so the goal may be met in 2020, not 2030. There is one major problem.

What can be done when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine? The electric need must still be met. And therein lies the problem. The sun only shines during daytime, and there is already a surplus of energy in the middle of the day. This affects the prices for peak power, so mush so, that wind and sun generated energy has to pay to feed the grid. They are heavily subsidized, so as long as the amount they have to pay is less than the subsidy the grid will be fed, and the base generation will have to be lowered to stabilize the grid. The prices range from minus five cents/kWh to about 55 c/kWh. (The peak price has been as high as 98 c/kWh during peak demand.

Image result for duck curve california

Burt that is only part of the problem. The non-renewable electricity providers will have to double the electricity production every day between 5 and 8 p.m. every day. Using capacitors to even out the grid variations solves 0.3% of the problem.Some can be done by using the dams for power generation, but the grid is not built to handle the drastically increased demand, and environmental fights makes it impossible to build out the grid. In addition, the dams are far away from the areas that need the electricity, in other words, it is a mess.

And the consumer is left to pay the extra costs, and the taxpayer is left to pay the extra subsidies.

Talking about subsidies: Electric cars are subsidized to the tune of 2500 to 7500 dollars, and they are recharged when? They are driven mostly during daytime, and when people come home they are put in the charger – at 55 c/kWh to the utility.

Clean energy is not cheap, and it is not clean since the non renewable electric production capacity still has to be fully built up for the time when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

Climate Change on trial in San Francisco Wednesday! A Limerick.

The Climate Changes models on trial

Alarmists are still in denial

Elementary flaw

was the models last straw.

The feedback does not move the dial.

Global warming on trial: Global warming goes on trial at 8.00 am this Wednesday, 21 March 2018, in Court 8 on the 19th floor of the Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco. Court 8 is the largest of the courtrooms in the Federal District Court of Northern California. They’re clearly expecting a crowd. The 8 am start, rather than the usual 10 am, is because the judge in the case is an early bird.

The judge: His Honor Judge William Haskell Alsup, who will preside over the coyly-titled “People of California” v. British Petroleum plc et al., is not to be underestimated. Judge Alsup, as the senior member of the Northern California Bench (he has been there for almost two decades), gets to pick the cases he likes the look of.  Before he descended to the law (he wanted to help the civil rights movement), he earned a B.S. in engineering at Mississippi State University, and as such will actually understand the science of thermodynamics.

For you all who are interested in the scientific arguments I refer you to:

Global warming on trial and the elementary error of physics that caused the global warming scare

For the rest of you I leave you with this graph:

clip_image016

The feedback term is not positive, clouds provide negative feedback, leaving the global temperature feedback term almost neutral.

clip_image028

The outcome of the case: What will His Honor make of all this? My guess is that he will allow our amicus brief to be filed. With his engineering background, he will have no difficulty in understanding why we say that the notion of catastrophic rather than moderate global warming is rooted in the elementary physical error we have discovered.

Therefore, we hope His Honor will ask all parties to provide formal responses to our brief. On any view, it plainly raises a serious question about whether global warming matters at all – a question that strikes right to the heart not only of the case before him but of numerous other such cases now arising in several jurisdictions – and showing some evidence of careful co-ordination.

Conclusion: The anthropogenic global warming we can now expect will be small, slow, harmless, and even net-beneficial. It is only going to be about 1.2 K this century, or 1.2 K per CO2 doubling. If the parties are not able to demonstrate that we are wrong, and if His Honor accepts that we have proven the result set out publicly and in detail here for the first time, then the global warming scare was indeed based on a strikingly elementary error of physics.

The avowedly alarmist position too hastily adopted by governments and international bureaucratic entities has caused the most egregious misallocation of resources in history.

Ladies and gentlemen, we call time on a 50-year-old scam, in which a small number of corrupt and politicized scientists, paid for by scientifically-illiterate governments panicked by questionable lobby-groups funded by dubious billionaires and foreign governments intent on doing down the West, and egged on by the inept and increasingly totalitarian news media, have conspired to perpetrate a single falsehood: that the science was settled.

Well, it wasn’t.  Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

The piezoelectric effect of tears, a source of power?

The piezoelectric effect

of tears, this we must not neglect.

For the climate change cries

that bring tears to their eyes,

is power that powers their sect.

From wattsupwiththat 

From the UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK and the “now if we can just keep people wailing about climate change we’ll have sustainable energy” department. Reports are that “weepy Bill McKibben” will be the first large scale electric tears generation facility. Eric Holthaus will be in the control group:


Irish scientists can now produce electricity from tears

A team of Irish scientists has discovered that applying pressure to a protein found in egg whites and tears can generate electricity. The researchers from the Bernal Institute, University of Limerick (UL), Ireland, observed that crystals of lysozyme, a model protein that is abundant in egg whites of birds as well as in the tears, saliva and milk of mammals can generate electricity when pressed. Their report is published today (October 2) in the journal, Applied Physics Letters.

The amount of electricity generated is negligible, but the emotional tension generated can produce strong emotional power.

Twenty-two reasons to rapidly develop Thorium based Nuclear Power generation.

We need badly to develop a Thorium based molten salt fast breeder nuclear reactor to develop our energy needs in the future. Lest anyone should be threatened by the words fast breeder, it simply means it uses fast neutrons instead of thermal neutron, and breeder means it produces more fissible material than it consumes, in the case of Thorium the ratio is about 1.05.

Here are 22 good reasons for Thorium:

1. Cheap and unlimited raw material.

2. Much less TRansUranium waste, 0.01% waste products compared to a Uranium-235 fast breeder.

3. Produces Pu-238 as one of the final TRans Uranium products, in short supply and much in demand for space exploration nuclear power.

4. Radioactive waste decays down to background radiation in 300 years instead of a million years.

5. Does not produce Plutonium 239, which is the preferred material used in nuclear bombs.

6. Produces isotopes that helps cure certain cancers.

7. Thorium Nuclear Reactors are earthquake safe.

8. No risk for a meltdown, the fuel is already molten.

9. Very high negative temperature coefficient leading to a safe and stable control.

10. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions.

11. Virtually no spent fuel problem, no storage or transport.

12.  Scales beautifully from small portable generators to full size power plants.

13. No need for evacuation zones, can be placed near urban areas.

14. Rapid response to increased or decreased power demands.

15. Lessens the need for an expanded national grid.

16. Russia has a Thorium program.

17. China is having a massive Thorium program.

18. India has an active Thorium program.

19.Lawrence Livermore Laboratories is developing a small portable self-contained Thorium reactor capable of being carried on a low-bed trailer.

20. The need for a Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility will eventually go away.

21. Produces electricity at a cost of about 4 c/kWh.

22. Can deplete some of the existing radioactive waste and nuclear weapons stockpiles.

1. Cheap and unlimited raw material. There is enough Thorium around for a million years at today’s worldwide energy generation level , and not only that, it is a by-product of mining heavy metals and rare earth metals. The price is the cost of extracting and refining, which can be as low as $40/Kg. No extra mining required for extracting the Thorium.

2. Much less TRansUranium waste, 0.01% waste products compared to a Uranium-235 fast breeder. The Thorium process has a much higher efficiency in fission than  the Uranium process. See the figure below.

3. Produces Pu-238 as one of the final TRans Uranium products, in short supply and much in demand for space exploration nuclear power.

NASA relies on pu-238 to power long-lasting spacecraft batteries that transform heat into electricity. With foreign and domestic supplies dwindling, NASA officials are worried the shortage will prevent the agency from sending spacecraft to the outer planets and other destinations where sunlight is scarce. Thorium reactors produce PU-238 as a “free” byproduct.  In 2009 Congress denied a request to produce more Pu-238 by traditional means, instead relying on Russia to sell us the plutonium. (Remember the Russian reset?) Russia made their last delivery in 2010.

4. Radioactive waste decays down to background radiation in 300 years instead of a million years. Initially a Thorium reactor produces as much radioactivity as other nuclear reactors, since fission converts mass to heat, but the decay products have a much shorter half-life. See the figure below.

5. Does not produce Plutonium239, which is the preferred material used in nuclear bombs. The higher Plutonium isotopes and other TRansUraniums are about as nasty as they get, and need expensive protection against terror attacks, and need to be stored for a very long time.

6. Produces isotopes that helps cure certain cancers. For decades, medical researchers have sought treatments for cancer. Now, Alpha Particle Immunotherapy offers a promising treatment for many forms of cancer, and perhaps a cure. Unfortunately, the most promising alpha-emitting medical isotopes, actinium-225 and its daughter, bismuth-213, are not available in sufficient quantity to support current research, much less therapeutic use. In fact, there are only three sources in the world that largely “milk” these isotopes from less than 2 grams of thorium source material. Additional supplies were not forthcoming. Fortunately, scientists and engineers at Idaho National Laboratory identified 40-year-old reactor fuel stored at the lab as a substantial untapped resource and developed Medical Actinium for Therapeutic Treatment, or MATT, which consists of two innovative processes (MATT-CAR and MATT-BAR) to recover this valuable medical isotope.

7. Earthquake safe. Thorium reactors have a very simple and compact design where gravity is the only thing needed to stop the nuclear reaction. Conventional Nuclear reactors depend on external power to shut down after a SCRAM, where poison rods fall down to halt the reaction.  The next figure shows the concept of a Thorium reactor.

The idea is to empty the fissile U-233 core through gravity alone. Since the fuel is already molten, it can run out into channels like pig-iron into cooling heat exchangers with  water supplied through gravity alone.

As we can see the reactor hardened structure is compact, and can be completely earthquake and tsunami proof. What can be sheared off are the steam pipes and external power, but the shutdown can complete without additional power.

8. No risk for a meltdown, the fuel is already molten. The fuel in a Thorium reactor is U-233 in the form of UraniumFluoride (UF4) salt that also contains Lithium and Beryllium, in its molten form it has a very low vapor pressure. The salt flows easily through the heat exchangers and the separators. The salt is very toxic, but it is completely sealed.

9. Very high negative temperature coefficient leading to a safe and stable control. This is another beauty of the molten salt design. The temperature coefficient is highly negative, leading to a safe design with simple and consistent feedback. What does that mean?  It means that if temperature in the core rises, the efficiency of the reaction goes down, leading to less heat generated. There is no risk for a thermal runaway. In contrast, Chernobyl used graphite moderated Uranium , and it suffered a thermal runaway as the operators bypassed three safety circuits trying to capture the last remaining power during a normal shut-down. The reactor splat, the graphite caught fire and the rest is history. Five days later two nuclear installations in Sweden shut down their reactors due to excessive radiation, but it took a while before they could figure out what had happened. First then did the Soviets confess there had been an accident.

10. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions. Materials subjected to high radiation tend to get brittle or soften up. Thorium reactors operate under atmospheric conditions so the choice of materials that can withstand both high temperatures and high radiation is much greater, leading to a superior and less expensive design.  There is no high pressure gas buildup and the separation stage can be greatly simplified.

11. Virtually no spent fuel problem, no storage or transport. I am following the events at Fukushima Nuclear Power plants with great interest. How ironic that the greatest risk is with the spent fuel, not with the inability to shut down the working units. The spent fuel issue is the real Achilles’ heel of the Nuclear Power Industry. Thorium power works differently as nearly all fuel gets consumed as it is generated. When the process shuts down, that is it. Only the radioactivity that is en route so to say will have to be accounted for, not everything generated thus far in the process. The difference is about 10000 to one in the size of the problem. Time to switch over to Thorium.

12.  Scales beautifully from small portable generators to full size power plants. One of the first applications was as an airborne nuclear reactor.

 Granted this was not a Thorium breeder reactor, but it proves nuclear reactors can be made lightweight. Thorium reactor may be made even lighter as long as they are not of the breeder type.

13. No need for evacuation zones, can be placed near urban areas. Thorium reactors operate at atmospheric pressure and have a very high negative temperature coefficient, so there is no risk for a boil-over. They are easily made earthquake-safe since no pressure vessel is needed.

14. Rapid response to increased or decreased power demands. The increase in power output to increased power demand is faster than in coal-fired power plant. All you have to do is increase the speed of flow in the core and it will respond with raised temperature.

15. Lessens the need for an expanded national grid. The National Electric grid is at the breaking point. It needs to be expanded, but neighborhood resistance is building in many areas where they need an expansion the most. The grid is also sensitive to terrorism activities.

 As we can see the national grid is extensive, and under constant strain. A way to lessen the dependency on the national grid is to sprinkle it with many small to medium sized Thorium Nuclear Power generators.  They can be placed on barges in rivers and along the coast, giving the grid maximum flexibility to respond in  case of an emergency.

16. Russia has a Thorium program This is a self-contained Thorium Nuclear Reactor on a barge. Coolant readily available. Hoist it a couple of cables and the town will have all the power it needs.

17. China is having a massive Thorium program. The People’s Republic of China has initiated a research and development project in thorium molten-salt reactor technology, it was announced in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) annual conference on Tuesday, January 25. An article in the Wenhui News followed on Wednesday. Chinese researchers also announced this development on the Energy from Thorium Discussion Forum. Led by Dr. Jiang Mianheng, a graduate of Drexel University in electrical engineering, the thorium MSR efforts aims not only to develop the technology but to secure intellectual property rights to its implementation. This may be one of the reasons that the Chinese have not joined the international Gen-IV effort for MSR development, since part of that involves technology exchange. Neither the US nor Russia have joined the MSR Gen-IV effort either. A Chinese delegation led by Dr. Jiang travelled to Oak Ridge National Lab last fall to learn more about MSR technology and told lab leadership of their plans to develop a thorium-fueled MSR.The Chinese also recognize that a thorium-fueled MSR is best run with uranium-233 fuel, which inevitably contains impurities (uranium-232 and its decay products) that preclude its use in nuclear weapons. Operating an MSR on the “pure” fuel cycle of thorium and uranium-233 means that a breakeven conversion ratio can be achieved, and after being started on uranium-233, only thorium is required for indefinite operation and power generation.

18. India has an active Thorium program. • India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power program and expects to have 20,000 MWe nuclear capacity on line by 2020 and 63,000 MWe by 2032.  It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050. • Because India is outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty due to its weapons program, it was for 34 years largely excluded from trade in nuclear plant or materials, which has hampered its development of civil nuclear energy until 2009. • Due to these trade bans and lack of indigenous uranium, India has uniquely been developing a nuclear fuel cycle to exploit its reserves of thorium. • Now, foreign technology and fuel are expected to boost India’s nuclear power plans considerably.  All plants will have high indigenous engineering content. • India has a vision of becoming a world leader in nuclear technology due to its expertise in fast reactors and thorium fuel cycle. • India’s Kakrapar-1 reactor is the world’s first reactor which uses thorium rather than depleted uranium to achieve power flattening across the reactor core. India, which has about 25% of the world’s thorium reserves, is developing a 300 MW prototype of a thorium-based Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR). The prototype is expected to be fully operational by 2011, following which five more reactors will be constructed. Considered to be a global leader in thorium-based fuel, India’s new thorium reactor is a fast-breeder reactor and uses a plutonium core rather than an accelerator to produce neutrons. As accelerator-based systems can operate at sub-criticality they could be developed too, but that would require more research. India currently envisages meeting 30% of its electricity demand through thorium-based reactors by 2050.

19.Lawrence Livermore Laboratories is developing a small portable self-contained Thorium reactor capable of being carried on a low-bed trailer. A Democratic member of the United States House of Congress (Joseph Sestak) in 2010 added funding for research and development for a reactor that could use thorium as fuel and fit on a destroyer-sized ship.  Lawrence Livermore national laboratories are currently in the process of designing such a self-contained (3 meters by 15 meters) thorium reactor. Called SSTAR (Small, Sealed, Transportable, Autonomous Reactor), this next-generation reactor will produce 10 to 100 megawatts electric and can be safely transported via ship or truck.  The first units are expected to arrive in 2015, be tamper resistant, passively failsafe and have a operative life of 30+ years.

20. The need for a Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility will eventually go away. Since Thorium consumes the fissile material as it is getting created, the need for a long term storage facility of the Yucca Mountain type will eventually go away. In remote locations there can be built Thorium Nuclear Power generators that consume spent material from other nuclear processes. The need to do it in remote locations is the hazard of the already existing nuclear wastes. It should be possible to reduce the existing stockpile of nuclear wastes and nuclear bombs by about 90% and make electricity in the process. The cost to do this is higher than the normal process due to the additional cost of security.

21. Produces electricity at a cost of about 4 c/kWh.  The cost to produce electricity with Thorium generators should be about 40% less than Advanced Nuclear and about 30 % less than from Coal (with scrubbers). Solar generation is about 4 times more expensive (without subsidies) Wind power is cheaper when the wind blows, but the generation capacity has to be there even when the wind doesn’t blow, so the only gain from wind power is to lessen the mining or extraction of carbon.  Even if we double the renewable power we will only go from 3.6% to 7.2% of total energy needed.  Hydroelectric  power is for all practical purpose maxed out, so all future increase must come from Coal, Natural Gas, Petroleum or Nuclear. Thorium powered Nuclear Generators is the way to go.

Many of the pictures are from a slide presentation given by David Archibald in Melbourne Feb 5 2011. He posted it “for the benefit of all” which I have interpreted as waving the copyright of the pictures

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/12/david-archibald-on-climate-and-energy-security/