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The nation’s corn growers–who provide the feedstock for the majority of the ethanol stated in the United States–say they could sue because the EPA is overlooking the law. However, the corn growers and the nation will likely find out throughout such a suit that the EPA is only bowing to the laws of chemistry and the dictates of economics.
The previously hailed quick developments in what is called cellulosic ethanol–which can be made from virtually anything comprising cellulose such as real wood chips and place waste–have not materialized. A few commercial-sized cellulosic ethanol facilities can be found now but close to the number expected by now back in 2007 nowhere. And, the jury is out on whether such functions will be viable.
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Finally, energy maven Vaclav Smil published a bit for Politico talking about the difficulties in making an energy transition in one kind of dominating fuel to some other. Despite all the hype from technology experts touting an imminent takeover by solar, wind, and biofuels, historically such transitions took decades. The systems for energy production aren’t analogous to the systems behind advances in computer potato chips simply.
Inventor and futurist Ray Kurweil’s prediction that solar technology will become practically the only source of power in just 16 years illustrates the failing of technology-oriented thoughts to understand the constraints on energy transitions. He predicts a doubling every 2 yrs. That will appear familiar to people in the computer industry where a doubling in the processing power of microchips has happened about every 18 months.
Energy transitions, however, move slowly–egregiously slowly–compared to advancements in such areas as biotechnology and built-in circuits. On a percentage basis renewables are growing rapidly, but from an extremely small foundation. What those who map the speedy upsurge in computer power onto our current energy changeover miss is the infrastructure problem. Consumers and businesses appear to have little concern over junking computers that are just a couple of years old and only the latest models.
The turnover in the computer infrastructure is quite rapid. Not with energy infrastructure. Power plant life are made to last years. And, these are upgraded rather than replaced often. Currently, fossil fuels produce the bulk of the world’s electricity, some 67 percent in 2012, based on the latest figures available from the U.S.
Energy Information Administration. Nuclear power plant life produces almost 11 percent. Hydroelectric produces almost 17 percent. All the alternative electricity production accounts for under 5 percent just. Very of the prevailing electricity era infrastructure is decreasing soon little. What this means is that from replacing existing fossil fuel generating plants far, renewables are simply going to add to total electricity generation as demand grows.
That’s a very important thing. But renewable energy enlargement as it happens to be organized is going to do little to reduce greenhouse gases. In fact, in the decline is stated by the United in carbon dioxide emissions from the peak in 2005 to a level 12.8 percent low in 2012 was due almost completely to the substitution of natural gas-fired electricity generation for coal-fired generation. But emissions resumed their upward march in 2013 and 2014 as the utmost polluting of the coal-fired plants had already shut down.
As for liquid fuels, decades of trying have only led to marginal inroads from non-petroleum substitutes. Petroleum-based fuels still account for 95 percent of most transportation fuel in America by 2014. World numbers are hard to come by. The World Petroleum Council declares that the global share for petroleum in transport fuels is 80 percent, but cites no source.