Recently read a couple of books on resource depletion and catabolic collapse of society. One point they make is that industrial civilization is unsustainable because it requires fuel sources that have absurdly high average EROI (Energy Return on Investment) They argue that the industrial age was only possible because we were able to exploit 500 million years of concentrated solar power in the form of fossil fuel in just a couple of centuries. Fossil fuels are being depleted and consequently their once absurdly high EROI is falling as we use up conventional deposits and have to invest more energy in extraction. Optimists say this isnt a problem because we can simply switch to other sources of fuel. The Collapse theory guys retort that all other sources of energy have unsustainable or uneconomical EROI and therefore cannot take the place of Petroleum. I tried to do my own research and found a confusing morass. Some sources say alt energy like Nuclear or solar have very high EROI, and just need investment and infrastructure. Others cite things like extraction costs of Uranium or Petroleum needed for production of Photovoltaics, and give "green" energy very low EROI. According to most studies I found, it seems you need an EROI >10 to sustain civilization over the long term. Can any of you nerds illuminate me on the true numbers? Is green energy a meme? Is EROI a meme? Is civilization cancelled?
>>10647245bumping for the shit show
>>10647257Does this get asked a lot or something?
>>10647245>it seems you need an EROI >10 to sustain civilizationwell that's just nonsensical, all eroi above 1 work, lower numbers only require slower growth (in usable energy).I'm not worried, there's ton of cheap energy in fission, it's only artificially limited by regulations. Regulations buckle under economic pressure eventually.
If you even have to think about this you are a moron. Collapse theory is nonsensical and extremely low IQ.
>>10647245as of last year perovskite based solar cells had a EROI ranging from 5.2-9.2. As the efficiency and lifetime improves, EROI could hit 105https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8118077Perovskite solar cells might go above 30% efficiency in the coming months.
>>10647245When you look at the EROI of solar, make sure you know if storage is included or not. Without storage (I think), it's at least competitive with conventional oil, with storage, it's much worse.
>>10647567this, this is what we were expecting.Now green energy is less memeable (it wasnt memeable for brainlets and normies)
The peak EROI of many renewables is decent; you won't build a global navy with it, but you can run most hospitals of a civilisation built on it.The important caveat is that that is the peak EROI. Solar panels in the desert etc. If you try to rely on renewables in a part of Michigan without much wind, you're screwed.The big problem is running tractors and trucks carrying processed food when the diesel is unavailable.
>>10649429Maybe if slavery wasn't outlawed we wouldn't need absurd machines to farm and transport our food.
>>10649438Human power has a far lower EROI than oil does. Not to mention the amazing energy density of oil. Try to push your car sometime as far as you can drive on a gallon of gas. It's stunning how much energy that gallon gives you.
>>10647567That doesn't change the actual issues with solar and wind: load and unstable power generation prone to surging.This requires fossil fuel burning in order to keep load level. There is a reason why germany's carbon foot print increases while they get more and more solar/wind based. Nuclear is literally the only option
>>10649951Build more and add energy storage. The current cost of renewable power at the best sites is currently $0.02 KWh and we're gonna get more sites with power that cheap. Could even get down to $0.015 per KWh. So you gonna be a pussy or you gonna figure out how to take advantage of cheap as fuck electricity? You can make hydrogen out the ass with electricity that cheap.>>nuclearyeah bro nuclear fission's cool and all, it's just a big investment. A big investment which might not pay itself back because it could become obsolete. We expect a nuke plant to generate power for like 20 year or even more, but solar and storage are advancing pretty fast right now. Really if you want to support nuclear power the best way is to support it is with a carbon tax. Once coal and natural gas start paying their true costs, nuclear's a lot more competitive. SMRs are intriguing though. Because of their small size they can ramp up and down fast like natural gas plants.>>germanyyeah, that was pretty dumb. We really need to keep the plants we already have running.
>>10649951I agree the US needs to stop crying about the socialism boogyman and switch to an entirely state controlled nuclear grid like France.
>>10650248> $0.02 KWhDoes that take storage into account? Is it $0.02 KWh if you want to run your lights at night with no wind?
>>10647245This is easily the most interesting and important thread on /sci/ and barely anyone's even contributing. It's a pretty good indicator of how screwed we really are a civilization if even among science minded people, barely anyone is even aware of the issues we face beyond very basic knowledge of climate change.
>>10651366Futurology is depressing, so why do that when you can browse your social media of choice?
>>10651366it was actually really disappointing and filled with pompous pseuds which was why i bumped it in the first place
Maybe that's the real crux of the issue: we evolved the ability to bring about technological civilization, but not the ability to deal with the consequences of it. Maybe this is generally what happens with the emergence of intelligent species, and we're simply approaching the great filter.