Thursday, August 14, 2008

Electricity - Coal - Fuel > A Shortage of one leads to a systemic energy failure

It seems to me that there is likely to be a very short path from petroleum shortages to electricity shortages. There are a lot of issues involved, from the fact that the fuels used in electricity production are themselves dependent on petroleum for their extraction and transportation... - The Oil Drum

NVDL: In fact we suffered this Ouroboros state (the snake eating itself) when SA suffered electricity supply shortages and thus mines couldn't function (including coal mines).
clipped from
Percentage distribution of fuels used in US electricity generation

Unless there is an amazingly good allocation system, once there is a shortage of oil, of say, 20%, it is going to start affecting electricity production, because the oil deficit will start affecting fuels used for electricity production.

3. Our electrical infrastructure is very dependent on petroleum inputs.
7. If we start having electric supply disruptions, these disruptions are likely to start chain reactions of disruptions of other types.
8. While it is theoretically possible to get around a lot of oil shortage problems by building new infrastructure, as a practical matter this is not likely to work, because of timing, the enormity of the project, and our current financial problems.

Because of all of the foregoing issues, I expect that we will encounter electrical difficulties within twenty years. The timeperiod may even be much shorter than this..

It seems to me that the model we should be envisioning for future electric supply is local electric supply.

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