This is especially true of geothermal energy (GE). And guess where this energy is most abundant?
"The same place as the oil and gas that has paid the rent for over a century: right under our feet," writes David Yager in EnergyNow.ca.
Soooo basically a bunch of whiny fags who cried about fracking are suddenly into fracking?
Maybe a little history for the morons will help. The first known cause of earthquakes/tremors caused by fracking happened at a Swiss geo-thermal proof of concept facility. And even then geo-thermal wells can run dry. A $10 billion geothermal plant in Iceland was shut down some time ago after only 10 years of operation because the geothermal well they had tapped into, dried up.
Now, let's take a REAL close look at what so-called "Green Energy" will cost. A new problem is beginning to emerge that warrants our attention. Some proponents of the Green New Deal seem to believe that it will pave the way to a utopia of “green growth.” Once we trade dirty fossil fuels for clean energy, there’s no reason we can’t keep expanding the economy forever. This narrative may seem reasonable enough at first glance, but there are good reasons to think twice about it. One of them has to do with clean energy itself.
The phrase “clean energy” normally conjures up happy, innocent images of warm sunshine and fresh wind. But while sunshine and wind is obviously clean, the infrastructure we need to capture it is not. Far from it. The transition to renewables is going to require a dramatic increase in the extraction of metals and rare-earth minerals, with real ecological and social costs.
We need a rapid transition to renewables, yes—but scientists warn that we can’t keep growing energy use at existing rates. No energy is innocent. The only truly clean energy is less energy.
In 2017, the World Bank released a little-noticed report that offered the first comprehensive look
at this question. It models the increase in material extraction that would be required to build enough solar and wind utilities to produce an annual output of about 7 terawatts of electricity by 2050. That’s enough to power roughly half of the global economy. By doubling the World Bank figures, we can estimate what it will take to get all the way to zero emissions—and the results are staggering: 34 million metric tons of copper, 40 million tons of lead, 50 million tons of zinc, 162 million tons of aluminum, and no less than 4.8 billion tons of iron.
In some cases, the transition to renewables will require a massive increase over existing levels of extraction. For neodymium—an essential element in wind turbines—extraction will need to rise by nearly 35 percent over current levels. Higher-end estimates reported by the World Bank suggest it could double.
The same is true of silver, which is critical to solar panels. Silver extraction will go up 38 percent and perhaps as much as 105 percent. Demand for indium, also essential to solar technology, will more than triple and could end up skyrocketing by 920 percent.
And then there are all the batteries we’re going to need for power storage. To keep energy flowing when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing will require enormous batteries at the grid level. This means 40 million tons of lithium—an eye-watering 2,700 percent increase over current levels of extraction.
That’s just for electricity. We also need to think about vehicles. This year, a group of leading British scientists submitted a letter
to the U.K. Committee on Climate Change outlining their concerns about the ecological impact of electric cars. They agree, of course, that we need to end the sale and use of combustion engines. But they pointed out that unless consumption habits change, replacing the world’s projected fleet of 2 billion vehicles is going to require an explosive increase in mining: Global annual extraction of neodymium and dysprosium will go up by another 70 percent, annual extraction of copper will need to more than double, and cobalt will need to increase by a factor of almost four—all for the entire period from now to 2050.
The problem here is not that we’re going to run out of key minerals—although that may indeed become a concern. The real issue is that this will exacerbate an already existing crisis of overextraction. Mining has become one of the biggest single drivers of deforestation, ecosystem collapse, and biodiversity loss around the world. Ecologists estimate
that even at present rates of global material use, we are overshooting sustainable levels
by 82 percent.
Take silver, for instance. Mexico is home to the Peñasquito mine, one of the biggest silver mines in the world. Covering nearly 40 square miles, the operation is staggering in its scale: a sprawling open-pit complex ripped into the mountains, flanked by two waste dumps each a mile long, and a tailings dam full of toxic sludge held back by a wall that’s 7 miles around and as high as a 50-story skyscraper. This mine will produce 11,000 tons of silver
in 10 years before its reserves, the biggest in the world, are gone.
To transition the global economy to renewables, we need to commission up to 130 more mines on the scale of Peñasquito. Just for silver.
Lithium is another ecological disaster. It takes 500,000 gallons of water to produce a single ton of lithium. Even at present levels of extraction this is causing problems. In the Andes, where most of the world’s lithium is located, mining companies are burning through the water tables and leaving farmers with nothing to irrigate their crops. Many have had no choice but to abandon their land altogether. Meanwhile, chemical leaks from lithium mines have poisoned rivers from Chile to Argentina, Nevada to Tibet, killing off whole freshwater ecosystems.
The lithium boom has barely even started, and it’s already a crisis.
As it is, derelict wind turbines are being left in place to just rot and fall apart because it's not "cost effective" for the companies to remove them despite their contractual obligations to do so.
Sorry to inject some reality into your stupid little fantasy. As for oil prices dropping, I guess you didn't hear there's a pandemic going around and people are supposed to stay home. As for WCS, the ONLY reason it's price is so god awful is because pinheads like you keep whining like bitches about exporting it. Mexico has a very similar heavy crude as WCS and it was selling for over twice that of WSC. Do you know why? BECAUSE THEY CAN RELIABLY GET THEIR F*CKING PRODUCT TO MARKET. We can't even build a pipeline without stupid little fags like you crying like little girls about it.