Fossil can already be abolished in twenty years' time

Saving two to three million lives a year, clean air and no more bloody wars over petroleum, while we don't spend more on energy than we do now. Using our existing techniques, we can fully switch to sustainable energy in twenty, at most forty years. Sun, wind and water can provide all of our energy, experts say. Even if no technical breakthroughs are achieved now. Oil sheiks should therefore quickly find another source of income ...

Mark Z. Jacobson is professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Stanford California University. Not someone you'd suspect of hippie likes. With transport researcher Mark Delucchi of the Davis University of California (The Dutch will feel at home in the bike rich town of Davis) he published a study of what the oil-free world of 2030 will look like in broad outlines.

Solar energy farm in the desert. A few tenths of a percentage of the land area is already sufficient.

Large solar farms in deserts such as those in Arizona and Texas (for Europe, southern Spain and possibly the Sahara are obvious, India has the Thar desert and China the Gobi desert) generate most of all energy. Wind turbines provide the rest, while hydropower is responsible for ten percent. Geothermal energy (geothermal energy) and wave generators provide the rest.

Energy use in 2030
Aircraft will take off in 2030 hydrogen instead of kerosene. This is also very well possible: hydrogen supplies three times as much energy per kilo as kerosene and saves as much weight and thus fuel. However, the tank must be much larger.
Vehicles, ships and trains run on electricity or hydrogen fuel cells. Houses are heated and cooled with electric heat pumps. Coal and natural gas are no longer needed.

The plan will lead to energy savings of thirty percent in the short term. The reason: direct conversion into electricity is much more efficient than combustion. even the best combustion engine may achieve a conversion rate of thirty percent, while electric motors are close to one hundred percent and fuel cells (which generate the electricity) are also well above sixty percent.

Sun and wind with hydro as battery
In their view, wind and solar energy complement each other. The less sun, the more wind. So it is wise to balance investments in both.

Wind blows especially when there is little sun, so solar energy can supplement. By placing wind turbines at sea, land use can be reduced even further.

Sudden spikes can be absorbed with hydroelectricity: in practice, draining a reservoir if there is a need for a lot of power. They see hydrogen as an energy buffer: as soon as there is a surplus of energy, it is used to generate hydrogen for vehicles, ships and aircraft.

Raw material and land use
They have based their calculations on the known quantities of raw materials. Even scarce raw materials such as platinum and rare earths turned out not to be a bottleneck. The appeal to land is not too bad. About four-tenths of the land is taken up by the installations and another six-tenths of percent to allow windmills to be placed far enough apart.

Essential to the plan is a widespread network of electricity cables that can transport electricity from places with surpluses to places with energy shortages.

Both researchers think that an amount equal to what was spent on the Apollo project is enough to turn the United States into a green economy.

Providing all global energy with wind, water and solar power
ibid, part 2
World Can Be Powered by Alternative Energy, Using Today's Technology, in 20-40 Years, Experts Say
Stanford press release

21 thoughts on “Afschaffen fossiel kan al over twintig jaar”

  1. In 2030, planes will run on hydrogen instead of kerosene. This is also very well possible: hydrogen supplies three times as much energy per kilo as kerosene and saves as much weight and thus fuel. However, the tank must be much larger. "

    ? How much energy (and weight) does it cost to make 1 kilo of hydrogen and take it with you on an airplane? Hydrogen is an energy carrier and not a fuel. Tank must be bigger (and strong and cooled) and yet it saves so much weight and thus fuel?

    1. French, hydrogen is both an energy carrier and a fuel. Indeed, it is not an energy source. You probably mean this. Aircraft, in a weaker form, have the problem of rockets: the fuel for further travel must be carried and also costs fuel. Since hydrogen produces three times as much propulsion per kilogram as kerosene, this problem is considerably smaller.

      1. Germen,

        I was just doing an extensive study on the internet into many possibilities that are offered on alternative energy types. In answer to Frans Galjee's questions I already have that the cooling problem does not have to be a problem, cooling can be done with the help of solar energy cells and as we all know a lot of solar cells can be placed on top of an airplane. For the rest it is simple logic, the systems with which hydrogen can be made do not have to be on the plane, there are also a number of systems that can make CO2 neutral hydrogen. In addition to the existing ways of producing CO2-neutral hydrogen, new production methods are also being developed. These methods are: photo-electrochemical production, thermocatalytic CO2-free production and production via a solar-coupled aerosol flow reactor. The last two methods are based on the breakdown of methane into hydrogen and pure carbon, also known as carbon black. The new production methods are at an experimental stage.

      2. Dear Germen, Thank you for your response, although I have not received an answer to my question. The problem is how you get that hydrogen in kg and what you need to get extra out of the closet to make it useful in an airplane.

        When I look at Wikipedia, I read: quote ”Hydrogen storage is an important topic in the hydrogen economy. They are mainly looking for light, compact components for storing hydrogen, with a view to portable or mobile applications. Compare it with hydrocarbons that are stored as fuel in tanks and gas cylinders. Natural gas, for example, is transported in its liquid form (highly cooled). However, with current technology it is difficult to store or transport hydrogen gas. This is because hydrogen gas provides little energy per unit volume compared to butane or propane gas. A larger tank is therefore required to transport an equal amount of energy in hydrogen gas. This can be remedied by putting the hydrogen gas under high pressure, but with large-scale production a lot of energy would be lost in this compression step.

        The density of hydrogen can also be increased by cryogenic storage at a temperature of <20.28 K (–252.87 ° C). In that case, storage tanks must also be very sturdy and insulated. That too would require a lot of research and money. The Space Shuttle is launched with the brown-colored Space Shuttle external tank, which supplies the shuttle's engines with liquid hydrogen.

        end quote

        In this light, please reply to the original message. Mvg French

        1. dear Frans,
          volume is less of an issue in the air than on the ground. The hydrogen can be refueled on the ground in compressed form and locked up in (thicker) wing tanks, as is currently the case with kerosene. It does not matter how you generate that hydrogen. An airplane is many times larger than a car, so thicker walls of the tank are feasible. This makes the storage of hydrogen in aircraft a much smaller issue than for cars.

        2. I think higher volume planes will fly slower, greater drag.
          The pressure is much lower at high altitudes. The hydrogen tanks must be able to absorb that pressure difference.
          I don't see it yet: planes with such a large fuel tank as the space shuttle.

          I think hydrogen is much more expensive than kerosene: flying becomes something for the super rich.

  2. Dear Germen, Saving weight is very important in aviation. My problem is that for equal energy content, the weight of a compressed and cooled hydrogen tank will be much greater than the weight of a tank filled with kerosene.

    1. French, also consider the huge size difference. Tens of thousands of liters of fuel go into an airplane. Maybe twenty liters in a car. In proportion, the thick wall you need to store the hydrogen counts much less than in a small tank.

    2. Frans Galjee,

      With current technology it is already possible to make tanks from nanocarbon tubes. That stuff weighs almost nothing and is extremely strong. Tanks are not yet being made from nanocarbon tubes, but it is possible.

        1. Niek,

          They are not made yet for the simple reason that nobody is thinking about making them yet. (except the undersigned) It takes quite some time to make a large piece of nanocarbon canisters, which should not stop researchers from incorporating this idea into a prototype aircraft. Nanocarbon is so strong that you can replace complete aluminum wings of a Boeing with it. That also means that you have a storage space for liquid hydrogen that can withstand extreme cold. There are simply too few factories on the globe that can make nanocarbon patches, NASA still has that technology in its hands.

  3. since I don't get an answer to my questions, here are just a few statements:

    1) a tank of hydrogen with the same capacity of kerosene takes up more than 4 times more space.

    2) This tank with pressurized liquid hydrogen needs a casing strong enough to withstand that pressure, an installation to keep the tank cooled and insulation which makes this tank much heavier compared to kerosene tank of equal capacity.

    All in all, such an aircraft becomes a flying tank with little space for pilot and passengers and therefore much larger and heavier than the current already large aircraft.

      1. Julie,

        Two quotes from an article about this metallic hydrogen from this site:

        1) Unfortunately, all further attempts to produce metallic hydrogen up to this point have failed….

        2) According to the theory, it takes 400 gigapascals, about four million atmospheres, to convert hydrogen directly into metallic hydrogen. That's three times the current world record for torturing hydrogen atoms.

        It seems to me that this is certainly still a long way off on a workable scale.

    1. I've already answered your questions, Frans.
      Indeed, the volumetric energy density of hydrogen is four times lower than that of kerosene. On the other hand, hydrogen supplies three times as much energy per kilogram of fuel. Four times the volume means that the weight of the walls of the tank is only 2.5 times greater.

      To give some figures: a 747 takes a maximum of 200,000 liters of kerosene with a weight of around two hundred tons. If this is replaced by 800,000 liters of liquid hydrogen, you are talking about seventy tons, 130 tons less. The weight of an empty 747 excluding fuel is 178 tons, six hundred passengers with their luggage may add sixty tons. In other words, the weight is reduced by a third. This means that the fuel consumption is also minimal, so that probably only half of the fuel is required. You then arrive at a much smaller, namely double volume for the fuel tanks. (400 m3). The aircraft will have to be redesigned as, for example, a flying wing, but in principle this is certainly feasible.

      1. Dear Germen,

        "Four times the volume means that the weight of the walls of the tank is only 2.5 times greater."

        In my view, there is your big fallacy because you cannot compare kerosene and liquid hydrogen (under high pressure (wall thickness) and at very low temperature) in such a way that the calculation of the tank weight can easily be converted via volume. The tank thickness or strength for hydrogen is much greater than if there were kerosene in that tank. That factor of 2.5 could just be 10 or higher.

        1. I now compare a smaller hydrogen tank with a larger hydrogen tank. Indeed, the wall of a hydrogen tank must be much thicker (several cm) than that of a kerosene tank due to insulation considerations and quantum effects in cryogenic storage and withstanding the gas pressure in high pressure storage, for example 700 atmospheres. With very large tanks, the extra weight is relatively easy: a spherical carbon composite tank with 200 m3 of hydrogen and 5 cm thick weighs approx. 4.4 tons.

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