Tag: electricity

Cobalt and the Green Revolution

Three cheers for the #green revolution no more #petroleum products, no #gas and no #coal. We’re all going to have unlimited #electricity the air we breath will be clear, little furry animals will scamper through the long grass and the planet will be saved.

France to double number of wind turbines

Great, free electricity.

But, each one of these turbines requires between 2500 and 500 tons of concrete to make. At best this means between 3135Mw and 627Mw just to produce. To which we add transportation costs, 90 tons of metal at 3753Mw (if inexpensive recycled steel used) and 287Mw for the plastics … and those are the “at least” costs, offshore #turbines and those on mountaintops can cost exponentially more.

Lets pretend that we have a 10Mw turbine and it runs at 50% average efficiency it will be over 930 days, near 3 years before it begins to generate more energy than it uses.

And those ladies and gents are conservative figures using the least expensive #cement costs and an exceptionally high efficiency figure. In the real world wind turbines work at 15 to 30% efficiency. Lets look again at the figures.

Low cement costHigh cement cost
15% Efficiency3,110 (8.5 years)4,780 (13 years)
30% Efficiency 1,555 (4.25 years)2,390 (6.5 years)
Days taken for a wind turbine to break even in terms of energy consumed in production compared to energy produced (figures rounded).
(These figures take no account of the energy costs in transporting and erecting the turbine)

The typical life expectancy of a wind turbine is around 20 years. With that in mind wind power is not yet energy efficient.

But that’s not the point of this little missive. Today we’re going to consider where all that not at all this free electricity goes. Well it goes into the massive server farms mining #BitCoin (7GW a day, the same as the whole of Swaziland), it powers the internet taking maybe maybe 10% of all the electricity produced on a daily basis world wide and then some of what’s left over is employed for useful stuff …

… but that aside where does it go when it’s not being used? It goes into batteries, bright new shiny Lithium-Ion ones. Lithium-Ion the breakthrough of the generation. Rapidly charging, high capacity and robust Li-ion powers the modern electrical revolution. Cordless tools, mobile phones and devices and of course electric cars. It’s been reported that by 2030 the UK government alone wants to stop the sale of all non electric (or hybrid) cars in the UK. That’s great news for the environment and in turn great news for the people of the world. But is it …

Lithium Mining Delivers BIG for WA, Increased Spodumene Production |  iSeekplant

This is a Lithium mine.

Not a particularly big one but as we can see it has a very positive impact on the local environment.

Glencore′s closure of Congolese cobalt mine ′could backfire′ | Business|  Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 20.08.2019

And this is a Cobalt Mine

Why are we showing this? Very simply, Li-ion batteries only work because they are full of #cobalt and simply won’t work without it. If you want Li-ion batteries you need cobalt.

Another very positive impact on the local environment.

These ladies and gents are just the holes in the ground, the waste from the mine is dumped locally to the mines. Tis waste destroys the land it’s dumped on and very often in less well regulated areas of the world the land for miles around is also poisoned off the waste in the rain.

Li-ion batteries store electricity and will run electric cars; electric cars will save the environment so what we see above is inconsequential. This is an argument that is used repeatedly to justify the “local” damage caused by the mines. Really, just listen to your local Green Party candidates, your woke friends and the non stop social media propaganda. The message is always the same, everything electric good, everything not electric bad.

So far we’ve only shown you the damage to the physical environment. This damage isn’t the only cost though. There is the human cost. These photographs are all taken from inside Cobalt mines. We won’t caption them, we couldn’t do so adequately if we tried.

5 tech giants sued over use of child labour in Congolese cobalt mines -  Industry Europe
Five tech giants link to 'cruel and brutal use of children' in Congo mines  | New York Amsterdam News: The new Black view
Congo, child labour and your electric car | Financial Times
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is congo_child_miners.jpg.size-custom-crop.1086x0.jpg
Four-year-olds Mining Cobalt for Phones
Child labor in the mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo - Humanium

This is the true cost of your new Apple phone, your Samsung Galaxy, your new electric scooter and most of all your new electric car. So stand up and cheer and give a big hurrah for the stalwart cobalt miners that keep us in luxury. When asked #BLM had no comment to make …