What is most important
At first hearing your statements on the efficiency of Hydrogen, I thought you were mistaken. My basis of thought is looking at what is happening in Iceland. Iceland will be oil independent and "green" – at least as related to energy and fuel (transportation fuel) with in the next six years. Iceland has a means of producing electricity for "free" from the raw material aspect in the form of geothermal energy. Can it be implied that you can over the inefficiency strictly by overproduction? Also, is there anything to be said for the gains in the balance of trade that would result in the reduction of oil imports if as a country, the U.S. was to switch to wind and solar for the production of electricity and move our energy and transportation systems to electrical based formats as opposed to oil based formats?
I’m not sure if you are referring to the thread I am a part of with regards to hydrogen or something else.
Here is what I will reply, regardless of what you are referencing:
There is a well understood efficiency factor for most energy conversions. Even the ones that are not 100% charted out (I couldn’t tell you the exact effiency factor of my wind turbine) I know will not be 100%. An incandescent light bulb does not convert 100% of it’s electrical input into photons of the same energy magnitude, there is significant waste. So it is with every conversion.
When you start to get into mechanical conversions (i.e. gasoline to forward motion) the efficiency gets REALLY bad. It’s a really good thing gas have a huge amount of potential energy and is abundant, otherwise the automobile would not exist as it does today.
Iceland is in a very unique position which other countries should envy. What is happening here is akin to the gasoline / automobile conversion I just mentioned. Using heat to produce steam to move a turbine to produce electricity to be conducted across a grid to be converted back into heat or mechanical energy at the consumer is a very lossy proposition. If there weren’t HUGE amounts of free input energy, the system would be impossible.
"Can it be implied that you can over the inefficiency strictly by overproduction? "
Yes. That is how it is done everywhere energy is used by man.
Also, is there anything to be said for the gains in the balance of trade that would result in the reduction of oil imports if as a country, the U.S. was to switch to wind and solar for the production of electricity and move our energy and transportation systems to electrical based formats as opposed to oil based formats?
This is a whole ‘nother bag of snakes. The key here is implementation.
It takes oil to produce a solar panel. The best case scenario is that there is a 3 – 4 year return on energy investment or ERoEI. I personally believe the number is closer to 8 years, but it depends on the data set you use. Sooooo, if you wanted to reproduce the amount of energy used derived from fossil fuels, I’m sad to say we have gone past the point where we had enough surplus energy to lend to building the infrastructure to make this a reality. That’s just for the energy production.
Now we need to update the grid so we can deliver all this new energy that currently flows thru pipelines. Big energy input.
We also have to re-tool and replace all the vehicles to be electric based. Big energy input.
The list goes on and on, but basically it is only plausible small scale, not globally. Maybe it was in the 1970s, but not now. Too little too late.
Hope this helps. There are lots of threads here that talk about this in depth. do a search in the threads and learn all you can!
I have read in the Rockwool standard insulation saves 100 time more energy than used to produce it (companies own data). Lets say they exaggerate and it is only 50:1. That is a much better return than drilling for new oil, where the return today is 3:1 and perhaps a better return than solar and wind energy according to information provided in this course. Naturally insulation does not create more energy but it does have the effect of strongly reducing the surplus needed to run our society. Is it true that a kW saved is a kW earned? I am surprised and dismayed that there is so much emphasis on energy production and relatively little on the “less sexy” energy conservation, such as insulating old buildings. From a publication (2003) of the Passive house institute in Darmstadt Germany the net present worth of adding 50 cm of insulation on the walls of an old house is more than 50 Euros per square meter. Not a bad investment, but few are making it.