About Energy Production

Immagine correlataMany qualify electricity from solar panels or wind mills, in a poetical mode, as free energy. There is no such a thing as free energy. It is renewable, but not free. It requires a large energy investment to produce solar panels or wind mills. It is imperative to use the proper tools to analyze any of the so called renewable sources of energy and dispel the notion that they represent free energy. The objective of those renewable sources is to have a positive future flow of output energy, and that flow of renewable energy should be able to pay the initial investment in non renewable energy in a short period of time, say a maximum of 3 years. This standard indicates that we have a real innovation. Any Government financial support does not change the reality of our objective, fast payback of the energy investment. This is the only objective we should have for a measure of reasonable sustainability and cut our dependency on foreign oil. As you can deduct, this definition of sustainability is independent of the price of oil, as it should be. Let’s check the situation of the three most common projects for renewable sources with the standard mentioned above. 1.Ethanol: The future flow of renewable energy is negative. There is nothing left to pay for the humongous required energy investments-1 Gallon of ethanol, uses 1.85 Gallons of oil- If we do nothing, we will be better off in terms of energy consumption and emissions now and in the future. The government support, with all their financial help, cannot change the negative energy balance and the enormous increase in present emissions. Our goal is not fulfilled. 2.Wind Mills: The future flow of renewable energy is positive. However the very large investments in energy to engineer and build the units, including power lines, have an energy payback beyond 30 years. This investment does not avoid the investment in carbon, gas, or nuclear power plants to cover the ~70% of the time they are not producing electricity. We are increasing dramatically the power consumption and emissions as we build the units now, for a meager yearly renewable volume of power. . Our goal is not fulfilled 2.Solar panels: The future flow of renewable energy is positive. The pay back for the initial energy consumption is beyond 50 years. Solar panels produce energy in average ~20% of the time. Any standard technology, let’s say small generators consuming natural gas, cost 1/30 of the energy cost of a solar panel for an equal total output. We seem to be digging our own grave with gusto. None of those projects comply with the most elementary energy objective we have as a country; on the contrary, they produce a considerable spike of energy usage now, that could be avoided, and I doubt that they will ever have a proper pay back in created energy. There is no wealth creation in these activities, no energy savings, only an immediate transfer of money from the Taxpayers to somebody else, destroying other Industries in the meantime. Due to all kind of government money injected into these projects, and the high price of oil, money could be made. But if the price of oil goes below a certain threshold, boom, the project is no longer viable. See T. Boone Pickens suspending his wind mill project because oil went below US$60. Or the several bankruptcies in ethanol due to the higher price of corn in spite of all the subsidies! Millions of barrels of oil that we cannot afford to loose, thrown to the wind. None of those programs complies with cutting CO2 emissions, a suspected objective anyway. They make our dependence of foreign oil much worst, not better, using considerable high level engineering resources for naught. There are enormous opportunities in energy savings and production in many Industries, with a positive balance of energy consumption and paybacks anywhere from 4 months to one year.

Annunci

Reg. Veneto: Bando per l’erogazione di contributi finalizzati all’efficientamento energetico delle piccole e medie imprese

Possono partecipare al bando

  • Regolarmente iscritte al registro imprese o all’A.I.A (imprese artigiane) da più di 12 mesi dalla data di inizio bando
  • Rientranti nelle attività elencate nell’allegato B del DGR nr. 771 del 29 maggio 2017
  • Con l’unità operativa, o le unità operative, sede del progetto in Veneto
  • Nel pieno e libero esercizio dei propri diritti, non in liquidazione volontaria, non sottoposte a procedure concorsuali in corso o aperte in precedenza
  • Con capacità amministrativa, finanziaria e operativa necessaria per la realizzazione dei progetti sostenuti dal presente bando (art. 125, paragrafo 3, lettere c) e d) del reg. (UE) n. 1303/2013

Sono finanziati i Progetti finalizzati all’aumento dell’efficienza energetica e riduzione delle emissioni di gas climalteranti nell’unità operativa oggetto dell’intervento.

Il progetto BUGS

BUGS è un progetto finanziato dall’UE che ha lo scopo di mettere a punto un sistema di valutazione dei gap formativi delle aziende del settore costruzioni in campo energetico:

n cooperation with partners, Ecipa, which will lead this WP because of its expertise in the skills improvement and data analysis, will ensure the implementation of activities to gain the expected goals, namely the creation of a software for a tailor made evaluation of green skills gaps to be detected.
…More in details, the following activities will be carried out:
Firstly, referring to green jobs potential and energy efficiency, thanks to the expertise of partner’s teams, the legislative framework will be identified and analysed at European level and each partner Country will then be invited to identify and analyse its own national legislation. This study will be the legislative framework that will support the following activities.
Methods of skills data collection will be evaluated by partners in order to define a standard methodology to be applicable to companies of different dimensions and/or home Countries. At the same time will be defined, per each partner Country, the available data for the industrial system and information channels.
Guidelines that will be created will be useful to set up questionnaires/interviews to gain the needed information and to identify public data sources about companies.
In order to correctly tune the development of the analysis method, a data sample will be collected involving public bodies, firms representatives and firms.
Once the method will be standardized it will be possible to develop the data mining software.
Deep statistical analysis will be implemented (cluster analysis, decision trees, factor analysis, etc.), crossed with training experts support with the purpose of identifying patterns and any other useful information to fill the green skills gap and boost the job creation potential. This method will be developed according to quantity and quality of available data.

L’energia è strategica: approvati i decreti Golden Power

Sono stati pubblicati nella GU del 6 giugno i DPR 85 e 86 sui golden power, ossia  i poteri speciali che spettano al Governo sugli assetti societari dei soggetti che operano nei settori della difesa e della sicurezza nazionale, nonché nei settori dell’energia, dei trasporti e delle comunicazioni.

Si alza la testa o si dà veste ufficiale alla sudditanza nei confronti delle multinazionali? ahhhh, saperlo…

Il grafico più importante

6Whenever I show up at a new client’s, the first thing they pass in front of me is their “Energy Profile,” or “Energy Report,” or (and this is the most accurate title) “Energy History.” These plots show some form of energy consumption over some time period, usually electricity and natural gas over the course of a year. This is a logical place to start, and you can acquire some real insights.

Take a look at the chart on the left here. (This is all fabricated data by the way.) This chart shows energy consumed through a typical week for an injection mold machine making plastic chairs. So what do we learn? Well, clearly something different happened on Friday. Maybe there was an early shut down, maybe operators were just paying less attention. Something seems to have been happening on Wednesday as well. These definitely call for some investigation. If nothing else, we’ll understand the weekly cycle better.

But, really, this chart doesn’t give us any sense of how our production rate drives our energy consumption. In ISO 50001 parlance, we would say that Time is NOT a Relevant Variable. Our energy consumption does not change because Time is passing! Our energy consumption changes because OTHER THINGS are changing. In this case, it is Production.

Take a look at the second chart. Oh my! Now we seem to be getting some useful information! We can see now, not only that energy consumption is proportional to Production, but we can see HOW it is related to Production. We can actually determine the mathematical relationship between the two. That means that given Production projections, we can compute Energy Consumption projections! Isn’t that a grand piece of information to pass to your CFO? You can also now deliver an estimate of marginal energy intensity per chair produced. Be careful now! You are making yourself profoundly useful to your top management!

Finally, you can identify a key insight for your own energy improvement efforts. This relationship tells you how much of your energy consumption is related to Production, and how much is Baseload. I’ve seen places where a simple analysis such as this revealed that the Baseload was over half of their monthly energy consumption! They had been working diligently on reducing energy consumption in their Production processes, but it turned out that the Baseload was the elephant in the room.

They asked me, “Why is it so much?” I said that I surely didn’t know, but that they had better find out.

(And if you’d like to see what this feels like from the elephant’s point of view, click here: https://twitter.com/PaulBirkeland/status/240609468910563328/photo/1)