Van mijnbouwkundige Simon Michaux van de Finse geologische dienst GTK kreeg ik antwoord terug op drie vragen. Hij publiceerde zijn studie over ‘minerals blindness’ bij energiebeleidsmakers, zijn gecalculeerde inschatting dat er nooit genoeg mijnbouwcapaciteit is om alle metalen en mineralen te leveren voor elektrificatie van het vervoer en energiesysteem. Hier is zijn antwoord:
Onderzoek na vergaderingen in Brussel
This work was done for the express purpose of addressing logistical difficulties in strategies proposed by EU Commission civil servants to phase out fossil fuels. The report was to map out exactly what they thought was going to happen (based on what I saw personally at meetings in Brussels). The belief that was shaping policy was that the transition away from fossil fuels will be a market force, where more efficient renewable technology would make fossil fuel systems (like Internal Combustion Engine ICE cars) redundant.
The existing economic system and all its capability would be maintained and increased at a nominal growth rate of 2% per year. The 4th industrial revolution, where society would undertake the merging of technology, information and surveillance at all scales, and the SMART city was the outcome. All batteries would be lithium-ion chemistry (this is reflected by the judgement that all funding for large scale upscaling will be Li-Ion only). There will be a hydrogen economy in some form.
Wind and solar power generation will be the primary electrical generation technologies for the next industrial rea. All stationary power requirements will be addressed with the use of battery banks (other tech was recognized but battery banks could be installed anywhere in all weather conditions). All future industry will be recycling based, founded in the Circular Economy.
My plan was to show that the existing EU plan had multiple structural flaws and would not work. After this outcome, we could all develop a more useful plan to transition away from fossil fuels.
CO2-benadering schiet te kort
I guess you could say that the current approach to environmentalism is not connected to many of the practical issues and problems we all face. Both mining and the environmental movement have to join hands as partners if the green transition is to happen at all. Both would have to change their practice to meet the other side half way. The CO2-tunnelvision in assessing ‘environmental impact’ (the current political dogma) as you say is a big problem. It does not address species dieoff or land degradation.
Dolf Gielen of IRENA is absolutely right. The first bottleneck is processing capacity, which the Chinese controls. Yes this needs to be addressed. That does not change the volumes of metals needed. Dolf’s ideas are just as relevant as mine. Both processing capacity that we can access needs to be developed then more minerals need to be mined. The overall reserves issues suggest we need to develop parallel technology systems that need different minerals OR we greatly reduced our needs.
Over Julian Simon en zijn ‘Ultimate Resource’; doempredicties zitten er meestal naast
So the Limits to Growth report was developed on a very simple set of methods. It shows a conceptual idea. In broad brush terms, it can be shown that we are following the standard run. My work is also a very crude calculation to projects a direct system replacement of what we have now if it was non-fossil fuel.
It actually is not really related to the LTG report directly but implies if might be correct. What my work really shows is the existing plan will not work and we will make a better one. The LTG is pretty simple and yes we could make a better project. Like all other things, it has its shortcomings.
Yes human imagination is amazing. So far technology development has happened off the back of imagination, but also using cheap energy, capital and minerals. This is the first time we face some many commodity bottlenecks at the same time (actually inelastic energy has formed all the others). So if human imagination is going to save the day, we had best get on with it. Time is also a factor.