Speeding Up Energy Transition – The 9 month build time of the most exciting new tech in the renewable energy space
Eco-Gen Inc are launching their JouleBox® power plant technology to help relieve the systemic burdens the green transition faces and accelerate the much needed journey towards sustainable energy production.
With global emissions continuing to rise year on year – despite the fact that the Paris Agreement took place in 2015 – there is a dawning realisation amongst scientists and commentators that we are simply not doing enough to arrest the emissions that are triggering massive ecological change, let alone reversing those levels to net zero.
Indeed, we are a long way from achieving our target of completely negating the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity. This is stated as being achieved by reducing emissions and implementing methods of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Governments already knew at the time of the Paris Agreement in 2015 that the proposed level of emissions cuts in their national targets would not be sufficient to limit warming to 1.5˚C and so they kicked the can down the road and agreed to update those targets by 2020. However, by the time COP26 took place in Glasgow in November 2021, and in spite of gaining 193 signatories to the Agreement, it was clear that the updated targets were still falling short and would, at most, limit warming to 2.4˚C, almost a full degree above the Paris temperature limit. Governments, unable to find widespread consensus, gave themselves another year to ‘revisit and strengthen’ their targets further in 2022, but still we find ourselves slipping further and further away from avoiding catastrophe.
Now, according to a UN report, the combined climate pledges of the 193 Parties under the Agreement, the world is on track for around 2.5˚C of warming by the end of the century, and the climate scientists who have consistently been proven right predict this will be catastrophic for all life on earth.
The report showed that current commitments will still increase emissions by a further 10.6% by 2030, compared to 2010 levels. And whilst emissions are no longer forecast to increase after 2030, they singularly fail to address the rapid downward trend science says is necessary this decade. Indeed, the UN’s 2018 IPCC report indicated that CO2 emissions needed to be cut 45% by 2030, compared to 2010 levels.
This, it suggested, would be critical to meeting the Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5˚C by the end of this century and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, including the more frequent and severe droughts, heatwaves and rainfall that we’re beginning to get a taste of. As Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change said,
“The downward trend in emissions expected by 2030 shows that nations have made some progress this year, but the science is clear and so are our climate goals under the Paris Agreement. We are still nowhere near the scale and pace of emission reductions required to put us on track toward a 1.5 degrees Celsius world. To keep this goal alive, national governments need to strengthen their climate action plans now and implement them in the next eight years.”
It is also worth noting that amongst all of the soundbites that politicians are so fond of, net-zero targets remain uncertain and delay into the future the critical action that is needed to take place now in order to start turning the tide on this huge existential challenge to planetary well-being.
The scale of recent changes across the climate system are unprecedented over many thousands of years and many of the observed phenomena have occurred faster than previous predictions suggested they would. All those scientists who were called out by climate deniers as being catastrophists and Cassandras have actually been shown to have been too conservative with their forecasts. This does not bode well as climate dynamics are rarely linear, in fact they are almost always non-linear, which means they can spiral out of control far faster than the limitations of our left brains can conceive. Even now, with the so-called ambitious targets we have to slow emissions, sea levels will continue to rise and threaten low-lying islands and coastal populations throughout the world.
This will cause biblical levels of economic damage, threaten to bring down the insurance industry, will catalyse mass human migration with unpredictable consequences, as well as a dramatic loss of human life.
As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated.“This year has seen fossil fuel emissions bounce back, greenhouse gas concentrations continuing to rise and severe human-enhanced weather events that have affected health, lives and livelihoods on every continent. Unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to 1.5°C will be impossible, with catastrophic consequences for people and the planet on which we depend.”
However, it’s not just a lack of political will that has been the problem, it’s also been the lack of a sufficiently powerful and scalable technology. Mercifully, that now looks set to change with the Paul Boaventura designed Eco-Gen JouleBox set to change the face of green energy. To understand how and why, let’s first look at the existing challenges.
To reduce emissions we need cheap, reliable energy that can be scaled up quickly. We need a power source that can be utilised anywhere, and we need it to deliver a constant power supply to ensure the stability of our national grids.
So let’s look at the most common forms of renewable energy; solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and tidal.
Starting with solar, one of the biggest challenges is that energy is only generated while the sun is shining. That means nighttime and overcast days can interrupt the supply. The shortage created by this intermittency problem would be avoided if there were low-cost ways of storing energy as extremely sunny periods can actually generate excess capacity. However, the contrary exists. Storage technology is extremely expensive
Another concern is that solar energy may take up a significant amount of land and cause land degradation or habitat loss with a corresponding impact on wildlife. While solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems can be attached to already existing structures, larger utility-scale PV systems require between 3.5 to 10 acres per megawatt of installed capacity and Concentrated Solar power (CSP) facilities require between 4 to 16.5 acres per megawatt.
This in itself would be a lot for us to manage, but then there is the fact that the intermittency of supply means that you need 3x more installed capacity to deliver the output produced by a conventional power plant.
As we scale up, there is also likely to be a scarcity of materials issue. PV cells require a lot of rare materials that are not easily sourced: Many of the rare materials are byproducts of other processes rather than the focus of targeted mining efforts. Materials scientists can try and find workarounds for this, but at the time of writing this is a significant barrier to the type of rapid progress the world needs.
There are also some environmental downsides to consider. The first downside is that solar technology often contains many of the same hazardous materials as electronics. As solar scales up, the problem of disposing of the toxic materials becomes an additional challenge that has not been factored into cost calculations. Neither is the cost of the additional mining that is required to extract all the materials needed. That in and of itself is not enough to undermine the important movement towards solar, but it is something for us to be conscious of in our deliberations. Also, solar panels and CSP technologies tend to be highly reflective. When assembled at small scales, that’s not likely to have much of an effect. But if we try and power the whole earth with them, what will that do to the thermal conditions of our atmosphere? It’s difficult to predict, but we would like to see some powerful minds put their thinking caps on to answer this.
Given that storage is also required, and the current go to is batteries, there is a huge elephant in the room regarding the disposal of said batteries. Lead, lithium ion and others are expensive to dispose of, and incredibly toxic. They also tend to need to be replaced every 4-5 years.
Then there is the fact that to optimise the efficiency of the power plants, utility scale installations need to be located far away from where the main users exist. For example, a PV system located in the southwestern United States, for example, can produce up to twice as much electricity as the same system located in the northeastern United States. This requires additional grid infrastructure, and incurs significant transmission losses, resulting in the end user typically receiving between 70-85% of the electricity they actually pay for.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that solar has a part to play, but there is a reason why adoption is slower than many would hope. The biggest challenge is the intermittency problem, because it renders the overall cost too great, especially when you factor in the transmission losses, and the externalities around land usage, hazardous materials, and battery disposal.
When we look at wind, it suffers many of the same challenges as solar. The wind does not blow constantly and is even less predictable than solar. It too needs storage technology to balance out supply. The need for spacing between turbines to avoid airflow disruptions means that the land required for wind is at least double that of solar, arguably more. It is actually the most land intensive form of energy production in the world. Some say the answer to this is to site them offshore, but then there are serious issues with corrosion, and the cost of maintenance is high.
There is also a scarcity issue in terms of the amount of copper required per turbine, which is simply not scalable to the levels that would truly make a difference. And in many cases, they are situated so far away from the customer that transmission losses are extensive. Local communities also consider them a major eyesore, and that slows down the adoption curve significantly. Wind farms can also have negative impacts on wildlife and natural habitats, and are also incredibly noisy.
Once again, the conclusion is that they have their place, but they cannot be relied upon to deliver the majority of the power generation we need.
Given that intermittency is such a prohibitive drawback of wind and solar, let’s now turn our attention to hydro power, which doesn’t suffer this critical challenge. Long term the cost of energy it generates is actually quite cheap, and because the release of water can be controlled via dams, there is a natural in-built storage capability.
However, the upfront capital costs of hydro facilities is enormous, which can be very sobering for countries looking to develop their resources, particularly in the developing world. This is amplified by the fact that the majority of the most fruitful resources have been tapped, meaning that the cost-benefit ratio of developing additional resources decreases the more you try to scale.
It also takes an incredibly long time to plan and build them, and given how urgent our green energy needs are, this is likely to be the single biggest reason why they will be unable to make much difference this side of 2040, which is far too late for the planet’s needs.
Like wind and solar, they tend to be positioned many miles from the urban centres and industrial bases where their power is needed, creating significant infrastructure challenges, and incurring colossal transmission losses. In many cases, this technology suffers transmission challenges more than any other technology out there.
Hydro is also incredibly vulnerable to drought. Given that droughts tend to last a long time, if hydro becomes a significant part of the energy mix, then the entire economy is suddenly at risk, especially as climate change is accelerating and nations that once never suffered from drought are now experiencing it more and more commonly.
Finally, the extent of environmental damage caused by hydro power is famously large. This is the principal reason why hydro stopped being developed in many countries decades ago. So whilst such damage may be marginally more preferable than climate emissions, it would be somewhat quixotic to trade one set of environmental damage for another. Especially since they generally require huge amounts of concrete for their construction, which is incredibly energy intensive, and the source of vast amounts of emissions.
Therefore, whilst attractive in the right places, this doesn’t give us the scalable baseload power the world needs.
Geothermal, which utilises the accessible thermal energy from the Earth’s interior by extracting heat from geothermal reservoirs using wells or other means is worthy of consideration, because it too offers a steady stream of power that can be managed in a way that makes it grid friendly. Long term, the costs of energy production are also very favourable.
However, like hydro, upfront capital costs are extremely high, albeit not prohibitive. Like hydro, it is also location specific, meaning it suffers from many of the same challenges and inefficiencies that location specific technologies incur.
There are also unavoidable limitations to supply that mean that it can only ever represent a minority part of the energy mix. Estimates range between 0.03TW of potential power to 2TW. It would certainly make sense to develop 500 – 750 GW of the most readily accessible geothermal resources available to us, but this will still only cover 5% of what we need. It also takes 5-10 years to build a plant, so whilst very beneficial for the medium term, it’s not going to move the needle on those all important 2030 targets.
In addition, geothermal risks creating earthquakes. This is due to alterations in the Earth’s structure as a result of digging. This problem is more prevalent with enhanced geothermal power plants, which force water into the earth’s crust to open up fissures to greater exploitation of the resource. However, since most geothermal plants are away from population centres, the implications of these earthquakes could be viewed as being relatively minor, albeit if we try and build a terawatt of geothermal capacity, who knows what all of that drilling will do to the earth, and what the consequences of that will be? It’s one for us to take a little more slowly perhaps so that we don’t bite off more than the earth can chew.
Finally, there is Tidal, which is fantastic source of power in those places where it is most relevant, for example in the UK’s Severn Estuary region. However, the number of feasible resources is quite limited, and so like the other technologies mentioned herein, it can only ever be a minor player in our energy generation symphony.
The conclusion of all of this, is that combined, these five technologies can definitely help us make a dent in our emissions output, but given the scalability limitations of all of them, they are unlikely to do anything more than offset the growing energy demand the world experiences every year. That’s not actually going to help us get emissions back down to 2010 levels, let alone below them, especially as many of them take so long to build.
That brings us back to the essence of net zero, and the fact that perhaps one of our opportunities is to look to carbon capture techniques to reduce our footprint, rather than sweating about scaling up renewables to unsustainable levels.
However, as much as the Oil & Gas industry wants to seduce us with the possibilities of what this technology can offer us, because it will allow them to continue to exploit their existing portfolio of resources, there appears to be an inherent problem. The simple reality is that it takes a lot more energy to capture widely dispersed carbon, than is generated when burning heavily condensed carbon. Now if we had a truly scalable renewable energy technology, that wouldn’t present a problem, because we would have so much surplus, that we could happily suck the carbon out of the air without any thought to the energy cost. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of our existing portfolio of energy technologies, it just doesn’t make sense to use wind, solar, hydro or tidal to capture x amount of carbon, when it can be used to replace a much greater amount of carbon production. In essence, it uses precious resources less efficiently. The maths simply doesn’t add up, and so it’s a bit of a non-starter.
Yet, in spite of this clear mathematical conclusion, we are still seeing a lot of carbon capture technology being rolled out. This is a poor use of resources and all things being equal, will not help us reach our Paris goals.
Another opportunity beloved of emitters are carbon credits. This is because the mechanism allows them to continue emitting their greenhouse gases and avoid investing in actions to reduce emissions because they are able to buy unlimited credits.
Each credit, which is equivalent to the reduction of 1 ton of carbon, becomes an accounting chimaera. It is a con, and will never be enough. Because, somebody will buy the credit, and release this ton, so there won’t really be an emission reduction. It is a sleight of hand that many environmentalists consider a fraudulent attempt to find loopholes in the system, whilst our planet suffers. If well specified, they may help at the margins, but it is open to serious fraud and abuse.
So where does that leave us? Until recently, we were stuck with investing ourselves in the cognitive dissonance that wind and solar and green hydrogen would get us there, or we were left in blind hope that nuclear fusion will come quick enough, which it won’t. The engineering challenges are too great for us to be able to roll that technology out across the globe before 2050, by which time we will be well on our way to a 2.5 degree rise in temperatures.
But fret not, because the Eco-Gen Inc JouleBox technology answers every challenge we currently face.
The technology itself harnesses energy from the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) via its patented induction heating steam turbine genset. The revelation here is that the EMS exists everywhere, in the same proportion, and so the technology has complete location independence. So rather than being sited far away from where the end use takes place, it can be built right next door with no problems. This quality alone opens up so many possibilities. It can be used to create next generation distributed generation networks, something the developing world is likely to embrace as it leapfrogs the developed world in the way that it powers itself. The JouleBox opens up huge possibilities in terms of generating power in remote locations, at costs which the locals easily afford. This could be a game changer for developing world communities that have become so dependent on rapidly declining biomass stocks. Eco-Gen’s revolutionary new IP enables off-grid power to go mainstream, eliminating the need for dirty and grossly inefficient diesel generators.
Eco-Gen’s JouleBox tech also dangles the tantalising prospect of finally offering the world a real and genuine energy independent power solution, precisely because it doesn’t require location specific fuel sources. It even enables us to completely rethink our transportation systems. Just this quality alone is why Eco-gen founder Paul Boaventura Delanoe thinks “this will change the face of power generation for the next 30 years.”
Another huge advantage to this tech is that it generates the very baseload power upon which we’ve come to rely on from fossil fuel powered plants (and nuclear). Given that it produces energy much more cheaply than fossil fuels, and does so cleanly, with zero price volatility (good for budget planning), is safer, quicker to build, and easier to maintain, because the distilled water that circulates through the system is far cleaner than the fuels we would otherwise use.
The third huge advantage of this technology, when compared with other renewables is the space saving. The smallest installations, a 2MW power plant, only require 0.03 acres of footprint. That is basically nothing! Compare that to the dozens of acres that the same amount of solar power requires, and then 100-200 acres that wind would require, and all of a sudden, we are not burning up precious lands on sub-optimal energy generation. It means that wind and solar can go where they genuinely are the best solution, rather than trying to force round green pegs into square holes and pushing our planet to the brink of total breakdown.
The fourth reason to be as cheerful, as Paul Delanoe clearly is, is the fact that the JouleBox takes so little time to build. It takes 6-9 months to build a power plant, ship it, install it, certify it and switch it on. That’s less time than it takes to carry a child! Admittedly, there is a PPA agreement that must be negotiated beforehand, but because of the compactness, elegance, simplicity and inherent safety of the technology, that should take no more than three months for anyone who wants the deal done quickly, because the feasibility requirements are so low. Therefore, Eco-Gen’s potential clients can go from initial conversation to system activation in just 12 months. What that means for planet earth is we can come together as a planet, as we did with vaccines, or as the US did with the Apollo missions, and achieve the necessary transition in a timeframe that the IPCC and all other commentators have been urging us to all along. It puts the 1.5˚C target back on the table and makes it eminently feasible to attain.
And unlike wind and solar, there are no resource bottlenecks or single points of failure. Paul Boaventura tells us they have stress tested every part of the supply chain and they are golden for exponential expansion.
To top it off, prospective countries need not concern themselves with having to worry about any upfront capital costs, because Eco-Gen acts as a one-stop shop service provider that sources the finance from a pool of third party funders, and all countries have to do is pay for the very cost competitive electricity when received, at the rates agreed in the contract. There are performance guarantees, warranties, and all risk insurance to ensure it is an absolutely zero risk proposition.
Eco-Gen is also keen to point out that the JouleBox tech has a Power Factor of 99% and has a THD of under 5%, completing it’s status as best in class power generation for the 21st Century.
To top it all off, it also opens up a pathway to using carbon capture technology in a way that is holistically smart and sustainable. So not only can the JouleBox IP be used to genuinely substitute for all those fossil fuel powered power stations, and perfectly complement the other renewable technologies, but we can also use it to capture the excess carbon in our atmosphere and remove the scourge of the anthropogenic industrial fingerprint from the beautiful blue planet we all call home.
Perhaps it’s time for the Mayor of Paris to give Paul Delanoe the keys to the city. For he and his team will help transform the agreement for which that city is famous for from painful failure to glittering success. Let us hope and trust the 193 signatories are listening…
New Book “Light Up Your Worth” Reveals Secret Revelation to Overcome Personal Challenges and Find Inner Strength
China is spending billions to bail out loans
How to Do SEO for CBD Companies Right?
Women@KD3 days ago
6 Tips to Make Baby Shower Special for Moms
Women@KD3 days ago
Parenting Tip: 6 Simple Ways a Single Parent Can Have a Work-Life Balance
Marketing3 days ago
How To Use Social Media Proxies To Grow Your Business
Marketing3 days ago
Key Moves You Can Make To Improve Your Marketing Strategy Today
Marketing3 days ago
How to Develop an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy?
Marketing3 days ago
7 Ways Successful Salespeople Prepare for Finalist Meetings
Marketing3 days ago
How Digitalization is Changing the Marketing Industry
Marketing3 days ago
Newbies Guide: Tips for Those Willing to Work in Marketing