In an ideal world, we would replace all diesel trucks, backup generators and heaters with cleaner ones. Even better, it will be all done by noon tomorrow. If we can do that, and we can build the necessary infrastructure for alternatives (charging stations, battery storage, etc.) by an hour or two, we won’t have to worry about diesel anymore. I could stop burning it for energy.
This doesn’t solve all the environmental problems we face, but it would be nice if we could cross one off the list, as we did long ago with hair spray and the ozone layer (this problem is largely “Gone” because it was resolved). .
But lack of speed is not the only problem here. A rational transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy + storage will take time. You should get this done as soon as possible, but it doesn’t have to be done overnight at all. We can do it little by little, and that is exactly what we are doing. Fossil fuel investments are rapidly disappearing.
Before you take out the pitchforks and torches, hear me out. Fear of stranded assets is the root cause of declining investment capital in fossil fuels. We have covered this topic before.To tell the truth clean technica The writers probably thought people wouldn’t listen when we said investing in fossil fuels was getting more and more dangerous. We thought that maybe few people would accept this reality at once, and if we were really lucky, we would be able to put money into renewable energy before a full climate disaster hit.
But things have changed faster than expected, at least when it comes to diesel refining. Much refining is still going on, but the combination of the shock of the pandemic and renewed interest in governments in favor of renewable energy has caused oil companies to shut down unprofitable and low-margin refining operations. If the normal boom-bust cycle had held up in the future, we would have kept the refineries running for cash later, but now it’s all up in the air.
A wise refiner knows it’s time to start scaling back, focus on the most profitable opportunities, and diversify. Playing cards right can make a lot of money in a declining industry.
Renewables are not replacing diesel fast enough to meet needs
This is what we wanted in all respects except one. Declining oil combined with increasing renewable energy is electric trucks that should now be on the rise to take advantage of it. Low battery prices were to push electric semi-trucks into mass production to replace the hordes of six-cylinder turbodiesel roaming the roads today.
However, with the rising price of battery cells, refining is becoming obsolete. Trucks like the Tesla Semi took longer than expected to reach the first delivery. Minerals in batteries have never been in the abundance they should have been.So instead of electric trucks showing up everywhere, we are seeing high diesel prices everywhere.
After all, you need food, water, medicine, and fake rubber dog poop. Most of the goods and services that even an EV owner buys supply he has at least one diesel truck somewhere in his chain to move the important stuff just in time.
Russia is exacerbating this problem
If that’s not enough, the US should share diesel with its European brothers and sisters. The war in Ukraine was bad for Putin’s Russia, but Russia is still a major supplier of petroleum products to Europe. We are trying to come up with methane, diesel and other fuels to do this, but the infrastructure isn’t there to send compressed methane. The already scarce supply of diesel now faces a tsunami of demand. doing.
Short-term issues that can derail migration
Even if you don’t care about high prices in stores due to abnormal fuel prices or the imminent possibility that something won’t show up, the problem has evolved from a relatively short-term supply problem to something that derails the whole of energy. There is likely to be. transition.
I’ve had conversations with conservative friends and family about this issue. Instead, Idiot Biden is now said to be in super-genius mode (or controlled by a genius), A plan is underway to bring America to its knees and force us all to accept communism.
Never mind that American-made electric trucks powered by American electricity are what they loved just a few years ago. It has to be a bad thing because it hurts corporate sponsors.
Every bump in the road becomes an “I said so!” if you don’t do something to smooth out the transition from diesel to electric. It’s a moment, as we see it now, for those who make money selling fear to the political right. Politically speaking, public support for the energy transition becomes sustainable once people become sufficiently intimidated by high prices, supply chain problems, and other problems that can be falsely attributed to electrification. may fall below the level.
Smooth out unevenness with clean technology
I don’t know the answer, but you have a wide range of choices that don’t require you to go back to the ICE days. A temporary government investment in a smooth diesel drawdown could help. Improving the efficiency of diesel trucks while bundling battery supplies and infrastructure for electric trucks could also hit it. There are other ways to move goods that use less diesel, such as rail and marine highway systems.
While these solutions alone are not silver bullets, we need to reap the stabilizing impact of each solution to push cleantech beyond its limits.
Featured image of Tesla.
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