Dark

A reality check on renewables - David MacKay

TED-Ed
Subscribe
Views 603 708
92% 7 877 643

How much land mass would renewables need to power a nation like the UK? An entire country's worth. In this pragmatic talk, David MacKay tours the basic mathematics that show worrying limitations on our sustainable energy options and explains why we should pursue them anyway. (Filmed at TEDxWarwick.)
Lesson by David MacKay.

Published on

 

Jun 26, 2013

Share:

Link:

Download:

Loading link...

Add to:

My playlist
Watch later
Comments 2 984
MrRumpelstilzchen100
Dwindling coal & oil exploitation in and around the UK doesn't mean that a global peak in production is in sight!
Michael Stark
Michael Stark 3 days ago
This presentation is WAY OUT OF DATE. The maths do NOT add up using current wind numbers. On his estimates current wind power should be using about the area (perhaps a little less) of North Yorkshire and wind is producing as much as 5% of TOTAL UK energy (ALL energy) right now, increasing rapidly. Recent wind record was 36% of TOTAL UK electricity - Average is hard to come by as the numbers are increasing rapidly as new generation comes online.
redo348
redo348 2 days ago
The numbers are still accurate. Don't take my word for it, check yourself. Pick a modern wind farm, divide actual power output (rather than capacity) by area.
Ironic Dichotomy
Ironic Dichotomy 4 days ago
I think alluding that the only problem with nuclear power is it’s popularity is misleading!
Atlas
Atlas 23 hours ago
You mean how people are afraid of it or it's fans?
Brian Dietrich
Brian Dietrich 9 days ago
The answer is nuclear power...
Michael Stark
Michael Stark 3 days ago
Too expensive (if you can find someone to build it in their back yard).
richystar2001
richystar2001 9 days ago
Canada needs Natural gas... Because to live here you need to burn fuel for heat in winters that can get as cold as - 37c . Their is no other way accept pay a 500 dollars a month for electricity or burn all our forests for firewood. Natural gas is the reason for the huge footprint. To convert our grid to renewables would bankrupt the country. Our bird chopper wind turbines will need to be replaced in 25 years.
Michael Stark
Michael Stark 3 days ago
Bird chopper? - BIG MYTH. But you have a problem - the gas will run out so you will need to get with alternatives. As for 25 years??? ALL of the alternatives have a "life" and I suspect gas generation might not be longer than 25 years either. The additional problem with gas is that it is EXPENSIVE - and increasing while renewables (wind especially) are less expensive and decreasing (see www.lazard.com/media/450784/lazards-levelized-cost-of-energy-version-120-vfinal.pdf )
Zephyr Drake
Zephyr Drake 11 days ago
The solution: Thanos + infinity gauntlet.
Vinyasi
Vinyasi 14 days ago
ruvid.net/video/video-BDFeC0Aj-v8.html A 2nd opinion.
marty love
marty love 15 days ago
Have they just found the biggest oils field in the north sea and another in America
marty love
marty love 15 days ago
Have they just found the biggest oils field in the north sea and another in America
Allen Loser
Allen Loser 16 days ago
Back the dollar with the almighty megajoule to create an incentive for the industry of private individuals and corporate industry to develop the most cost effective ways of energy production. Energy generation will then be creation of wealth. Production of H2 from fossil fuels or from water must be priced to account for destruction of wealth by consuming more energy to produce H2 than you get back.
fm2dmax
fm2dmax 18 days ago
That's actually encouraging because that's totally doable!
jeremy a
jeremy a 19 days ago
So his whole point is what, dont try cause you cant succeed? Or is it that if we cant get rid of every single fossil fuel generator, then all our efforts are wasted? He definitely has decided there will not be any technical advances which could make his numbers meaningless. Its kind of disappointing how many people just hear a bunch of math and shut off all their critical thought.
redo348
redo348 19 days ago
_dont try cause you cant succeed?_ No, the point is do effective things or you won't succeed.
rodney adams
rodney adams 20 days ago
sorry man try grow more trees. there mad out carbon. so i'll have trouble get off of carbon though think solar panels find install them. any way electric bill down.
Abid Ali Luton
Abid Ali Luton 21 day ago
Phenomenal eye opener! sad to read below Sir David MacKay is no longer around to contribute; a great loss indeed.
David barnes stuff 2
2013 huh. Well we saw how well that worked out.
pale blue dot
pale blue dot 21 day ago
Nuclear go nuclear Just do it
Ken Royall
Ken Royall 22 days ago
There is no life after fossil fuels.
cliff mcclure
cliff mcclure 22 days ago
ruvid.net/video/video-N-yALPEpV4w.html Why renewables can’t save the planet
Aussie Taipan
Aussie Taipan 25 days ago
The worlds answer is LFTR, lots of them.
Anthonyzzz
Anthonyzzz 26 days ago
Wow - what an excellent talk!!!
Exit Humanity
Exit Humanity 26 days ago
We should make a ring around the planet of solar panels and deliver the collected power by laser to the ground. Not an effective solution to anything. I just want to live on the ring, and use the lasers to hold the world hostage. But seriously, does anyone consider where the electricity for electric cars comes from? If your house is on a grid with a coal power plant it comes from coal. If everyone in that area gets electric cars they'd need to burn more coal. I'd like to see some predictive models for that.
Ismalith
Ismalith 25 days ago
The electricity, comes from oil plants, since they don't need it anymore for refining oil.
JBTechCon
JBTechCon 27 days ago
There are no "renewable" energy sources, there are only ones we think can never be exhausted.
Chautauqua Updates
Chautauqua Updates 27 days ago
Wind turbine victims: video ruvid.net/video/video-6KhDrkoUVmc.html
The Deviant Developer
This is all before base load requirements. It isn't windy or sunny most of the time (even deserts have night time and clouds), you need days or weeks worth of power stored, this itself is harder than the generation, requires more money and a lot of space itself.
Jack Vanderpool
Jack Vanderpool 28 days ago
I love renewables, but I also believe in Arithmetic. Democrats and other Morons, take note.
Dmytro Vasyanovych
Dmytro Vasyanovych 28 days ago
Well 125kWh per day for UK citizen. craaaazy||||||| U.S. citizen uses only 30kWh per day. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. residential customer uses approximately 909 kWh per month of energy
redo348
redo348 22 days ago
+Dmytro Vasyanovych en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_the_United_States#Primary_energy_consumption 81,800 kWh per person per year is 224 kWh/person/day.
Dmytro Vasyanovych
Dmytro Vasyanovych 22 days ago
+redo348 something like, quote the source. and do not lump big companies which waste energy by refusing to sell it for no profit
redo348
redo348 28 days ago
That will be electricity, not energy. Electricity for most countries is around 10-20% of energy use. So Americans will use something like 200 kWh/day
Dmytro Vasyanovych
Dmytro Vasyanovych 28 days ago
The data provided in this ted talk is not in accordance to any certified source data.iea.org/
CanIBeZeroun
CanIBeZeroun Month ago
This was a breath of fresh air. Ecofacists behave as if everyone who disagrees is anti progress.
Harry Rubb3rball
ruvid.net/video/video-ObvdSmPbdLg.html
k klages
k klages Month ago
Put a heat exchange unit with your houses. 15% incease and no change to your life.
Parimal ,
Parimal , Month ago
It would have been nice if David would have mentioned Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster Also, how about convincing uncle Trump to let Iran, North Korea to continue nuclear power for electricity ? :P
redo348
redo348 Month ago
Well he could have, but a bit of perspective maybe. Even including accidents nuclear rivals wind for safety (deaths per kWh). So he could equally have mentioned the 14 people killed in wind farm accidents in England in the same year. www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2013/09/29/forget-eagle-deaths-wind-turbines-kill-humans/#10cad9546739
BillyBob
BillyBob Month ago
He is way off on the benefits of insulating the home. 20% decrease in fuel consumption is just a drop. It can be more than 90% if done thoroughly. Almost no bio fuel consumption if the house is designed from ground up for efficiency. And heating fuel is our number consumption of bio fuel. No change in life style required. Combine that with EV vehicles, especially ones designed for efficiency, and countries dependent on bio fuel would only be using a small fraction of what they are used to. This can be done in less than one generation. Again, without lifestyle changes.
rod constable
rod constable Month ago
Dream on Billy Bob, insulation slows heat exchange it does not stop it
Paul Kindervater
Be careful about somebody who starts an equation in imperial, and ends it in metric.
Jetztwirdsluschdig
So why do people from Europe (125 kWh/d/p) help other people from the subsahara (12 kWh/d/p to come (in Millions) to Europe thats contraproductive in terms of climatechange and energyconsumption. #fridaysforfuture #parentsforfuture
brazilfm98
brazilfm98 Month ago
Really good point
solobackpacking
solobackpacking Month ago
Because England needs more chaos and violence.
Stephen Verchinski
28 years ago I showed up at a talk where I was the guest speaker along with 6 Phd's. On my transparencies I showed a home proximate 50% reductions in power consumption done by exercising personal responsibility. He did the same and then did not note the offsets then possible in the supply side. We have a choice actually choices. To be responsible and clean up our mess, including decarbonizing.
redo348
redo348 Month ago
He only had 20 minutes, there was plenty he couldn't cover! His energy plans for the UK involved substantial reductions in consumption: www.withouthotair.com/c27/page_203.shtml
Amellia Mendel
Amellia Mendel Month ago
Lol, how do you plan to get electricity from Australia to England
shandcunt
shandcunt 25 days ago
Most likely in the form of ammonia on a boat
vampov
vampov Month ago
I wish he would have finished it up with a good conclusion like renewable are worthless we need energy dense constant power sources like nuclear. Unfortunately I don't think people are capable of making that conclusion
shandcunt
shandcunt 25 days ago
Notice he doesn't mention ECONOMICS.....cos that might not be flattering to his anti renewables argument
xzanthius
xzanthius Month ago
The human population is about to plummet. There is a great infertility coming to Western Nations. Look it up... male fertility is dropping like a rock with no indication that the trend will stop anytime soon. That will take care of many of our problems and leads to me think that this infertility may be (partially) engineered somehow.
solobackpacking
solobackpacking Month ago
Blacks and hispanics in America reproduce like cockroaches. Only populations decreasing rapidly or maintaining its numbers are east Asian countries, especially Japan.
The ABC Jug Band
"People are anti-everything". Yep.
ygg drasil
ygg drasil Month ago
RIP David Mackay.
JohnRinNoHo
JohnRinNoHo Month ago
Market prices determine what is the most efficient way to obtain and/or conserve energy, government interference with prices distort what is the most efficient methods in favor of favored and usually inefficient and wasteful methods. Rising prices will make alternative energy sources viable. Leave people free to make their own decisions.
shandcunt
shandcunt 25 days ago
+JohnRinNoHo I think more importantly, @ redo348 is an Anti Renewables Pro Nuclear advocate and so want's to avoid economics as much as possible.
JohnRinNoHo
JohnRinNoHo Month ago
@ redo348; For markets to work there must be security, no cheating ,stealing, fraud etc. It is the duty of the government to protects the lives, liberty and property of it's citizens from people who violate those rights. If someone creates exhaust gases the go directly into someone else's home he is assaulting the other person and is responsible for damages, it is the duty of the government to remedy the situation. In the case of general pollution where there are many sources there is a provision in the Constitution to provide for the general welfare, and that basically means keeping the streets, air and water clean and safe. If there is pollution it is because the government is not penalizing the producers who assault the environment and general public with that pollution, there is no market failure because there is no market. A tax on harmful chemicals and gasses into the environment is one way for the government to do it's duty, enforcing laws against pollution is another. Markets are simply people trading goods and services voluntarily. We are in general agreement.
redo348
redo348 Month ago
No, that won't work. Pollution is a well known case of market failure. The individual company or person polluting doesn't pay for the pollution, everyone does. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externality To be fair I half agree. The market is the best way to find the solutions if we give it the incentive to. The way we do that is we factor the cost of pollution into the market by having a carbon tax.
sean russo
sean russo Month ago
i like you, i dont feel so alone now in the way I see these things.
Lee Gray
Lee Gray Month ago
this talk should be required in climate studies courses everywhere , common sense, NOT PC leftist hype or the ault right there is nothing wrong BS , COMMON SENSE !
redo348
redo348 Month ago
+shandcunt That doesn't seem to be correct in practice. France's electricity (mostly nuclear) is among the cheapest in Europe. The push for solar in germany has resulted in them having among the most expensive electricity in europe. www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-energy-retail/german-consumers-paying-record-prices-for-power-portal-idUSKCN1P9233
shandcunt
shandcunt Month ago
Nuclear is really expensive and Wind and Solar are cheap
Rick Gillis
Rick Gillis Month ago
I believe the problem is completely forgetting the past. At the beginning of electrifying the world, there was a period sometimes called the war between AC & DC with Edison leading the charge for DC. Then it became obvious DC was limited in how far it could be transmitted, so many power plants every block to power a city, as opposed to AC ,1 power plant away producing huge amount of AC power., transmit that power easily over a long distance. & so AC won. Now with solar and wind, I believe its time to go back to the idea of using your own produced power of solar and wind . All that's really holding us back is battery aka storage. Sure we will still need some big power providers, I foresee a time where more and more homes and buildings will be able to provide for their own power ...AS LONG AS Battery Storage gets better, which it is doing.
CapnTates
CapnTates Month ago
Then I hope we have enough resources to actually provide everyone with batteries as such. (we don't)
Mantis Nomo
Mantis Nomo Month ago
8:00 - Roughly a kiloWatt per sq m of solar flux impinges upon the Earth. How does he get only 0.5 W/sq m? What happened to the factor of 1000?
redo348
redo348 Month ago
The average (rather than peak) power that the UK gets from the sun is actually 110 W/m^2. Night time is a big factor in that! The 0.5W/m^2 is real data for a range of energy crops. www.withouthotair.com/c6/page_43.shtml
Mantis Nomo
Mantis Nomo Month ago
2:03 - "What if we drew the biofuels for a road on the grass verge at the edge of the road? How wide would the verge have to be for that to work out?" WHAT??? What is a "verge"? What is he talking about??? He buried the lead. What is he talking about? He puts lots of careful exposition and development into something...but what? We can't tell what. What is he talking about??? Drew them with what? A Magic Marker? Oil paint? WHAT??? How many times do you have to rewind to figure out what he's talking about? How many times could the original audience rewind in real??? This guy spends lots of time spoon-feeding his audience like they are children who cannot yet multiply quantities, but he never bothers to clearly tell anyone what he is talking about! This is the age of computers, Wolfram, and spreadsheets! Anyone who hasn't already done more calculation than this guy is incapable of understanding conservation of energy. The opinions of any audience at which this tripe is aimed have no value.
Calum H
Calum H Month ago
verge /vəːdʒ/ noun 1. an edge or border. "they came down to the verge of the lake" draw /drɔː/ verb past tense: drew 3. extract (an object) from a container or receptacle. What if we took the biofuel we needed from fields planted on the sides of roads.
SevenRiderAirForce
This was really cool. He put practical numbers and ideas out there rather than just whinging about stuff everyone already knows is bad.
shandcunt
shandcunt 25 days ago
His numbers were out of date even for 2012 and they are even more wrong now - he literally was just whinging about stuff
SevenRiderAirForce
I learned the word fluffman today. I hope you Brits understand, we find all of your local words absolutely adorable lol.
Worth Doss
Worth Doss Month ago
We need to tap into the heat of the earth.
sklenars
sklenars Month ago
Ask the Icelanders
Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo Month ago
IF we can find a way to safely so so, i'm all for it!
Junokaii
Junokaii Month ago
Canada and Australia are very resourced based economies though and we're large obviously, so anywhere we need to go outside of where we live are somewhat large distances, requiring more fuel to get to. So, it sounds bad.. But it's really not THAT bad.
ycnexu
ycnexu Month ago
I'm a supporter of curbed consumption, be it food in your body, buying too much stuff, or city commuting in a car. I can agree on having a little bit less wasteful lifestyle, but only to a degree. Renewables aren't efficient enough, want proof? Even Elon Musk's Gigafactory that he was bragging about being fully powered by solar panels... you guessed it, in reality is 0% powered by solar panels. This actually made me wonder if there are Tesla fans who at the same time oppose nuclear power, because that would be hilarious.
shandcunt
shandcunt 25 days ago
There are solar panels on the roof of the nev factory, it is not 0%
yoloswagmaster 9000
I did a rough estimation on how much known and and estimated accessible nuclear fuel not including thorium and even with relatively inefficient reactors we have enough for about 250,000 years at current power usage levels but that was in 2015.
Juxtaposed1Nmotion
oh nooo
chas ames
chas ames Month ago
More close-ups of his ear!
rechitsapivo
rechitsapivo Month ago
Using plants as renewable energy sources is basically depleting fertile soil, which will eventually lead to hunger.
Daneal Jee
Daneal Jee Month ago
Agreed, but concentrated solar seems pretty small in comparison.
Gerold Firl
Gerold Firl Month ago
He doesn't seem to understand the how a log-log plot works, which is really weird for a physicist. He says that solar pv or wind will take-up "some percentage" of the country - which is true - but it's a very small percentage. On a log-log plot it looks like you need most of Britain, but it's actually not. For instance, yesterday Germany produced about half it's power from wind. But the actual area covered with wind turbines is tiny. You can track power consumption at this website: www.energy-charts.de/power.htm It's pretty informative. You can see that there are challenges associated with renewables (the sun don't shine sometimes, and the wind isn't always blowing) but those issues are about storage, not surface area.
shandcunt
shandcunt 11 days ago
+redo348 Hey as long as were making up numbers, lets say it's 500%
redo348
redo348 11 days ago
+shandcunt It's like I'm saying males are around 50% of the population and you are saying "well, if we can just make stuff up then men are 200% of the population". It's nonsense and moronic. If you don't believe the numbers then ask for a source you plonker! :P
redo348
redo348 11 days ago
+shandcunt Except: 1) It is logically impossible for electricity to be 200% of energy use. Electricity is energy use. 2) The numbers I'm using are not made up. Google "energy in the UK wiki". Or pick a country of your choice. Divide electricity by primary energy and times by 100 and you will get between 10 and 20%.
BreakTheSilence
BreakTheSilence Month ago
1) Thorium + 2) Molten-Salt Reactor + 3) Miniaturization = 4) Energy Independence. (Also means big oil/energy will lose all their money and power...)
Ismalith
Ismalith 25 days ago
Thorium is radio active for thousands of years. That is not going to work on a small scale.
BreakTheSilence
BreakTheSilence Month ago
+Joseph Whitehead But how do you then prevent the monopolization of energy from happening again? All that's required is buying the patents and the world will be dependant on whoever owns all rights to said patents... I don' think we should ever tie an industry on which our very survival as a species depends on, to profit-motive... That's just asking for trouble in my opinion.
Joseph Whitehead
+BreakTheSilence Well, I was thinking of electrical distribution/shipping/installation, and patents on making them or regulatory capture protecting a small number of manufacturers. But that, too. When the super highways came in, the railroads didn't just give up. They heavily invested in oil and gas. :D
BreakTheSilence
BreakTheSilence Month ago
+Ismalith That's why it is necessary to miniaturize the design so every home can have their own reactor buried underground. Besides, Thorium isn't rare enough to monopolize(unless gov. doesn't regulate at all). It's quite abundant in the Earth's crust.
Ismalith
Ismalith Month ago
Those companies will own the view salt and thorium reactors and milk you
Brett Hansen
Brett Hansen Month ago
This isn't that difficult- nuclear is and always has been the solution. Conservation and lifestyle changes will just mitigate the amount of nuclear necessary- but that's the long and short of it- moralizing about the solution only delays its implementation - we wait long enough waiting for unicorns to solve the problem and it won't matter.
Gerold Firl
Gerold Firl Month ago
+D avid Tuer Actually there are lots of ways to store energy. Pumped hydro is good, but we don't have enough reservoir capacity for that to be the total solution. Molten salt works well for concentrated solar, but it's not as cheap as PV.
D avid Tuer
D avid Tuer Month ago
+Gerold Firl Exactly!! you can't store spare electricity, except in batteries. You need it all the time.
Gerold Firl
Gerold Firl Month ago
Solar power isn't a unicorn. In California we already have the "problem" that solar is generating so much power in the middle of the day that energy costs go to zero - or even below. %^) That's the problem we need to solve: what to do with that free energy? Nukes used to talk about being "too cheap to meter". That never happened - except with solar and wind. Now it happens a lot - but not with nukes.
kimchee94112
kimchee94112 Month ago
Fusion reactors are safe, still working on it since the early 1970s. USA has 100 years of coal and 80 years of oil remaining. Really not much time left. Nikola Tesla was working on free energy, too bad he was defunded on the experiment.
You're the man now Dog
This guy should work on not smacking his lips every 30 seconds TSUH TSUH TSUH
Paul Ireland
Paul Ireland Month ago
You fail with the last comment "low carbon" the earth has been being depleted of carbon, but let's say carbon leads global warming (which it actually doesn't), increased carbon would benefit earth as we're heading into a cool period, no? Greens, they never ever think their things through...
Paul Ireland
Paul Ireland Month ago
+Ismalith blaaah blaaah a government paid shill or a pathetic green sheeple who virtue signals about carbon whilst travelling all over the world in carbon spewing jet planes...see, i can name call aswell
Ismalith
Ismalith Month ago
+Paul Ireland laughs about "greens" but shows perfectly that he is just a consi hack that is against something because his companies lords told him he should be.
Paul Ireland
Paul Ireland Month ago
+Alexander Schilling However, CO2 is responsible for more warming than all the other gases together, " HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH
Alexander Schilling
Global temperatures have been rising although the solar activity was low over the last 15 years. (Even the solar maximum in 2014 was extremely low compared to usual solar maxima.) Solar activity is expected to start rising again in about 2 years. What can we conclude from that: If you considered only solar activity but no other influences, it would mean that the cool period is right now and will end in a few years. However, global temperatures have been rising over the past years. This means that solar activity does not influence the earth's overall climate as much as greenhouse gases and other factors (eg melting pole caps or glaciers changing their color from white to grey and thus reflecting less sun light). But yeah, it's not only CO2 but also N2O and CH4 and even water vapour that lead to global warming. However, CO2 is responsible for more warming than all the other gases together, so it does make sense to put particular attention to it.
fly bobbie
fly bobbie Month ago
So, what was the solution? UK as just mandated no more gas boilers to be fitted after 2025.
shandcunt
shandcunt Month ago
+Mr M Nuclear is too expensive right now, Hinkley Point C - Facts don't care about your feelings
shandcunt
shandcunt Month ago
The answer is, as it always will be, a mix of generation with renewables playing a majority role
Mr M
Mr M Month ago
Nuclear
Raph Ael
Raph Ael Month ago
This was 2013. What about Elon Musks Giga Factories ?
kimchee94112
kimchee94112 Month ago
Factory was noted 100% self powered with roof solar panels this year - to be verified. Also acquired dry type battery technology, maybe a game changer in fast charge and run time. 1000 mile range Roadster 2.0?
Cotronixco
Cotronixco Month ago
Firewood is a great answer that most people don't seem to understand.
Cotronixco
Cotronixco Month ago
It's obviously way over your head as well. That's fine, I'm not surprised...
Donald J
Donald J Month ago
+Cotronixco You drank the seawater, didn't you... I'll show you 'Crazy'.. Someone really messed-up, unstable, and drugged out wrote: "If two identical trees fell in the woods and one was left to emit carbon over time and the other was turned into energy, the treehuggers are up in arms about the one displacing fossil fuels, because they see smoke! They are crazy."..
Cotronixco
Cotronixco Month ago
If two identical trees fell in the woods and one was left to emit carbon over time and the other was turned into energy, the treehuggers are up in arms about the one displacing fossil fuels, because they see smoke! They are crazy.
Donald J
Donald J Month ago
+Cotronixco Good question sir.. I plant bing cherry tree seeds, assorted apple tree seeds, and maple tree seeds, all over the countryside and in forests all across the nation.. I also plant carrots, lettuce, wheat, and alfalfa in the forests for the wild animals, my true friends... When I camp, I wake to find the little critters have worked most of the night gathering their favorite foods into a neat little pile at my tent entrance.. They feel my love for them, and share their love.. I sit with large bears, and wild cougars walk with me in the forest... What do you do for Life besides burn wood into carbon, and turn good food into bio-toxic useless fertilizer..?
annihilationHaven
It doesn't help if the population keeps skyrocketing.
Libs Hate Montesquieu
It's not skyrocketing dummy, Western countries aren't even producing any children.
Eugene Gill
Eugene Gill Month ago
He is proposing solutions. But what is the problem and why?
articcircleado
articcircleado Month ago
What's wrong with the eco car? I wish they sold those things and they were legal !!!! I drive a scooter right now \ take the bus. I wouldn't mind something that blocks the rain.
Dennis Menace
Dennis Menace Month ago
I've just watched the movie 'Prometheus' again and it looked like the 'TED Ed' logo was part of the Guy Pierce bit at the beginning. Has anyone any idea about this connection or am I just smoking too much when watching youtube videos ?
Jason B
Jason B Month ago
Really sad to hear about his passing. It'd be very interesting to see a revision/update to this talk with the acceleration of EV adoption -- courtesy of cars such as _any_ Tesla, the Leaf, e-Tron (I think they're shipping those now), i-Pace, and the larger array of PHEVs and their functionality as EVs for some commuters. It's been a short while since this talk and things are already looking far brighter.
Be m
Be m Month ago
tidal?
Jens K
Jens K Month ago
Please watch this TED talk too, on the subject: bit.ly/2EsbztG
Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin Month ago
When he quantifies energy use in lightbulbs does he mean the traditional filament 60w bulbs or the 5-10w LED bulbs?
redo348
redo348 Month ago
40W
Mattywho
Mattywho Month ago
When he (and every other "Green" person on the planet) talks about electric cars being one of the "answers" to efficiency, I ask " HOW IS IT EFFICIENT, WHEN YOU CHARGE IT FROM THE GRID?????? (The most inefficient system going)
mrclingford
mrclingford Month ago
Will you explain why you think charging from the grid is inefficient, thanks.
papa al
papa al Month ago
CO2 is good. Plants thrive on it. Petroleum is not a fossil fuel. It did not derive from dead plants and animals.
Rich Smith
Rich Smith Month ago
The answer is build more nuclear. We should also do more research on molten salt reactors.
jayteegamble
jayteegamble Month ago
+Rich Smith If we could do that it'd be great
Rich Smith
Rich Smith Month ago
Apparently we are supposed to capture and sequester all the cow farts or something.
Timothy Hill
Timothy Hill Month ago
Have you seen the "new face" of the Democratic party and her take on what energy consumption is supposed to be?
jayteegamble
jayteegamble Month ago
We have to wait for the Baby Boomers to die off. Most anti-science generation ever.
Destroyer Venom
Destroyer Venom Month ago
another way for global cooling is to get the planet to move 400 miles further outside the normal range it usually orbits the sun. boom instantly make the planet 20 degrees cooler and letting life and the planet be happy.
Daniel
Daniel Month ago
And another way would be to use magic
Destroyer Venom
Destroyer Venom Month ago
Everyone wants to say global warming... but then how do you create extreme cooling? perhaps a few nuclear bombs into super volcanoes causing ash that will cover 2/3rds of the planet.. this would instantly cool the planet and cause global cooling. Problem solved.
Rich Smith
Rich Smith Month ago
The Grand Solar Minimum is coming.
Kam Singh
Kam Singh Month ago
It's so true about everyone being anti something.
Best Bits
Best Bits 13 days ago
Not including you though right? They're all blind fools, but not you. You're a genius aren't you?
Tim Johnston
Tim Johnston Month ago
this guy knows his onions..hope there are more like him
Gary Mathis
Gary Mathis Month ago
It's only a problem if the government tries to do it. Let the free market decide.
Keith Omelvena
Keith Omelvena Month ago
Ah. An adherent of the myth of the invisible hand guiding us to mechanistic nirvana. There is no such thing as a "truly free market". That road leads to one entity owning everything and making the rules to suit itself!
Robert Bell
Robert Bell Month ago
It absolutely does. As each better solution arrives the obsolete solutions fall away. Gov't regulation stifles innovation that permits those obsolete technologies to hang on waaaaay longer than they would in a truly free market.
Andrew Blake
Andrew Blake Month ago
tHE FREE MARKET CARES NOTHING FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR CIVILSATION
Keith Omelvena
Keith Omelvena Month ago
As long as the obsession of the day is pursuing exponential growth, there is no solution, just acceptance that human civilisation is a temporary blip on the continuum.
Rinoa Super-Genius
one must remember that you can put a lot of wind power into the ocean, while lessening how much electricity we use.
shandcunt
shandcunt Month ago
+Mott theHoople Wave generation has a long way to go, it will get there eventually but solar and wind are prime to be deployed right now
Mott theHoople
Mott theHoople Month ago
whats the matter with using ocean currents? they are largely stable and have a huge amount of power
Rinoa Super-Genius
+shandcunt the future is self sustainability.
shandcunt
shandcunt Month ago
It's also dishonest of him to talk about land area coverage as if roofs do not exist - robert llewellyn powers the majority of his home with solar and a tesla battery. The land area coverage really isn't an issue for renewables.
James Smith
James Smith Month ago
The light bulb analogy really sucks. A standard UK light bulb used to be 100W not 1Kw. A factor of 1 wrong! A 1Kw bulb would be used in a large indoor farm or lighting a big building, like a school, but in a normal room you would need shades. He likes math, really. Just lying then yeah. If he doesn't know the difference between 100W and 1Kw light bulbs, but used them as the model for this whole talk, how could i trust any thing else he says.
James Smith
James Smith Month ago
yeah my bad get what you're saying now. That "hr" really helps define things. It shouldn't have been cut off Thanks for that
James Smith
James Smith Month ago
+redo348 and i said suggested not said, in other words, he implied.
James Smith
James Smith Month ago
+redo348 What you are saying, is, he was saying, 1light bulb is=>1kw/ per day , so dived by 24r? per day => 40Whr (per hour of the day) why is that relevant
redo348
redo348 Month ago
+James Smith www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=1kWh%2Fday+in+W
t44e6
t44e6 Month ago
I am anti being forced to subsidize industries to develop the technology.
Nikola Tasev
Nikola Tasev Month ago
A good video, but very dated. I absolutely agree we need a combined approach to meeting the energy needs. But solar efficiency is up, solar costs are down, same with wind power, same with electric cars, heat pumps and so on - they make the numbers much easier to achieve. Offshore wind is a major factor - it does not take up usable space, neither does solar cells over parking and industrial roofs. Add up some nuclear power and energy storage (maybe use all the electric cars that are already plugged in to charge to help) and it is achievable without lifestyle changes.
Nikola Tasev
Nikola Tasev Month ago
+redo348 The presentation gives 2.5W/m^2 for wind. Newer offshore wind can give from 2.5 to 10W/m^2, with exceptions giving more than that. The average is a little over 6... for now. Future ones will be more efficient, and again- they use zero usable land. Source: vasab.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/BalticLINes_CapacityDensityStudy_June2018-1.pdf Solar is more confusing, current efficiency for commercial can reach 21-22%, but I don't have the one used in the video. In any case, panels are increasingly being installed on roofs, parkings and even lakes. Source: news.energysage.com/what-are-the-most-efficient-solar-panels-on-the-market/
redo348
redo348 Month ago
Well you don't actually know that unless you have done the maths.
Marco Panzanni
Marco Panzanni Month ago
If ur hard pressed about fossil fuels then u need to get of fossil fuel, be it move to a walking distance to all ur needs, or biking, or using an EV or even car pooling whatever. But talking big about the righteousness of this issue or that issue while driving a massive Range Rover is nothing more than hypocrisy. U want a back of envelope calculation ok, ...15-20 of worlds largest cargo container ships pollute same as all 900 million vehicles in the entire world. U want a meaningful change for the environment that u can quickly see the results, u start w those 20-ish ships, period.
Marco Panzanni
Marco Panzanni Month ago
+Gerold Firl Its called Google, might wanna give a try sometime.
Gerold Firl
Gerold Firl Month ago
Got a reference for that?
Eli Spizzichino
Eli Spizzichino Month ago
not even citing geothermal.... why nobody speaks about it?
chipEngineer
chipEngineer Month ago
Maybe you are thinking about ground (or air sourced) heat pumps for both heating and cooling, those are good too, with high COPs, they make electric heating very efficient. But in high density populations, it is important to return summer heat back to the ground for later reuse on the winter side. David MacKay covers this in the same book too. For the geologic geothermal though, there are real limits to what is available, also covered in the book.
Eli Spizzichino
Eli Spizzichino Month ago
thanks for your reply. I'll read the book however I'm not convinced geothermal can be exploited only in highly active geothermal area, read about mini geothermal solutions. Btw nuclear fission have the unsolved problem of waste and there is no secure location to store it and any location it's also a great target of missile attacks
chipEngineer
chipEngineer Month ago
If you read the free book, he does discuss it along with the math for it. There are only a few places in the world that can exploit it well, Iceland, New Zealand etc, and the available energy for the rest of the world from geothermal is very small indeed. It would also dry up, you would need to keep moving the wells and it's just another form of fracking to recover heat rather than gas/oil. Of course geothermal is really just nuclear heat from the earth's core, the radioactive decay of uranium, thorium over billions of years. If we mine those elements and fission them directly we are speeding up time by millions of fold so that we can have a few thousand years worth of US/UK energy levels for the entire planet. By that time fusion should probably work and will last till the sun cooks the earth in 2B years or so.
Kris Smiley
Kris Smiley Month ago
Didn't he pretty much say nuclear power is the solution about 1/2 way into the video?
shandcunt
shandcunt Month ago
+Gerold Firl Here is a video os a PV recycling plant in france - Note no one is wearing a hazmat suite, just protective eye wear - User redo348 and most nuclear advocates are idiots trying to "OWN the LIBs" - ruvid.net/video/video-PaUlSZ2biI8.html
shandcunt
shandcunt Month ago
+redo348 It is actually common sense that solar panels are easier to recycle than nuclear waste - ruvid.net/video/video-PaUlSZ2biI8.html
redo348
redo348 Month ago
+Gerold Firl It is not common sense that 1kg of nuclear waste (around the weight of a bottle of wine) is more of a problem than 300kg of toxic waste from solar panels (that's around the weight of 5 washing machines)
Gerold Firl
Gerold Firl Month ago
+redo348 Cadmium has a half-life of infinity huh? OK. If you're looking for a detailed PV recycling process I can't help you. But this seems like common sense. Lead is one of the dangerous metals used in solar panels. Guess where it's used? It's for soldering wires to the contact pads. Just like every other electronic device. Radios, TV's, cell phones, refrigerators etc. Those tiny blobs of solder can be removed if necessary. Despite the very long half-life.
shandcunt
shandcunt Month ago
+Gerold Firl User "redo348" is a great example of why nuclear advocates are always more about "Owning the Libs" than solving any real world problems - he really is trying to convince you that nuclear waste and solar panels are just as hard to recycle
Northy
Northy Month ago
A problem... My house was built in 1910... I have no cavity wall, external wall insulation is fugly and will certainly ruin the Victorian charm of my home and its not cheap. I have looked into roof solar. The smallest part of my roof gets 80% of the sun, the large part only gets late afternoon sun at an oblique angle. The building inspector says I need more insulation to bring it upto current standards, but that will make the roof space unusable for storage, the roof will need strengthening to take the additional weight of the panels so theres £6000 - £7000 to find. Plus I may need to be robbed by and electrician to bring the electrics into the circuit breaker age rather than ceramic fuse holders and fuse wire. I dont have a great job, we live very much on the breadline and all this stuff requires a huge amount of money that we simply dont have.
D avid Tuer
D avid Tuer Month ago
Reality check!!!!
J Denino
J Denino Month ago
Invest in fleece bathrobes, I bought one for every family member and now set my thermostat on 62 degrees (Fahrenheit) degrees all winter! Everyone got used to the cooler temperatures. My natural gas bill for the whole year was about $600.00 give or take. We have a forced hot air furnace fueled by natural gas. Natural gas is fairly cheap right now. My house is roughly 1900 square feet which is average sized for an American house. I thought about getting solar panels but decided against it. They are too costly right now, around $20,000 or more. It would take forever to recoup the price of them. We had our roof re-shingled about 2 years ago and that cost about $10,000.00 and I think we spent enough on the roof already. www.amazon.co.uk/Plain-Supersoft-Fleece-Dressing-Medium/dp/B01GS9QZEG/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1552469272&sr=8-13&keywords=fleece+bathrobe+men
Gaius Baltar
Gaius Baltar Month ago
The sooner this species comes to an end the better. The earth does not need humans to exist. In fact we all know that of all the animals on earth humans are the most destructive and the least useful to the earth.
Tom M
Tom M Month ago
Fusion. One word answer, new industrial revolution, will allow our societies to rise to a new level. Energy consumption is the basis of prosperity
Rich Smith
Rich Smith Month ago
+Timothy Hill That makes them complete cop outs then. Buying France's energy while pretending they are against nuclear fission by shutting down their own plants. You have basically confirmed their virtue signaling. Also, thanks for the correction. Fusion is indeed 50 years away.
Timothy Hill
Timothy Hill Month ago
The part I like most about your reply is its completely unsubstantiated conjecture about political motivations and capital investment... Meanwhile, I can point to a half dozen articles about the very real achievements (experimental models, heat containment, sustained plasma, etc) that show China and Germany's "desperation" is actually advancing the science. I can also point at Frances near 75% Nuclear Energy program that is currently selling substantial amounts of power to Germany as making a case against your shenanigans and Germany's "Anti-Nuclear" signalling. I can also point to the folks like you who 10 years ago were saying fusion was 50 years away.
Rich Smith
Rich Smith Month ago
​+Timothy Hill They are desperate for energy solutions so they'll grasp for straws in many different areas. Germany's doing it because Merkel and co is too stubborn to use fission even though her energiewende plans to reduce GHGs are not meeting expected targets. She basically boxed herself in to using coal again by anti-nuclear virtue signalling. China has a lot of money to throw around so practically everything under the sun will be researched. Nuclear fission is one of the few types currently being built on a mass scale though and providing their energy needs without suffocating them in air pollution. I think they would be all too happy to use gas from fracking their massive shale deposits but alas the logistical problems with exploiting that particular resource are currently too great to overcome.
Timothy Hill
Timothy Hill Month ago
And yet, Germany and China - two of the largest economic power houses on the planet with some of the highest demands for energy are investing in Fusion research like there is no tomorrow....
Rich Smith
Rich Smith Month ago
It only 25 years away!
Alan Yates
Alan Yates Month ago
Don't blame coal and oil; grasp the big nettle: the cause is over population.
Philco
Philco Month ago
But I was promised a pony!
nogh Thangs
nogh Thangs Month ago
So the take away is: Imperialism is the answer, take someone else land and use it to make energy which is more expensive and harder to transport because someone thinks the world is getting cold (or hot, I forget which one is "Climate Change" as opposed to old fashion and discredited global warming.) And of course lets forget energy is neither created nor lost but rather transferred.
nogh Thangs
nogh Thangs Month ago
and for some more context on the topic of modeling: ruvid.net/video/video-fA5sGtj7QKQ.html+redo348
nogh Thangs
nogh Thangs Month ago
here is another one ruvid.net/video/video-g30JfQIK6GA.html+redo348
nogh Thangs
nogh Thangs Month ago
ruvid.net/video/video-Np_CHy9ql4M.html note at 8:34 model (remember sciences observation not modeling) the land and oceans as well as Meteorological stations both disprove the warming theory. Also notice the large gaps between the data (whose methods have been put into question) Enjoy. +redo348
redo348
redo348 Month ago
+nogh Thangs You don't seem to be addressing what I am saying. Global warming hasn't been discredited. The globe has warmed.
nogh Thangs
nogh Thangs Month ago
What they claimed was discredited, yes. So the politicians PR changed the name in order to push for policies without the inconvenience of objectively verifiable evidence. Now when it is cold they claim Climate change. When it is hot they claim climate change. When the temperature is neither hotter or colder than average they point to a year before and claim "climate" change. When we have more storms, climate change. When we have less storms Climate change. When there is a forest fire... climate change. The name changed for utilitarian needs, facts or logic be damned just as long as the policies are pushed forward. +redo348
Mr Humpty
Mr Humpty Month ago
Nuclear is the only lever. They can be built virtually 100% safe with virtually no waste. There should be 100's of small sharable ted talks explaining just that. Very easy to change that rather than every lever he talked about.
Anon Till
Anon Till Month ago
I've seen other vids regarding nuclear as an option but not elaborated on. How does waste get disposed of?
TREY RIVER
TREY RIVER Month ago
And in his description of calculations I didn't hear anything about line loss which makes those gigantic farms of wind and sun need to be even bigger because moving the electricity from point A to point b is not free. Then you have the problem that type use power is erratic I'm easily disrupted in very hard to ramp up for instance a hurricane would cause all solar to be greatly reduced all wind to come to zero production or very near it then there's of course the damage to the system, Coal, natural gas ,nuclear power plants are all fairly Stout and are fairly resistannt to damage. solar panels and windmills *are*not. Biofuels have all the attendant problems of any other crop watch the commodities market 4 wheat or oranges what's the weather going to do there.
Mott theHoople
Mott theHoople 9 days ago
lol it matters not how stoat your coal fire power station is when the hurricane blows all the power lines over....
Mott theHoople
Mott theHoople 9 days ago
+Is [N0T] 42 lol pumped hydro provides power 24/7 molten salt does too. as does ocean currents etc your definitely a coal troll or an old conservative who just wont accept coal is gone...done ..history..your making the same arguments blacksmiths made with the advent of the car.....
Mott theHoople
Mott theHoople 9 days ago
+Is [N0T] 42 Ummm I dont wish this to happen at all but its a fact of life.....If I fence a 1000 acres and put 100 kangaroos in it they will live comfortably for ever but they breed according to seasonal variations....a good year with lots of tucker and water and that 100 skippies will turn into 150 skippies and if we have another god year we will have 220 odd skippies etc etc...then something will come along...a bad season drought disease whatever and that mob of skippies will die right back....We are not above natural laws and we have been riding high on the hog for a long time....When that event does come rolling by it will kill millions...society as we know it will nose dive it cant NOT happen..its a certainty....there are simply to many people on this rock..the world is a finite place..as an aside have you noticed "all those poverty stricken people are not lining for coal fired power stations? most people are not smelting steel and dont need thousands of amps for their house to run
Is [N0T] 42
Is [N0T] 42 21 day ago
+Mott theHoople So who's the ones you want nature to "bring down to sustainable numbers"? Please be reasonable. Nobody wishes for a mass catastrophe like that, it would actually result in the exact opposite of what you believe it would be like.
skyislandaz
skyislandaz Month ago
He did not address the storage issues needed for renewables. This storage is going to have to be mostly in the form of batteries and will be physically huge, have a huge production footprint, be very expensive, and always be in need of constant replacement due to the limited lifespan of all types of batteries.
Ben Whittle
Ben Whittle Month ago
well are you also allowing for pumped storage, compressed air, renewable hydrogen production and other techniques?+skyislandaz
skyislandaz
skyislandaz Month ago
+Ben Whittle Please provide citation that my statement is not true. The only real new gains in battery technology I am aware of are the slight benefits of mass production. Everything else is just bench science and vaporware.
Ben Whittle
Ben Whittle Month ago
The info is old as he died a couple of years ago
Ben Whittle
Ben Whittle Month ago
If you go to his website or read his (free, downloadable) book you will find he does talk about batteries. However you must be aware the info is 5 years old and a lot has changed in the world of batteries since then. I'm assuming you are actually interested in the answer, and not just trolling as there are a lot of battery types out there, and your assertion is unfortunately not actually true.
elysian fields
elysian fields Month ago
Sophmoric discussion: ignors abiogenic origin of hydrocarbons; climate change haha.
Kell Schultz
Kell Schultz Month ago
Is David Mackay really Robert Malthus reincarnated? Living smaller isn't going to solve the problem. And as for the greentard warming religion, well by now with all their predictions of the Last 30 not coming true we know that's a lie. If you want more resources, if you want to know where they are, go outside on a clear night in look up. Its all out there.
Ben Whittle
Ben Whittle Month ago
I think you need to start reading some different websites
Zhang Yu
Zhang Yu Month ago
simple math showing renewables are not enough now! Need to improve energy efficiency
Zhang Yu
Zhang Yu Month ago
+Hassan Tahan Nuclear comes with safety concerns. But indeed, countries like France are betting heavily on Nuclear. Hope nuclear fusion could come online before 2050 as well!
Hassan Tahan
Hassan Tahan Month ago
Simple math showing we need nuclear!
Dr Nicktu
Dr Nicktu Month ago
Just a little thought; Back in the old days all your electronics like TV, radios, HIFI and such had what we nerds call a hard power switch. Now a days everything has what is called a soft power switch. Well whats the difference? The hard switch turns off the power at the cord meaning there is NO power going into the unit AT all. The soft power switch does not turn off any power AT ALL, it just tells the control IC that you want to turn the unit on or off and the control IC will tell a relay to open or close which will turn off the LOW voltage side of the power supply and you then think your TV is off, but it's really a lie! The power from your outlet is still going into the power supply and the power supply is still using electricity because the control IC is still on because it need to be ready for you to push the soft power switch again. So why do we have to have soft power switch's in the first place? Answer,,, people can't wait for their TV to turn on, or their HIFI they want to push the button and puff there is the picture! Those of us old enough to remember when you had to wait for the TV to warm up can understand this and most likely would not mind to go back to that , BUT just think if ALL electronics had hard power switch's and that when you turned something off it was really off, just think of the amount of power would be saved and the reduction in CO2 emissions and all just by adding a HARD POWER switch to all of our electronics! This TED Ed was a really good one because for ONCE someone was talking real seance! There is something called thermal dynamics and the physics behind it cannot be changed it is what it is and we have to learn to live within the physics of thermal dynamics!
Coal Dust XIII
Coal Dust XIII Month ago
I love how the other English "colonies" are in puke~ish yellow. hue
Ray Milligan
Ray Milligan Month ago
Ted Talks use to be a great Platform !, but Now it turned into a Socialist/ Commie Platform to destroy the America ! Vietnam Vets for America !
Next videos
EVERY BURGER KING EVER
5:47
Views 1 595 192