Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Archive for the tag “energy”

Silver Price

Author of the article points to an often forgotten relationship between the silver price and energy market. Core message article: silver demand only just got started. Reason: investment demand has overtaken industrial demand, the public wants silver coins, not in the least because of a deteriorating confidence in paper money. Between 2002 and 2011 the percentage of silver investment as compared to industrial application rose from 9% to 58%. In short: institutional and retail investors have been the predominant force in pushing silver from an average of $4.60 an ounce in 2002 to averaging over $35 an ounce last year. LBMA in London is the largest physical gold and silver market in the world and there has been strong US silver export to Britain to meet rising investor demand. But additionally silver production is highly energy intensive, because the ‘low hanging fruit’ (where did we hear that expression before?) has already been picked. In six years time the silver content of ore declined 34%. The author suggests to see silver as a store of energy. Now that peak conventional oil is upon us and shale likely a fata morgana, oil and gas. This implies that the ‘energy content’ of silver will increase and thus the price. People increasingly turn away from any kind of paper values (fiat money, metal certificates) and demand the real stuff. What we see happening is a bank run on the LMBA. With declining energy liquids supply, silver production will decline. The author concludes: “Get ready. As the forces for pushing silver over $100 have just begun.


Energy Requirements of the Internet

Barath Raghavan and Justin Ma from ICSI and UC Berkeley estimated how much energy the internet costs, not just in terms of kwh’s from the plug in the wall, but also the energy necessary to build all these devices that constitute the internet, clients like laptops, desktops, mobile devices as well as devices that provide the internet infrastructure like routers and servers. Here is a summary of the results:

  • Power consumption entire internet (incl. client devices) between 170 and 307 GW.
  • That is between 1.1 and 1.9% of the total energy consumption of 16 TW.
  • Devices: 750 million desktops, 750 million laptops, 1 billion smart phones, 100 million servers.
  • Infrastructure: 1 million routers, 100 million LAN devices (cable modems to hubs and switches to WiFi access points), 5 million cell towers, 75,000 telecom switches, 1.5 billion km of fiber optic cabling and 3.5 billion km of copper cabling.
  • Energy necessary to produce client devices: 7.5 GJ for a desktop (4 year lifespan), 4.5 GJ for a laptop (3 years) and 1 GJ for a smartphone (2 years).
  • Substituting 25% of flights with video conferencing would save the amount of energy necessary to fuel the entire internet.
  • Power requirements breakdown:

    Note that there is considerable downward potential as consumers move en masse away from destops and laptops towards tablets (ipad consumes 2.5 Watt)


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    Who Is Who In The World Of Energy?

    Earlier we posted a “Who is who in peak-oil“. Here we want to make a broader list of people prominent in the field of energy matters and who have an outspoken opinion about the future of energy, peakers and non-peakers alike and who have expressed their opinion in public. In alphabetical order. This post will be updated regularly.

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    Energy will become unpayable for lower incomes

    Statement made by Dutchman Peter Terium, CEO of RWE, a giant energy supplier from Germany. He might be right but for the wrong reasons as he blames ‘the desire to move away from fossil fuels’ for the increased cost of energy, stubornly ignoring that depletion of said fossil fuels is behind the ‘desire’ to find alternatives.


    The 100 year old picture shows immigrant children in the US. Scenes like this soon in a street near you?

    Europe to consume 20% less energy in 2020

    EU cabinet ministers responsible for energy matters have agreed today in Luxemburg on a number of measures to ensure that the EU member states will use 20% less energy in 2020. Corporations will be obliged to use 1.5% energy less every year.


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