The renewable energy transition is failing – Asia Times
[…] as economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen found in his pioneering work on entropy, recycling is always incomplete and always costs energy. Materials typically degrade during each cycle of use, and some material is wasted in the recycling process.
A French preliminary analysis of the energy transition that assumed maximum possible recycling found that a materials-supply crisis could be delayed by up to three centuries.
But will the circular economy (itself an enormous undertaking and a distant goal) arrive in time to buy industrial civilization those extra 300 years? Or will we run out of critical materials in just the next few decades in our frantic effort to build as many renewable-energy devices as we can in as short a time as possible?
The latter outcome seems more likely if pessimistic resource estimates turn out to be accurate. Simon Michaux of the Finnish Geological Survey finds, “Global reserves are not large enough to supply enough metals to build the renewable non-fossil-fuels industrial system.…