Doing the Math on Energy

 Bill Gates has said that when it comes to understanding energy realities “we need to bring math to the problem.”

Inconvenient Energy Realities

Don’t ask the question if you don’t want to hear the answer.

31. No digital-like 10x gains exist for solar tech. Physics limit for solar cells (the Shockley-Queisser limit) is a max conversion of about 33% of photons into electrons; commercial cells today are at 26%.

32. No digital-like 10x gains exist for wind tech. Physics limit for wind turbines (the Betz limit) is a max capture of 60% of energy in moving air; commercial turbines achieve 45%.

33. No digital-like 10x gains exist for batteries: maximum theoretical energy in a pound of oil is 1,500% greater than max theoretical energy in the best pound of battery chemicals.

One thought on “Doing the Math on Energy

Comments are closed.