October 4, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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column |  Homo sapiens managed to innovate again

column | Homo sapiens managed to innovate again

It gives me great pleasure to be on the front line of one of the biggest upheavals in human history. Transforming energy sources to 8 billion people. enjoy.

The funniest party on stage are the head-shaking experts, all grizzled engineers. They take climate change very seriously, and they keep telling me. They worry sometimes. They are just realistic. They have decades of experience in this sector. If asked, they will draw the production process on an A4 sheet. They are constantly evolving me on the details. It’s not yield, it’s strength. It is not a cooking gas lab, but a cooking and gas lab. They are associated with language. This is how they get to know other people who understand.

But they are more related to sums. It’s great, all that emotion and climate panic, but thermodynamics has laws and you can’t get over that. Suddenly they look up from the paper, into my eyes, seeking acknowledgment, agreement, and a smile of reality. “You also studied in Delft, right?”

The problem is that their truths are mostly not thermodynamic laws, but dogmas. In fact, once thermodynamics is laid out on the table, alarm bells ring for me. Usually they are wrong. Both industry and academic veterans.

some examples. In a debate at TU Delft, D66 Member of Parliament Raoul Bock explained how the European Commission wanted to put forward a proposal to make cars emit less carbon dioxide each year.2 emitted. Experts said that with this measure you are killing the auto industry. Even the law was passed and the main electrification of the vehicle fleet reduced emissions much faster than European law stipulates. It escaped the auto industry.

For a long time it was also a bit of a law that heavy trucks should never be electrified. It can only get greener through biofuels, for which you will have to cut down every tree in the area, ferment or ferment every agricultural product. This is also outdated. The mains electricity is also started there now.

And that electricity, ma’am? Where does it come from? You can fill the entire North Sea with wind turbines to generate all that energy and then it still isn’t enough. Experts told Marjane Minisma in 2012 that it could count on a maximum capacity of 3 megawatts for its Urgenda models wind turbines in 2030. It’s 2023 and there is already one on Maasvlakte with a capacity of 12 megawatts. Perhaps even more impressive is the underestimation of the speed at which solar power is becoming cheap, as Jesse Frederick recently showed in piece correspondent.

And no, in the shallow part of the North Sea there may not be enough room for all these wind farms. But now I floating wind farms Built, which can float more in the sea on a platform with anchor. They can even produce hydrogen on site that reaches the ground through pipelines.

hydrogen? How many times have I read in important articles by chemists that hydrogen will never be. You can’t move it without a staggering loss of energy. That it was too expensive, too dangerous, infrastructure not available, etc etcetera. So that it becomes one of the most important energy carriers for the chemical industry. How quickly do you think it will get cheaper in the coming years?

I must admit, as a front row spectator, the surprise pleases me a lot. Surprise for the Fatalists Homo sapiens He managed to invent himself again to get out of trouble. But also surprise experts. How all these truths and beliefs that they clung to for decades have been overtaken by reality. It turns out that anything is possible.

Roseanne Hertzberger He is a microbiologist.

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