Preface. I explain in both of my books, When Trucks Stop Running and Life After Fossil Fuels why heavy duty transportation and most manufacturing can’t be electrified, as well as why the electric grid can’t stay up without natural gas to balance intermittency and provide baseload and long-term power for the weeks when neither solar or wind are around. Utility scale energy storage batteries aren’t going to happen, nor Concentrated Solar Power, Pumped hydro energy storage, or Compressed Air Energy Storage.
Computer chip fabrication plants need to run continuously for weeks to accomplish the thousands of steps needed to make microchips. A half-hour power outage at Samsung’s Pyeongtaek chip plant caused losses of over $43 million dollars (Reuters 2019). Intermittent power will kill microprocessors.
Here are just a few devices that have microprocessors: televisions, VCRs, DVD players, microwaves, toasters, ovens, stoves, clothes washers, stereo systems, computers, hand-held game devices, thermostats, video game systems, alarm clocks, bread machines, dishwashers, central heating systems, washing machines, burglar alarm system, remote control TV, electric kettles, home lighting systems, refrigerators with digital temperature control, cars, boats, planes, trucks, heavy machinery, gasoline pumps, credit card processing units, traffic control devices, elevators, computer servers, most high tech medical devices, digital kiosks, security systems, surveillance systems, doors with automatic entry, thermal imaging equipment.
This is unfortunate for the Preservation of Knowledge, since so many books and journals are online only.
The US Energy Department recently reported that “the nation’s aging electric grid cannot keep pace with innovations in the digital information and telecommunications network … Power outages and power quality disturbances cost the economy billions of dollars annually” (DOE). Val Jensen, a vice president at ComEd, says the current grid is “relatively dumb…the power put into the grid at the plant flows according to the law of physics through all of the wires.”
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…