Thank You “Green” Energy For Using So Much Oil
"Keep it in the ground," is the cry we hear from those who are now celebrating the final collapse of the Keystone XL pipeline. They want to see a time when humanity is no longer using petroleum products.
There is just one little problem with that, there is no way to produce and maintain their so-called green energy machines without a lot of patrolmen.
A lot of energy goes into making steel and other metals, just for the frames but the wiring and the computer chips. Sintered or pelletized iron ore is smelted in blast furnaces, charged with coke made from coal, and receives infusions of powdered coal and natural gas. Pig iron is decarbonized in basic oxygen furnaces. Then steel goes through continuous casting processes (which turn molten steel directly into the rough shape of the final product). The steel used in turbine construction embodies typically about 35 gigajoules per metric ton.(Spectrum).
Plastics and carbon fibers are made from a lot of oil, among other things. In other words, the body of the car or computer and the wind turbine blades and solar panels are all made from petroleum.
Oil is still needed to lubricate everything. It's also in the tires and the rubber seals that keep the wind and rain out when the car doors and windows are closed. Let's not forget all the rubber hosing and plastic used around the wires, that is all petroleum-based.
Oil is most known as a source of fuel, but petrochemicals also have many other useful physical properties. Use this link and go and have a look at the graphic to see how much oil goes into producing an electric car. We can't make such a car without a lot of oil. In According to IHS Chemical, the average car will use 775 lbs of plastic by 2020. That's a lot of oil.
"KEEP IT IN THE GROUND" they cry. Yet if we actually kept it all in the ground they would not have any energy at all. No solar or wind, no electric cars, no phones or computers of any kind. No AC to cool the house in the summer or warm it in the winter. No heat to cook with. No modern medicine... The list is almost endless.