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Right on both counts: it's cathodic protection through the use of a sacrificial anode.

One of the most common installations for my photovoltaic systems, back when I was a PV designer in the 1990s, was cathodic protection of oil pipelines.  (others included powering hazard warning lights on oil rigs, and microwave telecom relays for PDO Oman). Renewables helping out the fossil fuel industry.  Strange world, huh?

by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Mon Jan 25th, 2010 at 09:34:49 AM EST
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I don't think it is strange. I believe the fossil fuel industry is not so much ideological about renewables.
It is simply about maximizing profit. They really like it when (and are pushing for) their propaganda departments and politicians take an ideological approach to prolong the use of their existing infrastructure and monopolies in this field.
Especially as the stuff gets more and more expensive over time they try to squeeze as much as possible out of it. But in fact they are already heavily investing (and profiting) from renewables. They simply don't talk so much about it but of course they want to control the inevitable transition.
From my experience they use every technology available and have no reservation with green technology. I'm developing customer specific electronics and software for Li-battery management systems which are used in all kind of stuff that moves around: cars, buses, bikes, planes, inspection robots and AUVs. Although this is not exclusively "green" technology, it is somewhat related because of the hype of electric and hybrid cars and other projects (like Solar Impulse etc.). But of course the raw material industry uses the advantages of Li-Batteries for offshore prospection, pipeline inspection and the like.
I think they will use wind and solar energy to get the last drops of oil (and other resources) in a few decades, not for burning it up in cars or power plants but maybe for expensive drugs or otherwise difficult to produce plastics or other needed products.

I would use the old offshore oil and gas platforms to set up high voltage dc converters and the pipelines as protection pipes (or as the ground wire too) for the cables to the shore. Surrounding the platforms big offshore wind farms could be built then.
I'm pretty shure there are studies about that in the drawers of the fossil industry already.

Joerg.

by josch222 on Tue Jan 26th, 2010 at 06:14:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They really like it when (and are pushing for) their propaganda departments and politicians take an ideological approach to prolong the use of their existing infrastructure and monopolies in this field.

That's the key: they hate losing market share. However, the presently most widespread renewables -- on-shore wind, rooftop solar --, especially when paired with a feed-in law, are structurally predisposed to bring in many new small owners and thus break monopolies. The energy giants will (do) like off-shore wind much more (not to mention centralised solar power, hence the support for the IMO pie-in-the-sky Desertec). But, even when existing energy giants build renewables, they will be less enthusiastic about an accelerated replacement of their existing plants, though.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jan 27th, 2010 at 10:03:44 AM EST
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