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On Salt Of The Earth… : The Role of Salt in CSP

It would be a lot cheaper to heat salt with molten salt cooled reactors.  In addition with Molten Salt Reactors, power would be avaliable on cloudy days, and as much power would be available in the winter as in the summer. Molten Salt reactors would occupie much less land surface. 

May 28, 2011    View Comment    

On Joplin and Climate Change

Maya it is not your imagination.  The insurance industry reports that extreme weather related insurance claims have increased by something like 500% over the last 30 years. 

May 26, 2011    View Comment    

On Joplin and Climate Change

Ht, I point to extreme weather events during the last couple of years.  In 2011 a year in which we apear headed to an all time record number of tornados in the United States.  My suspicion is that we may have crossed a tipping point, but evidence is currently lacking.  .

May 25, 2011    View Comment    

On Joplin and Climate Change

Amelia, thank you.

May 25, 2011    View Comment    

On Arnie Gundersen: Fukushima Update

Rick, your no idea how to deal with nuclear waste is a canard.  First ther Energybridge  contains litterally hundreds or research documents related to numerous practical methods of nuclear waste disposal.  The DoE, which paid for the research knows all about it.  The Europeans are disposing of their waste, and there is no reason why we cannpt adopt the same technology if we wish to be practical.  The problems are not prsactical, however, they are political.  Anti-nuclear fanatics who have adopted the approach of throwing up every possible obsticle to the development of nuclear powere continue to raise far fetched objections to every practical suggestion for nuclear waste disposal.  The problems of nuclear waste disposal are not practical, they are political. 

May 20, 2011    View Comment    

On A Message To The "Blue Ribbon Commission"

Geoffrey you are correct that this is an example of disruptive innovation, However, it does not fit well into lists of disruptive innovations, which focus on replacement technologies:

* Personal computers replacement for Minicomputers, Workstations. Word processors

* Downloadable Digital Media replacement for CDs, and DVDs.

* Mini steel mills replacement for vertically integrated steel mills

* Digital photography replacement for Chemical photography

It would appear that the concept of disruptive innovation needs to be better articulated.

May 19, 2011    View Comment    

On A Message To The "Blue Ribbon Commission"

Geoffry,//first, shale gas is primarily filling in gaps in gas production left be the decline in conventional natural gas output.  Conventional output hs aleardy peaked.

I do not consider the last word on natural gas to have been said.  Yet even if we discount all of the other arguments against natural gas being disruptive, in order for natural gas to be truly disruptive, it must be possible to produce enough natural gas to replace a substantial amount of coal and/or oil.  It is by no means clear that the replacement of other fossil fuels by natural gas will be possible.  Douglas B. Reynolds and Marek Kolodziej argue that natural gas production in the United States and Southern Candida will peak in 2013.  http://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/2/2/269

The Canadian natural gas industry reportedly has already reached its peak production. http://peakoil.com/production/canadas-peak-natural-gas-crisis/

Although the EIA projects increases in natural gas production at least until 2035, the EIA projections suggests that the the production will only be 10% higher in 2035 than it is today.  The Post-Carbon institute reports  "Even assuming the EIA forecast for growth in shale gas production can be achieved, there is little scope for wholesale replacement of coal for electricity generation or oil for transportation in its outlook. Replacing coal would require a 64% increase of lower-48 gas production over and above 2009 levels, heavy vehicles a further 24% and light vehicles yet another 76%. This would also require a massive build out of new infrastructure, including pipelines, gas storage and refueling facilities, and so forth. This is a logistical, geological, environmental, and financial pipe dream."http://www.postcarbon.org/report/331901-will-natural-gas-fuel-america-in

This is hardly disruptive as far as fossil fuels substitution is concerned.   Thus it cannot be said that natural gas will replace other fossil fuels during the coming decades.  The need for disruptive energy technologies still exists, and has to be included among energy goals.

May 18, 2011    View Comment    

On A Message To The "Blue Ribbon Commission"

Kiem, you are right that the story is being told that shale gas is disruptive, however, other stories arebeing told and they have not been disproven.  The stories are that the shale gas reserve is a whole lot less than claimed.shale gas is not nearly as good for casrbon mitigation as claimed, and that shale gas is not good for the aquifer water supply.  Untill these stories are demonstrated false, shale gas cannot be 100% relied on.

May 17, 2011    View Comment    

On A Message To The "Blue Ribbon Commission"

Kiem, you are right that the story is being told that shale gas is disruptive, however, other stories arebeing told and they have not been disproven.  The stories are that the shale gas reserve is a whole lot less than claimed.shale gas is not nearly as good for casrbon mitigation as claimed, and that shale gas is not good for the aquifer water supply.  Untill these stories are demonstrated false, shale gas cannot be 100% relied on.

May 17, 2011    View Comment    

On Breaking the Link Between Energy Consumption and Economic Growth

If we look at the relationship between energy consumption and economic growth in China and India, you will realize what nonsense the thesis of this post is.  Global economic growth produces increased energy consumption, and it will continue to do so for the rest of the 21st century.  Futhermore, a failure to supply national economies with largescsle, low cost energy will cost them dearly.  Decoupling energy growth from economic growth is the royal road to economic failure.  The trick is to find a path to sustainable, low cost post-carbon energy. 

May 11, 2011    View Comment    

On Facebook’s Coal Problem

One solution for IT companies which operate big data centers is to buy one of more W&B mPower reactors to power their server farms.   The mPowers ciome in 125 MW units, that they are very reliable.  The mPower reactor will stick in infuriate Greenpeace, but which is lobbying for unreliable electrical sources.

May 9, 2011    View Comment    

On Future Storm Damage To The Grid May Carry Unacceptable Costs

Rick I have no doubt that you understand something about the process, but the fact remains you are proposing to remove fertility from the soil in order to extract energy.  What you originally talked about was not processing manure on the farm, it was removing vegetation and converting it to energy.  You could no doubt do this close to the soil so minerals can be returned, but it would be expensive, and produce very limited amounts of energy.  

May 3, 2011    View Comment