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Comments by Robert Hargraves Subscribe

On President Obama Approves Drilling in the Arctic: Should We Be Outraged?

The mistake that McKibben, Obama, and most climate environmentalists are making is focusing on what NOT to do, rather than proposing positive, progressive, pro-environmental, pro-prosperity steps TO DO. You correctly describe the current whack-a-mole strategy as unproductive. Alternative, inexpensive, carbon-free, safe energy sources exist. My colleagues and I are working on mass-produced nuclear power plants to deliver electricity at 3 cents/kWh -- cheaper than coal,  at The Naval Research Labs has developed a way to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater to make JP-5 jet fuel at $5/gallon -- a bit more than the current petroleum-sourced fuel, and we can cut that cost with cheap nuclear power. There are great, achievable solutions to our climate/energy/prosperity problems, loudly opposed by thoughtless green ideologues and politicians leading from behind.

May 14, 2015    View Comment    

On India to Allocate 10GW of Solar Under Central Government Schemes This Year?

Where will the money come from to build 10 GW of solar panels?

May 13, 2015    View Comment    

On It's Not Magic, It's Voltage Optimization

EDF is building a fallacious case for justfying forthcoming brownouts, as generation capacity is reduced.

The article says, "Many appliances, including incandescent lighting, work just as effectively, yet consume less energy, when the flow of electricity to them is reduced.", yet you know that the lights dim when the voltage drops.

Reducing voltage supplied actually causes more energy loss in the transmission and distriubtion system, as currents rise as demanded by voltage regulators, computer power supplies, electric motors, etc in response to voltage drops.

Simple resistive heaters like stove-tops will draw less current at less voltage, reducing the rate of energy consumption, but they will operate longer bring a post of water to boiling. 

April 22, 2015    View Comment    

On The Future of Coal Passes Through Kosovo

The World Bank also staunchly opposes loaning money to build carbon-free nuclear power plants. It is becoming irrelevant in solving the global energy problem. Nations are now instead turning to the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank. Some rational thinking at World Bank and it's US sponsor could turn things around.

April 22, 2015    View Comment    

On The LNG Terminal Building Bonanza has Begun

I assume the $10 billion per export terminal included the liquifaction plant. It will take many years to build each. Exporting LNG will increase demand for natural gas, driving up the price for US consumers and power plants.

April 12, 2015    View Comment    

On How to Read a 2015 Article About Electric Power

The article says "Electricity can be converted and stored as potential chemical energy (batteries)". As you mention, electrcity can be used to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen; it can be recombinded chemically (burned) to recover the energy, but the efficiency is well below 50%. Making the burning ammonia, NH3, is another way to convert electrical energy to chemical energy, then back. Fuel cells are another way of harvesting stored chemical potential energy.

January 3, 2015    View Comment    

On Launching a New Way to Explore Energy and Human Development

Also see

November 11, 2014    View Comment    

On Examining Nuclear Energy as Climate Option, Part I

Great analysis and exposition. I'll look forward to Part 2. If you want to see an MSR design in detail, visit

November 11, 2014    View Comment    

On Still No Sign of the Rational Middle?

"Coal is good for humanity, coal is good for prosperity, coal is an essential part of our economic future.." is the mantra of Australia and more importantly the more populous developing nations. The development of molten salt reactors with energy cheaper than coal will change all this. Economics always wins out. This Facebook page shows how close we are to achieving this.

October 20, 2014    View Comment    

On Energy Use of a 100-Watt Light Bulb per Year by Source

The full-time 100-watt light bulb gives a convenient reference. Providing 100 watts of electricity won't solve the energy poverty problem, even substituting LEDs for incandescent light bulbs (which is a good idea in any case). US consumption averages 1683 watts per capita. My own recommended miniumum for developing nations is 228 watts. Here are the averages for a few countries:

US 1683 watts

Canada 1871

EU 688

India 90

China 447

Norway 2603

Germany 861


Australia 1114

To solve this we need clean, safe, reliable, abundant energy cheaper than coal.

October 9, 2014    View Comment    

On Biomass: The World's Biggest Provider Of Renewable Energy

Robert, This is an excellent, well-written, documented article. I had no idea that growth of biomass energy in Germany was triple that of wind and solar.

April 24, 2014    View Comment    

On Why a Climate Treaty or Carbon Tax Is Unlikely

I strongly agree with the premise that carbon taxes are unlikely. Even if wealthy countries such as the US could agree to them, the developing world so desparately needs affordable electricity they will burn what ever is cheapest -- now coal. But you discount the possibility that advanced nuclear power can provide energy cheaper than coal, writing Nuclear power cannot overcome "not in my backyard" objections to siting generation or waste facilities. Objections are becoming overcome. Support for nuclear power is increasing. In Nevada two candidates for the US House or Representatives are supporting the Yucca Mountain waste depository. Politicians in Texas are rallying support for a waste isolation facility in West Texas. Just this week, China announced negotiations with Westinghouse for eight (8) more AP1000 reactors.

April 23, 2014    View Comment