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On Russian Gas Exports and Western Encroachments on Russia


I grew up on both sides of the Atlantic.

The corrupt cliques in Kiev have been milking the industrial East Ukraine for at least 20 years, and the people in that area feel exploited and as having no say in their affairs. On top of that, Kiev tried to outlaw the Russian language, and have only the Ukrainian language as the official language.

Language is part of culture. In the west of Ukraine, many people speak Polish, in the Crimea, almost all speak Russian, and in the east, a large percentage speaks Russian.

That callous, but typical Kiev act says a lot about its democratic intentions, and treatment of minorities. It was aimed to diminish the Russian culture in Ukraine, to make the ethnic Russians feel bad, on top of their economic exploitation in the east.

The Kiev government is one of billionaire oligarchs eager to cash in on US, EU, IMF, and World Bank largesse, all under the umbrella of NATO. That government had its chance; the per capita income in Ukraine is half of Poland's.


April 19, 2014    View Comment    

On Russian Gas Exports and Western Encroachments on Russia


Thank you for your comment.

I added some paragraphs at the beginning of the article.

April 19, 2014    View Comment    

On Russian Gas Exports and Western Encroachments on Russia


That is true as long as EU bureaucrats in Brussels are not telling them how to run their economies and what environmental and energy policies to implement. 

Not all countries want to follow rich Germany's expensive energy and environmental programs, nor are they able to, as they lack the resources.

Spain tried expensive RE and it contributed to a failed economy, which will decades to recover, with Europe in near-zero growth mode. Spain has 25% unemployment, 50% among people 25 or younger.


April 17, 2014    View Comment    

On Russian Gas Exports and Western Encroachments on Russia


And to help Russia develop world class goods and services industries using low-cost energy, instead of Russia just buying expensive goods and sevices from Europe with petro dollars, a la Middle East.

The Russians would have new pride in a better functioning economy, and much greater involvement/influence in world markets.

April 17, 2014    View Comment    

On What is the Greenest Source of Electricity?


The graph of carbon intensity vs energy source is useful, but unfortunately not the complete picture.

Each energy source has a physical presence on the earth. In the US, how many tens of thousands of square miles would be need to have 20% energy from solar, 20% energy from wind, 20% energy from nuclear, 20% from biomass, etc.

Large wind turbines, say 3 MW and up, need at least 2 km from the nearest residence in flat terrain, more in hilly terrain, such as New England.

A 63 MW ridgeline wind turbine facility taking up 3.5 miles of ridgeline would need at least about 8,000 acres of exclusion area, meaning no one would live there; the fauna would be compromised as well. 

10,000 MW of wind turbines envisioned on New England ridgelines would require an area of 1,269,841 acres as exclusion zone.

New England uses 130,000,000 MWh/yr 

Production = 10,000 x 8760 x 0.25 = 21,900,000 MWh/yr, or 17% of New England's energy.

In New England, about 30% of the hours of the year, there is not enough wind to turn the rotors, and regarding PV solar, about 65% of the hours of the year, there is minimal or no solar energy.

Many of these hours overlap, i.e., almost ALL traditional generators would be required to be staffed, kept in good working order and fueled (at great cost, which is currently shifted mostly to households, as in Germany), to provide energy to make up any energy shortfalls.

Factory-built modular nuclear plants, about 150 MW each, is the way to go, not those big 1300 MW units, that take 10 years to build. The reactor system and the steam-generator system would each be shipped by rail of barge to the site. Several modules could be arranged side by side for large plants.

Production could be at a rate of 40-50 modules/month, just as Boeing is producing planes at 40-50 per month.


April 16, 2014    View Comment    

On Russia and the Ukraine: The Energy Angle


You may want to write your follow-up looking at the issue from Russia's point of view.

Remember Russia was invaded by France in the early 18th century to get to its resources, and then it was invaded twice by Germany in the 20th century to get to its resources.

Almost all titanium used in Boeing and Airbus landing gears comes from Russia. It would be irrational to call for more sanctions.

Normal 0 0 1 178 1018 8 2 1250 11.0 0 0 0

According to Russian leaders, after the demise of the USSR in 1991, when Russia was in disarray under Gorbachev and Yeltsin, Europe and US leaders, brushing aside historic Russian geo-political interests as irrelevant, took geo-political advantage by steadily expanded NATO and the EU into East Europe, even aiming to include Ukraine, the Motherland of Russian culture, using the mantra of “spreading peace, prosperity, liberty, democratic values, the rule of law, and economic opportunities throughout an integrated Europe”.

Europe and US leaders, aiming for one big happy family of European nations, overreached by expanding NATO and the EU to Russia’s borders, and helping foment “revolutions” in Georgia, Ukraine, etc., for the past 20 years. Bringing Ukraine under NATO and EU influence would mean the Russian navy stationed in the Crimea would be replaced with a NATO navy, and the transit of Russian natural gas exports to Europe would be under the control of others and “defended” by NATO. Both would be completely unacceptable outcomes for Russia, which likely was foreseen by Europe and US leaders, but brushed aside as irrelevant. See Putin’s speech of March 18, 2014 in below URL.

April 16, 2014    View Comment    

On Fossil Fuels are for Making Stuff


Regardless of IPCC reports, the world will go on using fossil fuels as happened since 1990, the Kyoto year. That use will diminish as they run out. That means, total world CO2 emissions will not be on a reducing path until sometime after 2050.


Example: Europe used up its wood forests by about 1800. Fortunately, abundant low-cost fossil fuels took its place.

As fossil fuels run out, the then still very large population of the earth cannot be supported in the lifestyle they have been accustomed to by the much higher cost of renewable energy.

Note: For the past 20 years, RE costs/kWh have been made to APPEAR low, because of subsidies, favorable tax laws, and many costs being shifted to the general public, such as balancing and grid expansion.


April 16, 2014    View Comment    

On Economic Evaluation of Projects in the Electricity Supply Industry


The article presents an invalid picture of costs.

The transmission increment is significantly undervalued in your graphs. The additional capital cost of transmission is about 25% of total capital cost in wind energy, on a national basis.

Whatever the LCOE in wind turbines, multiply it by 1.25. No such increment is required for nuclear, gas and coal, which also have much lesser subsidies per MWh produced.

Also, costs without subsidies should be compared. Anything can be reduced in cost with enough subsidies.

See my article A More Realistic Cost of Wind Energy on this site.

April 12, 2014    View Comment    

On American LNG Won’t Solve Russia's Energy Bullying


You are right.

US about $4/1000 cf

Europe about $11/1000 cf

Asia about $16/1000 cf

The cost of any US LNG from new terminals and new LNG ships would be much higher than $4/1000 cf, and as US gas prices increase due to exports, even higher.

April 7, 2014    View Comment    

On American LNG Won’t Solve Russia's Energy Bullying

Bas, much natural gas is used in the chemical and drug industries, also not easily replaced.

It would take at least two decades plus tens of billions of dollars to eliminate Russian gas from Europe, and replace is with more expensive gas from other sources; just what Europe needs with 12% unemployment and a stagnant economy.

April 7, 2014    View Comment    

On American LNG Won’t Solve Russia's Energy Bullying

Thad, US LNG from new facilities and new ships would cost/1000 cubic meter about $12 in Europe and $16 in East Asia.

Brussels, frustrated as its expansionist EU policy has come to an abrupt halt, may be sufficiently irrational to replace $4 Russian gas, AND pursue high cost RE policies, with EU unemployment at 12%, AND a stagnant EU economy.

April 7, 2014    View Comment    

On American LNG Won’t Solve Russia's Energy Bullying

Bill, do you have any calculations for backup?

April 7, 2014    View Comment