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On When it Comes to Our Need for Electricity, Reliability is Essential

Unforseen circumstances of poles. Tom, one of my son-in-laws is a lineman with BC Hydro. One of his steadiest current assignments is replacing cement poles that were installed about 30 years ago to replace the cedar ones that grow locally. It seems water gets into the cement poles and rusts through the structures on which everything is hung with the result things like transformers have simply started falling to the ground.

January 2, 2014    View Comment    

On When it Comes to Our Need for Electricity, Reliability is Essential

Tom Calgary has been undergrounding for years. Besides safeguarding the infrastructure, who would want to blight this picture with poles and wiring.

January 1, 2014    View Comment    

On Charity Is the Best We Have to Offer In the Face of Our Energy Challenge?

Jesse, there is another problem with government financed science - I should have raised with Bob as well - and that is some of is mandate to arrive at a predetermined result. Yucca Mountain was such a program. When the scientists came up with the determination however that all kinds of water ran through the mountain, which should have disqualified it as a repository, the politicians simply tried to change the rules.

Also I am a Canadian and we have been seing for some time now scientists muzzled and regulations gutted in order to give that the tar sands operators free reign.

I give an informed public a lot more credit for coming to the right conclusion. Crowdfunding and the internet are a great combination for advocates to try to make their case.

All the best.

 

January 1, 2014    View Comment    

On Charity Is the Best We Have to Offer In the Face of Our Energy Challenge?

"The solution lies in a government which can shed some influence-peddling and make decisions based on the best science.?

No argument from this quarter Bob. That is what should be happening. The problem is it hasn''t been for going on two decades and seems unlikely to in light of a $17 trillion debt, which just might start being eroded where the U.S. to come up with the clean energy solution the rest of the world hungers for.

Eighteen years ago Joe Romm and Charle Curtis wrote an article Mideast Oil Forever, in the Atlantic Monthly that rings as true today as it did 18 years ago. "Imagine a world in which the Persian Gulf controlled two thirds of the world's oil for export, with $200 billion a year in oil revenues streaming into that unstable and politically troubled region, and America was importing nearly 60 percent of its oil, resulting in a $100-billion-a-year outflow that undermined efforts to reduce our trade deficit. That's a scenario out of the 1970s which can never happen again, right? No, that's the "reference case" projection for ten years from now from the federal Energy Information Administration."

In 1996 the U.S. debt just reached $5 trillion.

January 1, 2014    View Comment    

On IEA Forecasts Sustained Energy Growth, But No 'Era of Oil Abundance'

Enlightening post Geoff. A very happy and prosperous New Year to you as well.

Jim Baird (avid reader)

 

 

December 30, 2013    View Comment    

On Is Petroleum Sucking the Life out of the Planet?

Thanks Ed. Couldn't agree more.

Jim

December 27, 2013    View Comment    

On Nineteen Straight Dry Holes

Thanks Thomas, hope you have a Merry Christmas and productive New Year.

December 19, 2013    View Comment    

On Nineteen Straight Dry Holes

Bobbi reserves are booked on the basis of their recoverability at current prices using current technology. New technology can and does therefore lead to an adjustment of this figure. I think however this is moot when evidence suggests burning all current reserves will lead to envrionmental catastrophe. The issue with the carbon bubble is whether or not unburnable carbon is a stranded asset and the development of new technologies that would increase oil reserves is a waste of capital. 

December 19, 2013    View Comment    

On Nineteen Straight Dry Holes

Max whatever you care to call them or your opinion of them is, Albertan's formed a consensus a long time ago that it was in their interest to develop their resource and were successful in raising the private and public capital necessary to do so. As your comment suggests they have been far less successful extending that consensus beyond their borders and whether or not that proves their undoing remains to be seen. Unless and until however those of us who would supplant their offerings with sustainable energy can replicate their successes, adopted their can do attitude and avoid their shortcomings we are spinning our wheels.  

December 19, 2013    View Comment    

On The Solar Energy Industry is Red Hot - Will it Get Hotter?

Good EROI numbers

Elias, Michael Dale of Stanford did his PhD thesis on the topic. It is available here.

December 12, 2013    View Comment    

On Putting the Brakes on CO2 is at Best Half a Climate Solution

Bob the most recent assesment by Krishnakumar Rajagopalan and Gerard C. Nihous, An Assessment of Global Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Resources With a High-Resolution Ocean, General Circulation Model, puts the maximum global OTEC power production at 14 TW.  I and a group of others believe this is a best a floor if OTEC is developed properly, which means with a deep water condenser as opposed to massive cold water pipes. For about 1/100th of President Carter's committment we could test our prototype at lab scale.

November 30, 2013    View Comment    

On Putting the Brakes on CO2 is at Best Half a Climate Solution

Bob, if this .00165 petawatts of power was derived from ocean thermal energy conversion a further .04125 petawatts, or about 1/10th of the energy imbalance, would be moved to the deep ocean, which growing evidence suggests has the capacity to absorb it for a sustained period. This would mediate storm damage and sea level rise directly, which is not a benefit you derive from fission. You also do not have waste or proliferation issues or loss of efficiency as your cooling water heats up in the summer.

The latest from Warsaw is the Warsaw Mechanism that allows for restitution for developing countries from the ravages of climate change. These are from storms and sea level rise, which OTEC will mitigate directly and fission does not.

Both are carbon free but OTEC goes the extra mile.

 

November 30, 2013    View Comment