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Glenn Doty

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  • Energy, Imagination And Politics: A Toxic Cocktail For Your Portfolio [View article]
    Ad van der Meer,

    When I stated that gasoline would need to be ~$7-8/gallon, that was assuming electricity rates in the U.S., which average ~$0.11/kwh. The economic parity is higher where electricity prices are higher.

    As far as solar in the Netherlands goes... I'm not certain that $0.30/kWh is grid parity for solar at that latitude, but I'm sure that's closer to grid parity than what we can see here.

    To John,
    Remember that it's the availability of balance power that is the primary question.

    Gotta go...
    Oct 19 12:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy, Imagination And Politics: A Toxic Cocktail For Your Portfolio [View article]

    I don't believe that EV's will have a chance under any circumstance unless and until oil trades for over ~$7-8/gallon. The hybrid-electric was non-viable until and unless oil traded above $3.50/gallon, regardless of how the money from the government was doled out. While I believe the saying "there's nothing that can stop an idea whose time has come"... I also understand that there's nothing really that can make viable a technology whose time has NOT come.

    Fracking was actually developed with government research grants. The projects were funded and the data was gathered... and it was determined to be non-competitive with simple vertical drilling into very large natural gas reservoirs. This remains true today... but there just aren't that many very large natural gas reservoirs anymore. Against $2/mcf gas, fracking didn't work... and still doesn't. When gas was consistently trading above $5/mcf, then fracking seemed viable, so several companies started dusting off the data from the government sponsored research and started making the proper investments. A few years later - poof, everybody's fracking.

    But without the hike in NG prices, fracking would have stayed shelved. I think the same story is true of EV's. There are plenty of prospective markets for your product Don, but the EV will probably never be more than a quirky niche for the very well off. At $4/gallon gasoline EV's are a fools bet. Government funding cannot make them market viable, it's just dead cost.
    Oct 18 05:46 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy, Imagination And Politics: A Toxic Cocktail For Your Portfolio [View article]

    I would add one comment here: The money spent to RESEARCH a technology is not a waste. Information is derived for the community at large, and that information may be quite useful in business decisions for the country at large.

    The failure has always come to pass when the government tries to force-deploy a non-competitive technology. The first R&D work on hydrogen fuel cells (60's and early 70's) was quite interesting, and it had significant potential for various applications... but when Clinton and Bush II determined they'd invest money to help deploy these million-dollar one-offs so that a nationwide transportation system might be developed... well that ended badly - as anyone who took ten minutes to objectively look at the data gained from the early research could have easily understood without wasting tens of billions.

    Quite frankly, while the fuel synthesis projects of the Carter administration were failures, that same technology is competitive today and growing rapidly (it's a lot easier to compete with oil from tar sands or deep-earth horizontal drilling projects than it is to compete with the Saudi super-oil fields).

    I just wanted to remind everyone that spending money on research is good... it's trying to force deploy something that is understood and is known will not work that's the problem.

    Keep fighting the good fight.
    Oct 18 05:01 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A123 Systems: An Object Lesson In Toxic Financing [View article]

    It's hard to blame the current administration on jobs outsourcing. We've had more PRIVATE jobs growth in the last 4 years than we have seen in the previous 8... the problem is we've had PUBLIC job losses every month, and a housing industry that had been so badly overbuilt that it's still recessed 4 years later. But even with the recessed housing we've had an impressive jobs build in the private sector over the past 4 years while the entire financial sector is re-booting.

    This isn't something that can be factored down to partisan politics.

    I believe your anger over jobs outsourcing is misplaced... I'd suggest starting with Nixon, then moving forward from there.
    Jul 31 11:53 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A123 Systems: An Object Lesson In Toxic Financing [View article]

    Do you really believe that A123 wasn't a direct beneficiary of government money?

    There was nothing special about soylindra. Nearly all of DOE grants during this administration have gone to failures (including A123). The only thing differentiating that from the DOE grants of the last administration is that last administration had a higher percentage of its grants go to failures, and the administration before that had a higher still percentage of its money go to failure.

    The system is institutionalized - projects that succeed cannot get funded; projects that HAVE NOT YET BEEN PROVEN cannot get funded... So the only projects that can get funds are projects that have working prototypes but cannot get private funding... (aka projects that have been proven to be failures).

    VERY few DOE investments pay off. The system is designed to fail.
    Jul 30 11:13 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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