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  • Dismal Demand for Diesel Fuel  [View article]
    Great report; short, detailed, relevent. Diesel prices relative to gasoline have plummeted. I wondered if there was a quick correlation to overall shipping and therefore consumption. A leading indicator, as it were. thanks for the data.
    May 7, 2009. 01:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas Is Heading to 1997 Levels, Should Stay There Awhile  [View article]
    NG cheaper than coal? Not likely. Delivered coal at $3.00/mm btu generally keeps NG above that floor, as switching is possible.
    Apr 27, 2009. 01:13 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Though Newer Sources of Power Are Being Built, Coal Remains a Cheap BTU  [View article]
    Well done. "For it hardly seems like an accomplishment to stop burning coal here–so that it’s even cheaper to burn someplace else" This could be the tag line for the future.
    Apr 23, 2009. 11:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 10 Green Energy Gambles for 2009: 3 Month Update  [View article]
    Thank heaven there a few engineers left who will speak out. Wind and solar have a place where one cannot connect to the grid economically, but overall they are but a convenient mental diversion until new nuclear plants can be completed.

    On Apr 14 09:27 AM billp37 wrote:

    > "Why did my generation fail to develop wind and solar? Because our
    > energy choices are ruthlessly ruled, not by political judgments,
    > but by the immutable laws of thermodynamics. In engineer-speak, turning
    > diffused sources of energy such as photons in sunlight or the kinetic
    > energy in wind requires massive investment to concentrate that energy
    > into a form that's usable on any meaningful scale. ...
    > Now, I was told back in the 1970s the same that you're being told
    > today: that wind and solar power are 'alternatives' to fossil fuels.
    > A more honest description would be 'supplements'. Taken together,
    > wind and solar power today account for just one-sixth of 1% of America's
    > annual energy consumption today. Let me repeat that statistic - one-sixth
    > of one percent -- .0016. "
    Apr 14, 2009. 09:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What's Happening with Inflation?  [View article]
    A gold standard certainly would come close to taming inflation and deflation. Without the unrelenting pressure from inflation, there would be little push for capital holders to put their wealth to work, as its buying power would never fluctuate substantially. Moderate inflation is necessary to encourage capital to be at risk, and that is what makes a modern economy operate. Knowing that the money under ones mattress buys only 94% of what it could have a year earlier encourages one to invest in equipment and produce goods.

    Hyperinflation (uncontrolled or unpredictable) leads to bad investment decisions, similar to 1978. Hopefully this is not a repeat.
    Apr 7, 2009. 09:07 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Li-ion Batteries and How Cheap Beat Cool in the Chevy Volt  [View article]
    A bet on electric cars must include a long position on tow trucks for "out of elelctricty" cars. I presume that no one would dream of leaving their home with only 2 gallons of gas in the tank, and yet we are to believe that everyone should consider the equivilent using an electric car?

    Mobile recharge companies to the rescue.
    Mar 23, 2009. 02:36 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What's the Better Solution - Inflation or Deflation?  [View article]
    The one who controls the game, however, (gov) is a major debtor, and we must play by his rules.
    Feb 20, 2009. 09:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What's the Better Solution - Inflation or Deflation?  [View article]
    deflation rewards those that keep capital out of the production cycle. Not good. inflation rewards those that keep their capital in production cycle.

    It is not possible for the US to repay in equivalent value the debts it owes, so as long as the US knows how to create inflation, and at the same time delude the capital holders that deflation is a possibility, the inflation tax on unproductive capital will continue.
    Feb 19, 2009. 11:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ethanol Industry: Down but Not Out  [View article]
    There is no sugar cane waste. The bagasse is used to fuel the plant boilers, generate electricity, and operate the refineries. Sugar production is likely one of the most vertically integrated agricultural processes in the world.
    Feb 4, 2009. 08:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why a Carbon Tax Would Lower Living Standards  [View article]
    Alternative energy, from what? isn't nuclear alternative enough? A nice article, although since the only thing we (people) can truly consume is energy, as every engineer knows, and since the bulk of all power (yes, even that used to build wind generators and solar cells) is carbon based until nuclear comes on line, then a carbon tax is indeed a consumption tax. The obfuscation by interjecting "carbon tax" to try to implement a consumption tax is smoke and mirrors.
    Feb 4, 2009. 08:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Chu: We Need Clean Coal, Carbon Capture  [View article]
    Curious how "environmentalists" opine that sequestering carbon dioxide is good, and sequestering nuclear waste is bad. I presume that "forever" is the sequestration period for CO2, as it is for nuclear. The shear volume difference is astronomical. .
    Jan 14, 2009. 01:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Seven New Developments in Renewable Energy  [View article]
    BTW a clip from the Nuclear Enegy Institute website. These folks do this for a living. If it didn't make good business sense to operate them, they wouldn't have restarted them.

    "Nuclear power is the lowest cost producer of baseload electricity. Average nuclear production costs have declined more than 30 percent in the last 10 years, to an average of 1.7 cents per kilowatt-hour. This includes the costs of operating and maintaining the plant, purchasing nuclear fuel, and paying for the management of used fuel. Electricity generated from nuclear power also has tremendous forward price stability because only a small part of production costs are fuel costs. Fuel accounts for 80 percent to 90 percent of the cost of electricity produced by fossil fuel-fired generation, making electricity from fossil plants highly susceptible to fluctuations in coal and gas prices."
    Jan 5, 2009. 05:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Seven New Developments in Renewable Energy  [View article]
    First, construction costs are in $ per KW, not KWH. and your wind numbers I presume are max raw power in ideal conditions. Second, if one were to presume that your numbers are correct, then FPL would not be building nuclear, but would be building wind. Third, if your numbers were correct, the wind would not need any subsidy. Finally, nuclear is base load value, whereas wind is opportunity energy. different consumer values.

    I applaud your enthusiasm, but for your vision to be correct flies in the face of reality world wide. Nuclear is what sustainable nations use for electrical production.
    Jan 5, 2009. 05:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seven New Developments in Renewable Energy  [View article]
    "Building new wind power is still less than a third the cost of building new nuclear plants"

    Yippee! So the electricity from a wind farm is less than 1 cent per KWH. Why bother metering it?

    Fat chance, bucko.
    Jan 5, 2009. 03:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Time for America to Fire First Shot in the EV Revolution  [View article]
    a third the cost? Electricity here is the equivalent of $32/mmBTU, while gasolene is $9.32/mmBTU, natural gas $6.50, and corn is $10.53. Electric motors are 2.5X efficient, but there is still a gap.
    Dec 18, 2008. 11:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment