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  • A Broader View Of Clean Energy  [View article]
    Electric small trucks, using batteries do have a role in limited routes, with frequent stops such as in- city delivery service. Total driving range of around 100-150 miles. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles for transportation are also used, city bus fleets are already here, by 2015 most of the major automakers will have FCEVs for sale, but what is missing is the Hydrogen Highway promised by politicians during the Bush administration. So the refueling business is facing the challenge of too many different fuels that need to be supplied. The traditional three grades of gasoline, clean diesel fuel, natural gas and hydrogen. Perhaps not at service stations, but elsewhere electric recharging stations. Wow! This is on the least profitable section of the fueling business! Relatively few major players, mostly small to medium size businesses. Something has got to give.
    One question that needs to be addressed: do we actually need this degree of diversity of fuels and vehicles? Advanced engine design are bringing fuel economy significantly up, also are integrating the design of diesel and gasoline engines into a single design. much of Europe is already on the more efficient diesel engine system. So if we could be weaned off gasoline engines and move to diesel for fuel economy for passenger vehicles, natural gas for big trucks and passenger vehicles, drop all electric vehicles, and use natural gas reforming to make hydrogen fuel at the service station we could have a major transportation fuel simplification and the lowest cost, most efficient fuel use. Perhaps even make the refueling business profitable in 15-20 years.
    Aug 19, 2012. 08:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Broader View Of Clean Energy  [View article]
    David Wren, I understand why a takeover or buy out may be good for current shareholders, but I don't see why a gas company would want to own and operate service stations, given the lousy economics of that. At the same time gas companies have an interest in growing the market for their product, specially one that makes so much sense from most perspectives. But more important as demand for natural gas grows the current extremely low price may go up to the level that producing and delivering natural gas may turn profitable. So providing funding to CLNE makes a lot of sense. I think, but am not certain Chesapeake Energy, the second largest gas producer is funding CLNE and is helping to promote the growth of the business. Near term fleet refueling is the initial growth business, focusing on replacing diesel fuel. But this will evolve.
    Aug 17, 2012. 09:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Broader View Of Clean Energy  [View article]
    David Wren, focusing on the US only the fueling business, i.e owning and running service stations has been a money loosing proposition for major oils and this has led to two trends, first is that by replacing service bays with retail stores that are designed for quick shopping for convenience foods, cup of coffee or other refreshments the stations can make money, but most of the money comes from the retail store not from selling fuels. The second trend has been the growth of independents, those brands that buy wholesale fuel from refiners and sell it at a lower price, and often a lower quality fuel. But, by and large fuel has become a commodity, shipped via pipelines and intermingled. So refiners, such as ExxonMobil, Shell, etc. put their fuel into the pipeline, meeting pipeline specs and at vatious points fuel is drawn from the pipeline by distributors, the addpacks for each brand are added to the fuel, often while the distribution tanker truck is being filled. More and more major brands are retaining only the additive design, and all else is outsourced, in fact creating new businesses in the process. The logical conclusion of this is that more and more major oil companies are getting out of the business of retail gasoline and diesel sales at company owned service stations. Major big box retailers have stepped in in many parts of the country to sell gasoline and diesel, buying off-brand fuels at the lowest cost and retailing at the lowest cost. This is probably good for the customers, since these places care about customer satisfaction and probably go to greater length to ensure fuel quality than other off-brand retailers. BUT, the majors are not likely to add natural gas sales to their branded stations, that has to be done by the owners, most of them owning a single to several stations. In addition self service stations are the dominant force in the country, NJ and I think Oregon may be the only hold outs.That would work for natural gas fleet sales, where professionals are doing the filling, but much harder in individual retail stores. Hope this is useful.
    Aug 16, 2012. 08:41 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Broader View Of Clean Energy  [View article]
    Sure seems like the author does not understand fueling trends in the US. ExxonMobil branded stations are by and large not owned by ExxonMobil.. In fact they have been getting out of the retail fueling business. That is the trend now, the largest retailers of fuel are places like Costco, etc. for who the fueling business is a loss leader. So it NOT going to be large oil and gas producers who may buy CLNE, it would have to be some other company, if any. CLNE does own gas fueling stations, primarily focusing on fleets while the market is developing. I own CLNE because I like their business model and they are doing the right things. I also own XOM since they are the largest producer of natural gas. I also own Westport Innovation since they are the path to develop vehicles that use natural gas. It is all related.
    Aug 15, 2012. 11:22 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Analysts Are Wrong About Exxon  [View article]
    I appreciate the thoughtful analysis. Very few people really understand Exxon and its operations. Lets look at the acquisition of XTO. Most focus on the US side of the business, which XTO focused on primarily. But, XOM R&D&E has been developing new tools and capabilities for producing gas and oil in tight formations, but did not have the commercial operating experience to implement them as rapidly as they do now, with XTO expertise in hand. Second, with XOM's financing and global activities it can deploy their proprietary technology, as well as XTO experience and expertise globally. This will start showing up in deals with Russia, China, and many other countries. It may also enable XOM to export oil from the US, rather than import to the US. In my judgement XOM is on a good positive track.
    Aug 10, 2012. 10:26 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China plans to subsidize the development of pure-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the nation to reduce the nation's dependence on oil and cut emissions. The State Council's public goal of seeing 5M alternative-energy vehicles produced by 2020, blows away previous estimates and sets the prize high for a company able to knock out a technological breakthrough in the industry. EV-related plays include F,GM, TSLA, NSANY.OB, AVAV, ECTY, GACR.PK, KNDI, HMC, JCI, NRG, ZAAP.OB, VLKAY, and AONE.   [View news story]
    Why is BYD left off the list? It is in China a serious and significant player not only in batteries, EVs, but also charging systems.
    Jul 10, 2012. 01:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • General Electric: Ready To Rise  [View article]
    GE is likely to be hit by slowing down of the Global economy. This article fails to address that issue. I suspect that as much as 25% of GE sales with disappear for a year or so. Profits are not likely to rise under those circumstances.
    Jul 2, 2012. 11:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Oil And Gas Giants Struggling Along With Exxon  [View article]
    I have worked in the industry for more than 30 years. This article is utter nonsense and adds zip to making a decission about holding, buying or selling Exxon stock. Shame!
    Jun 27, 2012. 11:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Better Way to Bring Electric Vehicles to Market  [View article]
    It is a great concept, and it may work. The major risk is that the battery technology is not yet ready for prime time. In a few years we will know if it is. Aggasi is a great visionary, but his technical expertise is not at the same level. I wish him the best of luck. He should consider partnering with BYD.
    Dec 11, 2010. 09:55 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil: The Clock Is Ticking  [View article]
    Any projection of peak oil in the 2010 tp 2040 time line fails to account for heavy oil reserves, deep sea oil drilling, and significant improvements in oil recovery from the relatively low levels today. In addition we have coal that can be coverted to transpotation fuels equivalent to oil, and natural gas that can be used in many applications as equivalent. So effectively we have oil, or oil equivalents for 50 to 150 years, plenty of time to develop cost effective alternatives. Only those who want to create fear need to be feared
    Nov 14, 2010. 02:34 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Officials Wake Up to Peak Oil  [View article]
    Problems are more likely on 2050 time scale than what is cited by the author. The exploration tools have become much, much better than they were 20 years ago. The cost of exploration is higher, and where the large private companies can expore is more limited due to geopolitical forces and the national oil companies self interest. But, despite all the nay sayers they are finding "elephants" frequently enough to conclude that peak oil is a bit off. They are also moving toward unconventional oil, such as heavy oil in Canada. Sort of the Saudi Arabia next door. Oil shale in the US is on the same scale. Look carefully at ExxonMobil and you will not be finding them firing geologists and petroleum engineeers, etc. but hiring as fast as they can find them. Shell, Chevron and BP ditto. Conoco has other problems.
    Apr 4, 2010. 09:51 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Storage Performed Poorly in Q4  [View article]
    I suspect that there is growing awareness that energy storage is going to be slow, long treck before real money can be made and that it is so much tied to the vagaries of government management of the industry and the economy. That, at least in part may explain why the Chinese companies have done so much better. The Chinese government support is broad and sustainable, the US government support is finecky, marred by favoritism and funding those with best connections.
    Jan 2, 2010. 09:15 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Algae Biofuels Have a Promising Future  [View article]
    Algal biofuels are down the road perhaps. Now these are substantially research projects. Don't confuse promise and potential with reality. At best one in 10, and more likey one in a 100 of promising research projects lead to a commercial success. Thermodynamics does rule. Fossil fuel production energy was invested over a long period of time (millions of years) and we did not make the investment, nature did. Photosynthesis does it real time, slow and steady and nature makes the investment. When we manipulate for profit all kinds of issues come to light as we learn reality. Despite Senator Boxer's or any other politicians wish, and investmentf our tax dollars it will take time to learn how it works, and if it is a sink for dollars or the source of a return. One of the problems we now face is that venture capitalists who used to risk their own money are mixing it up with politicians to force policy decisions in their favor and are now leveraging their own investments with our tax dollars. Not a good thing in my view
    Nov 13, 2009. 10:06 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solar Market Declines for First Time Ever  [View article]
    Certainly obvious from the two comments posted that the story is not what they want to hear. Shoot the messanger while most of solar stock are sinking in the market. Wow Similar to the story on ethanol plants.
    Nov 13, 2009. 09:59 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hydrogen-Fueled Cars Become a Thing of the Present  [View article]
    If you have natural gas in your house you can make H2 by a simple reformer. Toyota, Honda and a number of other companies store H2 at 10,000 psig on board vehicle and have already demonstrated 500 miles driving range as well as six months of operation in cold Alaska. They are more ready to deliver a FC vehicle in 2015 than an EV. Secretary Chu has refused to talk to the OEMs before he made his decision, or since then. He is a Noble Laurate and he knows it best.

    On Nov 03 12:07 PM GhostOfSpec wrote:

    > Hydrogen is a loser technology in the near-term future. Steven Chu
    > is completely correct. There are WAY too many problems:
    > 1) There are no hydrogen mines or wells. Hydrogen is an energy storage
    > system not a source. To create hydrogen we reform natural gas or
    > do electrolysis of water. Well, it would be better to simply burn
    > that natural gas or use that electricity in EVs.
    > 2) There is no hydrogen distribution infrastructure. But every house
    > does already have a source of electricity.
    > 3) Hydrogen is very difficult to store and transport. It is the smallest
    > element and thus leaks through even very small holes. And great pressures
    > are needed to store a reasonably quantity.
    > 4) Fuel cells are still expensive and use expensive previous metals.
    > Fuel cell experts Ballard Power abandoned the mobile fuel cell market
    > . . . that should tell you something.
    > The less money we waste on the hydrogen pipe dream, the better
    Nov 3, 2009. 10:26 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment