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billferree

billferree
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  • Why Piketty Is Wrong: Part 2 - The Spirit Of An Age [View article]
    Nuclear plants don't get built by the private sector without government guarantees. Insurance cost and the ultimate liability for waste disposal are assumed by taxpayers.
    May 27, 2014. 11:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Piketty Is Wrong: Part 2 - The Spirit Of An Age [View article]
    You incorrectly redefine Piketty's thesis as only a problem with the ratio of capital to income. The other issue which must be considered in this debate is the ratio of private capital to public capital.
    Private capital fails to deliver some goods and services that are essential to a sustainable economy or nation. For example, private capital does not build nuclear power plants, educate the vast majority of children, none of whom are born with the money needed to pay for schooling. Private capital is unwilling to pay for much of the cutting edge research, in medicine or space exploration for example, that can produce huge returns but does so with very low probability of success. Private capital generally isn't the source for investment in infrastructure that has payback periods measured in decades or even centuries.
    All these "goods" require or are created as public capital. They're essential, and they suffer if the private capital to public capital ratio gets too far out of line.
    May 26, 2014. 10:19 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Twilight Of The Oil Age [View article]
    Less than $20 a month of electricity gets us around to most of the places we need to go in our Nissan Leaf, and that energy could come from the sun at about the same cost. Crude oil today $100/bbl, in 1970, inflation adjusted, $20.
    Apr 1, 2014. 12:10 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Shale Oil Boosters Are Charlatans In Disguise [View article]
    Agree, mostly. The other use will be for air travel. Aircraft might be counted as "legacy vehicles."
    An unstated implication here is that $150/bbl or something in that range will be the ultimate peak price for oil. There just won't be any appetite for going after the stuff that costs more than that to extract.
    Jan 26, 2014. 11:01 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Summers' End [View article]
    What is most needed is a steady hand on the rudder while Washington and Wall Street continuously make the water choppy. Agree, Yellen is just such an easy, logical, common sense choice.
    Sep 16, 2013. 11:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EV Sales Far Outstripping Model Introductions [View article]
    Tesla's accomplishment has been the integration of existing technologies. Their core competency will continue to drive the performance/cost advantage of the EV as component performance improves. Tesla will integrate higher performance, lower cost batteries and lighter weight materials.
    I wouldn't bet against Elon Musk on any venture. He's got an especially winning hand on this one because it's based on a still immature technology. The ICE on the other hand is pretty long of tooth and fundamentally limited by thermodynamics.
    Jul 23, 2013. 08:47 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EV Sales Far Outstripping Model Introductions [View article]
    An EV, even if powered by dirty old coal is cleaner on CO2. The reason is the inefficiency of the IC engineā€¦15% in typical use. The EV on the other hand would move on about a 30% efficiency full thermal cycle. Twice as many BTU worth of fuel has to be burned in the IC engine. According to EIA coal puts out about 210 lb of CO2 to produce a million BTU, gasoline 157 BTU. Because of the full cycle thermal efficiency difference, your gas-burner will be responsible for 314 lb of CO2 compared to the 210 lb for a coal powered EV.
    Jul 22, 2013. 05:57 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exploding The Natural Gas Supply Myth: An Interview With Bill Powers [View article]
    $20k worth of PV on a carport roof will supply energy for two vehicles in typical use. It will be good for 30 years or more.
    Jul 19, 2013. 08:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exploding The Natural Gas Supply Myth: An Interview With Bill Powers [View article]
    $108 and change. Must be some kind of a conspiracy.
    Jul 19, 2013. 08:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exploding The Natural Gas Supply Myth: An Interview With Bill Powers [View article]
    I believe the price has about doubled since spring 2012. What odds would you give for a 50% drop or rise from current levels?
    Jul 19, 2013. 08:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Surviving And Prospering Over The Next 4 Years Of Economic Darkness [View article]
    Good work Geezer. Most of the comments here from all the other geezers are pretty sclerotic. Doubt you'll sway many commentators. They're just too grumpy at the moment. Please keep trying.
    Nov 8, 2012. 11:14 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A123's Chinese Bailout Deal Draws Critics On Capital Hill [View article]
    Cliff Stearns was defeated in the Republican primary yesterday.
    Aug 15, 2012. 10:54 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford (F +0.5%) plans to debut 5 battery-powered vehicles this year and forecasts electric/hybrid cars could make up as much as 25% of sales by 2020. To that end, the automaker is pushing the pedal to the metal on EV development by bringing battery research in house and hiring dozens of engineers. [View news story]
    The writing is on the wall. "Fossil Fuels Endgame" Ford seems to see it. Those who don't are toast.
    Aug 15, 2012. 12:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A123's Chinese Bailout Deal Draws Critics On Capital Hill [View article]
    Rep. Stearns serves a congressional district close to where I live. He seems eager to inject himself forcefully into some of these government supported energy initiative situations. It sometimes leaves me scratching my head, because I don't see the connection to anything in his district. Florida is a $100 Million a day importer of fuel. It produces essentially none of its own. The state could benefit significantly from faster development of alternatives.
    Aug 14, 2012. 10:21 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas: Movements Into Storage Suggest Glut Will Soon Disappear [View article]
    Very good question. The hybrid is definitely better because of the thermal efficiency of conversion from gas at the burner to movement of the wheels--about 45%. If it's gas in an onboard tank to the wheels it's probably closer to 20%.
    Jul 19, 2012. 04:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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