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Henry V
01-26-2009, 12:41 PM
It seems that it might be good to have an energy policy related thread here, so here goes.

Check out the article at http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5002#more.

Lots of thought provoking information. I generally agree with the approach advocated by the author. I am curious what others think. There are also a series of energy policy articles on this website that may also be worth discussion.

A fundamental belief for most of the contributors to this site is that oil supply is finite and when considering energy options for the future, that the return on energy must be greater than the energy required to extract it.

Henry V
01-26-2009, 12:48 PM
Just saw this article of interest too.
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=how-long-will-global-uranium-deposits-last

Eric Johnson
01-26-2009, 01:35 PM
How long will it take to bring any one of these to market?

The writer encourages manufacturing growth rather than consumer spending. How are we to build a new manufacturing capability without paying for it to consumers? The engineers and trades folks have to be paid. OTOH, if we build this manufacturing capability and don't include consumer growth, who'd going to buy the widgets that are built.

Eric

Henry V
01-26-2009, 02:58 PM
Eric,

Wind is here now. Solar is too, as are the first generation of biofuels. These technologies, like internal combustion engines, continue to advance and become more efficient. Along the way there will be winners and losers too.

There will always be a market for energy just like food and other fundamental human needs.

Eric Johnson
01-26-2009, 03:37 PM
Biofuels are not here ...without government subsidy. The other choices will all take long lead time projects to install or develop.

My Dept was asked for "shovel ready" projects that will make buildings more energy efficient. I supplied five including one that will cut energy cost by 50% at one facility.They are sorely needed projects and I hope they are funded but they wouldn't yield results for about 2 years at the earliest and there would be a gradual ramp-up of the savings. Full savings from all of them won't be for 5 years. These aren't a stimulus it seems to me.

Eric

Henry V
01-26-2009, 07:02 PM
Eric,

I am not sure how this became a discussion about stimulus projects.

Anyway, could you identify an energy industry that exists today that is not subsidized or one that was not even more heavily subsidized by the government at start-up?

Energy efficiency in general makes good long term sense and should be part of any energy policy.

zeus3925
01-26-2009, 09:36 PM
Henry;
I read post #2. Uranium is not the only naturally fissionable material. France, India, Finland among others fuel some of their reactors with Thorium. It is at least 4 x as abundant as Uranium. Thorium reactors are much safer than the Uranium/Plutonium. Thorium produces far less high level waste than Uranium reactors and the by-products are not very useful in weapons proliferation.

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/348/

Henry V
02-04-2009, 02:22 PM
A good article on an ethanol study at: http://www.startribune.com/local/38839542.html

From what I have seen, the numerous comments on the article are a good entertainment too.

Henry V
02-09-2009, 08:19 PM
http://www.theoildrum.com/files/GoM20090206.gif

Tatyana
02-09-2009, 08:33 PM
Silicon is too expensive to make solar energy viable w/o subsidies for now. Recently read that using silver as a lining in solar panels can be the next thing to make solar less expensive and keep the efficiency. (http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12887225)

Marvin S
02-09-2009, 08:59 PM
It seems that it might be good to have an energy policy related thread here, so here goes.

Check out the article at http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5002#more.

Lots of thought provoking information. I generally agree with the approach advocated by the author. I am curious what others think. There are also a series of energy policy articles on this website that may also be worth discussion.

A fundamental belief for most of the contributors to this site is that oil supply is finite and when considering energy options for the future, that the return on energy must be greater than the energy required to extract it.

The extractive industries received a subsidy of sorts, called a depletion allowance, not sure it is in effect today. Both OIL & other minerals were subject to a 27% depletion allowance. The only catch was, it had to be taken from a profit. That's why those schemes for mines, etc. always seem to find willing investors.

I support updating the energy grid to include nuclear, railroads - especially for passenger service, waterborne transport, the highway system with an Eisenhower type plan. National projects would be run & financed at the national level, local projects would be local responsibility. The Davis Bacon act would be repealed for these projects so the taxpayer would receive full value for their dollar.

For those industries in the embryo stage, my personal opinion is time will be needed to allow the kinks to be ironed out. Example: wind is constant except when it isn't - how do you store the juice until the demand is there? At what price? Many projects get cancelled as they will not pencil with the true costs & allow a reasonable rate of return. I'm already paying a subsidy on the ethanol plan: 1st thru my tax dollars for the Farm Bill, 2nd thru greatly increased costs of anything associated with corn or grain.

Being against anything is not an option if it will return costs & contaminate less - but it has to be the true cost.

Henry V
03-03-2009, 09:53 AM
A great background article on tar sand oil in National Geographic this month. See http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/03/canadian-oil-sands/kunzig-text

An interesting article on the prospect of $300 a barrel oil article at
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Position-yourself-now-300-a/story.aspx?guid={9C42CE1C-B7C8-4C22-8907-3A8D60BE1F0B}

Hoosier
03-04-2009, 05:48 PM
I think it's clear that the Obami administrations' answer to everything is another tax.

http://in.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idINN0454844120090304

WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - U.S. oil and natural gas producing companies should not receive federal subsidies in the form of tax breaks because their businesses contribute to global warming, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress on Wednesday.

It was one of the sharpest attacks yet on the oil and gas industry by a top Obama administration official, reinforcing the White House stance that new U.S. energy policy will focus on promoting renewable energy sources like wind and solar power and rely less on traditional fossil fuels like oil as America tackles climate change.

"We don't believe it makes sense to significantly subsidize the production and use of sources of energy (like oil and gas) that are dramatically going to add to our climate change (problem). We don't think that's good economic policy and we think changing those incentives is good for the country," Geithner told the Senate Finance Committee at a hearing on the White House's proposed budget for the 2010 spending year.

The Obama administration's budget would levy an excise tax on oil and natural gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico, raising $5.3 billion in revenue from 2011 to 2019.

Raymond Little
03-04-2009, 08:16 PM
Just wait till his broke azz supporters have to buy $10
bread at the govt grocery store. Forgot, they don't pay for their groceries, we do!!

JDogger
03-04-2009, 08:26 PM
Just wait till his broke azz supporters have to buy $10
bread at the govt grocery store. Forgot, they don't pay for their groceries, we do!!


Stop shouting. OK?

Raymond Little
03-04-2009, 08:29 PM
ok, jdogger

Franco
03-04-2009, 09:44 PM
I think it's clear that the Obami administrations' answer to everything is another tax.

The Obama administration's budget would levy an excise tax on oil and natural gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico, raising $5.3 billion in revenue from 2011 to 2019.



That's all they know how to do; tax, spend and lie.

That 5.3 billion tax will be passed on to the consumer. Don't think for a moment that the only ones that are going to pay more are those with family incomes over 250k.

$4.00 a gallon is going to seem cheap by the time this administration is done! Just watching them in action and at news conferences is sad as they are truly in over thier heads. We have a bunch of inexperienced idiots running the show!

Henry V
07-17-2009, 12:00 PM
Another interesting article:
http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/14/20-dollar-gallon-business-energy-oil.html

subroc
07-17-2009, 01:51 PM
I visited the website and perused a bit.

An energy policy must be concerned with generating energy. While other factors can be considered, an energy policy that ties its own hands by advocating the use of energy generation that isn't ready for prime time, wind and solar, at the expense of coal and oil is downright foolish. Ignoring our own oil supply, North Slope and off shore, is criminal. All that is doing is raising the price.

As far as the rail system, if I remember correctly, it was the lefties that advocated “rails to trails.” Now many of those rail pathways have been given up, can they be gained back?

Nuclear can be the answer. I have no problem, even with the old type reactors so any new type reactors that are more efficient and require less refueling is OK with me. I expect the left wing will protest this as well. Any building of any energy generation plant of any type will find them outside protesting some perceived grievance. Think Clam Shell Alliance.

Another left wing site that at its center asserts wind and solar is the answer, oil and coal is bad and anything CO2 related is the evil of all evils.

So I repeat, an energy policy must, at its center, be concerned with generating energy. If it concentrates on other things that supersede this, it is something other than an energy policy.

BTW, show that any of these alternatives are capable of providing the energy needs of a home in the northeast in winter at a similar cost for system installation and use, then it is ready for prime time. Don’t artificially increase the price of existing systems and products with onerous taxes in an effort to force the use of technologies that are not ready for consumer use.

road kill
07-17-2009, 01:54 PM
If HUGE tax incentives were tied to the company that discovers an alternative energy source (other than anything on the table now) it would happen within 2 years!!

NOT an over simplification, FACT!!

Sundown49 aka Otey B
07-17-2009, 02:06 PM
I can see it now..........driving down the road in a pickup with a windmill in the back and a politician powering it with all the hot air...................SAD !!!!!

subroc
07-17-2009, 02:13 PM
I can see it now..........driving down the road in a pickup with a windmill in the back and a politician powering it with all the hot air...................SAD !!!!!

You left me smiling

Gerry Clinchy
07-17-2009, 07:20 PM
Interestingly, there are some rather simple alternatives to conserving fossil fuels.

A local company installs a solar panel on your home (roof or south side wall). The heat of the sun heats liquid flowing through some simple piping. A fan (which uses minimal electricity) draws cool air from the house over the coils to disperse warmed air into the house. In winter this reduces heating costs (via warm air). In summer, the same system is used to heat domestic hot water. It can get the hot water to about 110 deg. and the regular "fuel" provides the additional heat needed (usually about 125 deg total). Estimates are that for electrically heated homes it can reduce consumption by about 30% ... even in a climate like Pennsylvania.

This is a "passive solar" application. Cost is about $5000 installed. Actually using solar energy to convert to electrical energy is a much more expensive proposition. Think 5X more expensive.

subroc
07-17-2009, 07:28 PM
Interestingly, there are some rather simple alternatives to conserving fossil fuels.

A local company installs a solar panel on your home (roof or south side wall). The heat of the sun heats liquid flowing through some simple piping. A fan (which uses minimal electricity) draws cool air from the house over the coils to disperse warmed air into the house. In winter this reduces heating costs (via warm air). In summer, the same system is used to heat domestic hot water. It can get the hot water to about 110 deg. and the regular "fuel" provides the additional heat needed (usually about 125 deg total). Estimates are that for electrically heated homes it can reduce consumption by about 30% ... even in a climate like Pennsylvania.

This is a "passive solar" application. Cost is about $5000 installed. Actually using solar energy to convert to electrical energy is a much more expensive proposition. Think 5X more expensive.

$5000.00 for a 30% reduction?

not ready for prime time...

Gerry Clinchy
07-17-2009, 09:22 PM
$5000.00 for a 30% reduction?

not ready for prime time...


Compared to "conventional" alternatives my neighbors are using, it's not bad. Pellet stoves $3000 for the stove + $400/year (depending on usage) for the pellets. Other neighbor has a woodburning "shack" that goes 24/7/365 for heat & hot water. I've been told those things cost at least $5000. He seems to get the wood free from the junk I see piled around the shack.

Elec rates here due to increase by 30% in 2010. For use of 15,000 kwh/year the cost will be $2535. If one can save 30% of that, it will be about $750/year. Factoring in the Fed tax credit of 30% for the system, the cost for the system is around $3500 (no tax credits for the pellet stoves). As electric rates continue to increase, the advantage gets better.

Point being that cost is about equal to other heating alternatives, and the "fuel" remains free (unless O decides to put a tax on sunlight!)

Even if PP&L builds another nuclear plant, I don't think that reduced electric rates are in our future.

subroc
07-17-2009, 10:49 PM
Just so you understand my position, I love the idea of alternative (solar and wind), for want of a better term, energy. It just isn’t ready, from a cost benefit analysis, to replace oil or gas. I long for the day that I can pretty much generate my own power without the need of any energy company.

You’re illustrating a comparison to electric that is the most expensive heat source in these parts pretty much makes my point. Without the high taxes that are associated with oil and gas and the tax credits given to the alternatives, it isn’t even close.

I recently replaced my gas forced hot air system with a like unit for a little less than $3000.00

And with your example you still need both systems.

I do hope we get there but I won’t be lulled by my want and desire for an alternative system overshadowing the fact that from a cost benefit analysis, without onerous taxes and tax credits they do not and cannot compete with oil or gas.

Gerry Clinchy
07-17-2009, 11:36 PM
Yes, subroc, you still need both systems, no argument. However, replacing part of our fuel needs with a "supplemental" system with "free" fuel can be a big help. After installing the gas or oil furnace, you still do have the ongoing fuel cost.

Where I live, my choices are oil, electric, or propane. Electric used to be the most expensive, but since oil and propane have gone up, electric hasn't compared badly over the past three years or so. Most people I know who use oil will use at least 500 gallons a heating season. Even at $2/gal, that is $1000. Till now, PP&L, the elec co that serves our area has had more reasonable elec rates than many other places. My son has gas heat, a larger house than mine, and in the heating months his gas bill can go as high as $400/mo. I see you are in NH ... colder up there than here in PA!!

My thinking is that we have a long way to go to find an alternative to the internal combustion engine for cars, but we may be able to use other ways to heat our homes, thus buying time to work out the technology for our vehicles.

With increased consciousness of heating costs, an improvement like this does add value to a home. So, the idea of adding value to the home, and doing that by not paying some money to the electric company ... priceless :-)

Sundown49 aka Otey B
07-18-2009, 08:52 AM
The most simple thing to fix the energy shortage would be for someone to convince al gore that the children's book "Henny PennY was FICTION and that the sky is not falling. Check out the money trail of who stands to gain most and you will find there is not near the problem that most people think.

Henry V
07-20-2009, 04:03 PM
Just thought some might be interested in this peak oil overview: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5582#more

road kill
07-20-2009, 04:08 PM
Why is everyone LOCKED on solar & wind?

Someone needs to come up with something we haven't even thought of yet.

Solar & wind are not the answer.