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Posts from April 2011

Natural Gas: A Better "Climate" Fossil Fuel?

By Chip Knappenberger -- April 29, 2011

When it comes to climate, are all fossil fuels equal?

“No,” the answer has been until very recently. In terms of how much carbon dioxide (the major force behind the human alteration of the atmospheric greenhouse effect) is produced when burning various fossil fuels to produce a unit amount of energy, there is a definite ranking. From the most CO2 produced to the least, the list goes coal worst, oil next worst, and natural gas least worst.

While it would be stretch to call natural gas the sweetheart of climate-change-fearing environmentalists, many have considered it to be the lesser of the reliable-energy-source evils. Of course, they rally behind the wind and the sun, but even renewable energy idealists understand that there needs to be a bridge between where we are now and where they would like us to be—and that bridge is envisioned to be constructed primarily from natural gas (a foundation furthered by the nuclear problems in Japan).…

The Smart Grid and Distributed Generation: A Glimpse of a Distant Future

By Kent Hawkins -- April 28, 2011

A smart grid/distributed generation combination could have a large role to play in the future of electricity systems in terms of both supply and use. But it is incorrectly being touted as the solution to our perceived electricity problems in the short term, that is for the next 10 to 20 years. Meaningful fulfillment of a “smart” grid and/or extensive Distributed Generation could be a half-century away, even more. Therefore, early, extensive, and expensive initiatives that claim to be on the “right track” are very likely to be on the wrong track later.

Is the right track (1) upgrading the grid capacity and implementing new transmission lines to facilitate the integration of utility-scale wind and solar or (2) the implementation of smart meters to match (read restrict) demand to the erratic and unreliable supply of these?…

Joe Romm: "It is clear that solar and wind are competitive in many situations right now" (Where have we heard this before?)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 27, 2011

“It is clear that solar and wind are competitive in many situations right now — see Wind now on even playing field with gas and Solar costs may already rival coal.  And continued aggressive deployment along with continued R&D will keep driving the price down (see Energy Sec. Chu sees “wind and solar being cost-competitive without subsidy with new fossil fuel” by 2020.”

- Joe Romm, “Fred Hiatt Back to running Climate and Energy Disinformation from the Likes of Bjorn Lomborg,” April 21, 2011.

Are wind and solar really “competitive in many situations right now”? For decades, we have heard that this is the case. But the reality is that dilute energy flows do not compete on either a price or a reliability basis with the stock of energy that is oil, gas, and coal.

Welcome Back, Carter

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#m_lynch">Michael Lynch</a> -- April 26, 2011

Atlas Shrugged: Its Philosophy and Energy Implications (Part V: Energy Crises)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 25, 2011

"Happy Earth Day": Julian Simon's Silver Anniversary (1995) Earth Day Letter

By administrator -- April 22, 2011

Atlas Shrugged: The Philosophy and Its Energy Implications (Part IV: The Moral Obligation of Capitalists)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 21, 2011

Atlas Shrugged: The Philosophy and Energy Implications (Part III: Objectivism)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 20, 2011

Atlas Shrugged: Its Philosophy and Energy Implications (Part II: The Book)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 19, 2011

Atlas Shrugged: Its Philosophy and Energy Implications (Part I: Overview)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 18, 2011