A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from December 0

Getting Real: The Oil Majors Move Away from Political Energy (Government-dependent wind, solar are not ready for prime time)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 9, 2009

A recent article in the New York Times, “Not So Green After All: Alternative Fuel Still a Dalliance for Oil Giants,” chronicled the move away from politically correct (but economically incorrect) wind and solar energy by the oil majors.

Royal Dutch Shell and BP, in particular, recognize wind and solar as what they are: dilute, intermittent energies that are not consumer friendly or economic. And their investment returns in the same have been lackluster. Shell and BP have found out what Exxon Mobil learned in the 1970s.

“Oil giants worldwide are skeptical that President Barack Obama’s plans to move the economy away from petroleum will be successful,” Jad Mouawad wrote in the Times. “Many of the oil companies are sticking to their hydrocarbon business model and some are backing away from commitments to renewable power.”…

Solar Hyperbole 2009: Don’t Forget Enron/Solarex circa 1994

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 28, 2009

Solar hyberbole is decades old. Inevitably, every few months there are fresh headlines about significant cost reductions, insinuating that the competitive moment of solar panels is arriving. In a recent post at Climate Progress, for example, Joe Romm reports: “Solar prices set to fall by up to 40 per cent by year end.” Google “solar” and “advances” to see what you get for previous years and even decades!

But fossil-fuel technologies have advanced too, and the competitive gap between solar and hydrocarbons for generating electricity remains huge. DOE Secretary Stephen Chu told the New York Times recently that solar technology will have to get five times better than it is today to be part of the energy transformation that he and other alarmists think is necessary.

Why is “free” energy from the sun so expensive?…

A Warm Year? Or a Cool Decade?

By Chip Knappenberger -- February 24, 2009

I was recently pointed to an amusing post by Joe Romm over at Climate Progress last week about the “unprecedented global warming during the past year.” Joe pointed out that the earth had apparently warmed rapidly (“20 times [greater than] what most climate models have projected we should be experiencing”) during the period January 2008 through January 2009.

It turns out that Joe was only joking—not about the temperature rise, but as to whether or not it was comment-worthy.

As I’ll show you, the global temperature behavior during the last year isn’t particularly noteworthy, but that during the past decade or so, it is starting to become interesting.…