30 Years to Electrical Grid Collapse and Renewable Energy Won’t Cut It

Ralph Ellis writes Renewable energy – our downfall? over at Watts Up With That. Anthony Watts introduces the article thusly:

For the record, let me say that I support some of the renewable energy ideas, even putting money where my mouth is, putting solar on my own home and a local school. However, neither project would have been possible without state subsidies. For renewable energy to work in our economy, it must move past the government  subsidy stage and become more efficient. It took over a hundred years t create our current energy infrastructure, anyone who believes we can completely rebuild it with the current crop of renewable energy technologies is not realistic. – Anthony

Mr. Ellis talks about all the technologies available, both the renewable and unreliable choices and the nuclear option. Then he gets down to the wall we are racing towards.

We have about 30 or so years before the shortage of oil becomes acute and our economies and Steam Powered Fire Engine societies begin to falter, and that is not very much time in which to alter our entire energy production industry. It is like relying on the Victorians to plan ahead and ensure that we still had a viable civilisation in the 1930s. And while the Victorians were both successful and resourceful, history demonstrates that new sources of raw materials were never actively planned until the old sources were in desperately short supply or worked-out completely. However, the introduction of a new, nationwide power generating system is an extremely long-term investment, and if we are to make this change without a dramatic interruption to our energy supplies (and our society) we need foresight, vision and a quick decision. What we need is a tough, educated, talented, rational leader to take a difficult but responsible decision to dramatically increase our nuclear energy production capability. However, what we have in the UK is Gordon Brown!

He has Brown. We have Obama, Pelosi, Reid, the Gaia worshipping Voluntary Human Extinction Green Movement, and the partisan media. None of these people or organizations can overcome their own rectal-cranial inversions long enough to see where we are going. They shall have to be expelled from any position of responsibility or influence if they don’t remove themselves voluntarily.

Highly recommended. Read the whole thing, including the very educational comments.


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Reason #1 to Open Up the Outer Continental Shelves to Drilling

Deroy Murdock passes this on in an excellent article about the world’s most productive and cleanest natural gas platform.

The American Energy Alliance reported in February that if Congress allowed oil and gas production on the Outer Continental Shelf, the U.S. economy would expand by $8 trillion, generating $2.2 trillion in tax revenues. This would give $70 billion in fresh wages to 1.2 million new workers nationwide. How stimulating!

That would close the gap and balance Obama’s incredibly high budget all on its own! What is amazing is how well the free market works if you just let it work instead of handcuffing it.

The whole article is well worth reading. Check it out!


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Mini Nuclear Power Plants to be available by 2013

According to an article in the Guardian UK, a small nuclear power plant the size of a garden shed with sufficient power generation to supply 20,000 homes will soon be for sale. The reactors will be factory-sealed with no weapons-grade material, no moving parts, and installed in a poured concrete casing buried underground. The $25 million reactor if installed in a 10,000 home community would cost the members of the community’s electrical co-op $2,500 each. Since they need to be refueled every seven years, let’s assume that would be another $25 million every 7 years. The ongoing cost for power generation works out to roughly $357 annual for each home, or about $30 monthly. I don’t know the cost structure for typical power generation facilities, so I don’t know how this compares with them, but even including the cost of 24/7 security, administrative support, and electrical construction/repair crews, it seems this would drastically reduce electrical costs throughout most of the world. See the Hyperion Power Generation website for more.


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Mycodiesel: Diesel from a Tree Fungus

treefungus460The Guardian reports on a Patagonian tree fungus that bears, in its natural state, a remarkable chemical similarity to diesel.

The fungus, called Gliocladium roseum and discovered growing inside the ulmo tree (Eucryphia cordifolia) in northern Patagonia, produces a range of long-chain hydrocarbon molecules that are virtually identical to the fuel-grade compounds in existing fossil fuels.

This fuel compares favorably to biodiesel produced by algae and other bio-engineered methods that are currently under development.

Many simple organisms, such as algae, are already known to make chemicals that are similar to the long-chain hydrocarbons present in transport fuel but, according to Strobel, none produce the explosive hydrocarbons with the high energy density of those in mycodiesel. Strobel said that the chemical mixture produced by his fungus could be used in a modern diesel engine without any modification.

Another advantage of the G. roseum fungus is its ability to eat up cellulose. This is a compound that, along with lignin, makes up the cell walls in plants and is indigestible by most animals. As such, it makes up much of the organic waste currently discarded, such as stalks and sawdust.

In tangentially related news on the alternative energy front, Shawn-Yu Lin of the Rensselaer Institute has developed a coating for solar panels that absorbs 96.2% of sunlight, from all angles (so no need to move panels to improve absorbtion), about half again more than the 66% absorbed by the current generation of solar panels.

More at Treehugger.


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Obama Promised to Bankrupt Coal Power Plants, and Consumers of Coal Powered Electricity

This interview is from January 2008, but the San Francisco Chronicle neglected to mention the details he readily admitted of his cap and trade scheme when they wrote a story about the interview.

More than 50% of American electricity comes from coal. The cost of coal powered energy will skyrocket under Obama’s plan. If you thought that the price of gas going from $1 per gallon to $4 at its peak was bad on your wallet, imagine the price of electricity quadrupling. What is your electric bill now? What will it be if it is multiplied by four? Mine will be around $1000 a month. What about yours?

Is that a change you can believe in?

h/t: Newsbusters.


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Do-Nothing Pelosi Congress Thinks We are all Idiots

What is missing in Pelosi's flim flam bill?

Details missing from flim flam bill

That’s the only reason I can think of that the Democrats and 15 foolish Republicans voted for Pelosi’s Potemkin energy bill that doesn’t actually do much of anything to free up areas for drilling, while adding tons of new taxes and restrictions to prevent energy companies from making a profit. You know, if you prevent companies from making a profit from developing resources they won’t actually develop them.


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Kudlow: Bush Says Drill, Drill, Drill — and Oil Drops $9!

Larry Kudlow speaks truth to those who would have ears to listen.

In a dramatic move yesterday President Bush removed the executive-branch moratorium on offshore drilling. Today, at a news conference, Bush repeated his new position, and slammed the Democratic Congress for not removing the congressional moratorium on the Outer Continental Shelf and elsewhere. Crude-oil futures for August delivery plunged $9.26, or 6.3 percent, almost immediately as Bush was speaking, bringing the barrel price down to $136. […]

Traders took a look at a feisty and aggressive George Bush and started selling the market well before a single new drop of oil has been lifted. What does this tell us? Well, if Congress moves to seal the deal, oil prices will probably keep on falling. That’s the way traders work. They discount the future. Psychology and expectations can turn on a dime.

This is why if we start allowing drilling now it will lower prices now. The function of the free market is to adjust today’s prices to what tomorrow’s prices are expected to be, and so on well out into the future.

The reasons for high gas prices in the US now are twofold (as I see it).

  1. Inflation has weakened the dollar while the value of oil has stayed steady or risen. For proof, look at the price of gold for a constant measure of value and compare to what oil has done.
  2. Twenty years ago the US produced more of its own oil than it does today, 60%-70% as compared to 40% today. Environmental limits on drilling and refining, profit plundering by excessive taxation, and a litigious climate have prevented new wells and new technologies while doing their best to shut down old ones.

In a related story concerning the free market and what it means, Bush yesterday lectured reporters on why calls for conservation would not be forthcoming from him.

“They’re smart enough to figure out whether they’re going to drive less or not. I mean, you know, it’s interesting what the price of gasoline has done,” Bush said at a news conference in the White House press room, “is it caused people to drive less. That’s why they want smaller cars: They want to conserve. But the consumer’s plenty bright. The marketplace works.”

“You noticed my statement yesterday, I talked about good conservation and — you know, people can figure out whether they need to drive more or less,” he said. “They can balance their own checkbooks.”

That’s the free market. Based on a respect for the intelligence of crowds, it understands that like a busy freeway that functions safely and smoothly most of the time (excepting mechanical failures, police or construction obstructions, and drunkenness), guided by the self-interest of the individual drivers, the free market will function safely and smoothly most of the time, except for those times when the free market is prevented from working by the government grant of a monopoly. The government is the source of all monopolies, because only the government has the right to force a person (customer, employer, or employee) to do something at the point of a gun. And that is the essence of monopoly.

In other words, we can drill our way out of this mess. Congressional Democrats needs to loosen the noose on American oil resources and just give Americans a chance to show what they can accomplish.

Your thoughts?


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