Category Archives: Energy

the posts in this category used to be in “Energy in A Nutshell” at my former web site.

Thorium in the news

[ When trucks stop running, civilization as we know it ends.  Nuclear electricity doesn’t matter a rat’s ass if trucks can’t be electrified to run on batteries or overhead wires — especially the tractors and harvesters that plant and harvest … Continue reading

Posted in Thorium | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Effects of biodiesel on diesel engines: John Deere

[ Since petroleum is finite, the most important focus of U.S. energy research ought to be keeping trucks operating, since civilization ends when trucks stop running.  Ideally this would be done with a “drop-in” fuel that can be burned in … Continue reading

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A U.S. Senate hearing on T. Boone Pickens plans for natural gas and wind to reduce oil dependence

[ This session is unusual in that the words “peak oil” are spoken several times, and M. King Hubbert, James Howard Kunstler, and Matt Simmons are lauded.   Gal Luft points out that “10 years ago, Osama bin Laden predicted that … Continue reading

Posted in Energy Dependence, Natural Gas Vehicles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Natural gas is a stupid transportation fuel

[ My comment: The only reason natural gas has come up as a transportation fuel at all is the false belief that there is 100 years of natural gas (even this article does, but natural gas may last far less … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles, Natural Gas Vehicles, Transportation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Methane hydrate apocalypse? Maybe not…

 [ I don’t think there’s enough evidence yet to decide for sure there won’t be a gas hydrate apocalypse, but here’s some evidence that this might not happen. Even Benton, who wrote “When Life Nearly Died” didn’t pin the mass … Continue reading

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California could hit the solar wall

[ According to this Stanford University article, if California uses mainly solar power to meet a 50% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), on sunny days, for most of the year, more power would be generated mid-day than needed 23% of the … Continue reading

Posted in Photovoltaic Solar, Renewable Integration | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Taxpayers are paying for a concentrated solar project — Ivanpah– that doesn’t work

Ivanpah in the news: Dvorsky, G. May 21, 2016. The World’s Largest Solar Plant Just Torched Itself. Gizmodo (Australia). Misaligned mirrors are being blamed for a fire that broke out yesterday at the world’s largest solar power plant, leaving the … Continue reading

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Over and under-cooked oil — tar sands, “fracked” tight oil & gas, oil shale

[ This article discusses why it’s so hard and expensive to extract difficult oils like tar sands, oil shale, and tight “fracked” oil, for reasons such as: These are at the bottom of the resource pyramid, so there may be … Continue reading

Posted in Oil & Gas Fracked, Oil Sands, Oil Shale | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell trucks a waste of energy and money

[ Fuel cells are seen as an alternative to batteries, because batteries may always be too heavy to move trucks: Battery electric trucks (BEV) may never work out. Even if 5 to 10 times as much battery energy density (Wh/kg) … Continue reading

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Escape to Mars to solve our problems? How absurd

                      [ Go to Mars?  Really?  We tried that already, in the three acre sealed Biosphere complex, which is far larger than anything we could hope to construct on Mars.   … Continue reading

Posted in Far Out, Where to Be or Not to Be | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments