How I “missed” The Call on Energy Companies of the Future back in 2015, while identifying all the key metrics and underlying trajectories that were bring them to a future fruition – plus how I failed SEO & Marketing 101 calling them something insightful to me, but no mass appeal to our industry or media. Time to back-up, re-read the tea leaves and welcome in… The Energy Companies of the Future. Continue reading Oil, Tar Sands, Coal, Natural Gas & The “Energy Companies of the Future”
Jaw-Dropping News In The Solar Versus Fossil Fuels Debate Solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities, according to U.S. utilities Shortlink … Continue reading Keep It Classy US Solar Industry
Before the natural gas tsunami came ashore of the U.S. energy sector in 2014/2015, it was little more than a rogue wave at sea. This is a story of its impacts on one energy technology while it was still barely discernible from the surrounding waves in which it lurked as it gained momentum and mass.
In 2008 through 2010 I worked with a small diversified “solar” company in Colorado as a Project Manager – “Jack of All Trades.” At the time, we focused on distributed solar thermal at the municipal and residential scales, while engineering a more versatile racking system than that on the market out of Europe.
We were using ingenuity as well as trial an error to combat limitations imposed by “one size fits all” applications, where the reality was, there were Continue reading “Origins of A Tsunami Called Natural Gas”
Valentine’s Day can bring out the best and the worst in people.
In this new “love ballad” by the Energy Policy Alliance, we see how the inherent need to be loved is not just a human trait anymore. How certain sectors of the energy industry can take on human emotions of neglect, rejection and the wear and tear of getting older.
Unfortunately, this can bring out the worst in not only humans, but industry as well, and desperation can set in. Such is the case with all relationships, and the choice is ours to decide whether we want to see the glass half-full, or half-empty. To appreciate what we have, or lament what we are lacking.
It looks as though Mrs. Oil has a half-empty attitude, but can you blame her given her long run at the top and being the most universally adored and fought over energy for decades? Changes are bound to happen as nothing lasts forever, and the global energy environment is at its most dynamic position shy Ms. Black Gold’s storming the stage not more than a hundred years ago to claim the spotlight.
Is Mrs. Oil starting to get desperate? Is she seeing the writing on the wall? Is she trying to steal the noteworthy fame of her fellow energy divas knowing full well they frequented the same clubs, but rarely socialized directly with each other all through their history?
Legacy electrical generation technologies; coal, large hydro & nuclear, are falling under their own weight of inflexibility in demand response, costly and time sensitive project delays and a growing public and financial understanding of their long standing dependence on subsidies, an once accepted necessity in meeting “developed world” baseload needs to fuel strong economies. Continue reading Keystone XL, a positive statement to changing global energy dynamics?
You know the saying, ‘3 steps forward, 2 steps back’? Maybe that’s what the entire world energy scene is all about…. As more people come to the table at an accelerated pace.
Shortlink here… http://wp.me/pfF9G-cxN
We have 3-4 billion in a rush to get energy (China, Africa, India, SE Asia & less so South America), while a billion or so already have it (USA, Canada, a decent part of Europe, South Korea, select Middle Eastern countries, and up until the Tsunami, Japan). The latter fell into the trap of needing to refurbish legacy plants (coal & nuclear) while bringing on national gas (NG) and renewable energy (RE). While the former are building whatever they can, maybe at a 10 to 1 ratio (fossils/nuclear/large hydro to REs).
A quick write up on what I have been seeing over the past month in Europe with regards to energy … Continue reading Why the US is not doing more?
Not the nicest man ever – during his reign, King Leopold II (King of the Belgians) owned a small park … Continue reading King of the Belgians – Leopold II
Shortlink – http://wp.me/pfF9G-aO
There is currently much “buzz” about methane releases from Natural Gas Exploration & Production (NG E&P), especially with regards to the buzzword friendly “Fracking” dominating all discussions. The NG industry is clearly “green washing” the public through slick advertisements, as it knocks off its primary competitor Coal, and has already surpassed Nuclear for electrical output in the US.
The fact of the matter is, there are currently NG “Peaker” plants associated with almost all existing Coal and Nuclear plants, often on the same properties, owned and operated by the same generation company. This is really no different than many of our most famous hydroelectric dams being built with coal plants just out of view of the sweeping and magnificent concrete arches. Glen Canyon Dam, on the mighty Colorado River, and the 2,225 MW Navajo Generation Plant were paired in construction under the CRSP (Colorado River Storage Project) to mitigate water storage requirement priority over hydroelectric generation.
My use of the word “competitor”, when we discuss Natural Gas in contrast to Nuclear or Coal, becomes very much a gray area once we dig into the numbers of overall electrical production. But back to the topic of methane releases.
I recently responded to a post on LinkedIn in the “Energy Innovation by Statoil” group about wind turbines being “unappealing” visually within the discussion brought about by a completely wide-open question “How do you feel about wind farms?”
If you would like to share, shortlink here… http://wp.me/pfF9G-ak
Obviously, that is a subjective question, setting the stage for far ranging arguments lacking substantiated reasoning. This being akin to the common misunderstanding of billowing exhaust plumes at power plants thought to be laden with green house gases, pollution and toxic chemicals. The reality being, most of the visible “offenses” are waste heat removal through water evaporation cooling, not the invisible fossil fuel combustion effluent as commonly believed.
It was also stated, wind farms can be the cause of drought, which initially caught me off guard as I have lived and breathed water issues the past 20 years and it is a major determinant in my self assessed classification as “A Westerner”. Water is in our blood, both figuratively and literally. A transplant, to the western US, can be easily identified based on their lack of understanding and comprehension of where their water comes from and exactly how precious it is to maintaining our lifestyles. “Water Wars” are not just some future post apocalyptic scenario, they have been fought for over a century here in the United States.
Shortlink – http://wp.me/pfF9G-9M
Now that we are here, what do we know?
“Solar”, regardless the generally considered meaning of it, as PV, also includes Wind, Ocean Currents, Hydroelectric and Solar Thermal, to name the primary forms we can harness to supply our needs.
Solar Thermal also has two distinct forms; one for the heating of water for residential and commercial needs, relatively common throughout much of the world and an idea that died during the 80s here in the U.S.; and another, super heating a fluid medium to spin a turbine producing electricity, the giant often circular plants full of mirrors and a central tower, made notable in Spain, Australia & the Mojave Desert of California.
Shortlink – http://wp.me/pfF9G-9g
In “Ending Energy Ignorance – Part I” I introduced us to my primary concern, the general ignorance or apathy of the U.S. populace in understanding energy on the basic levels. You do not have to take my word for it alone, the famous oilman and land speculator, T. Boone Pickens has claimed the same for years, and outside his Picken’s Plan there are no other national figures championing for a greater awareness of energy understanding.
Years ago, I was in full agreement of his message, in particular I was in love with the potential of wind energy and it was one of his key selling points. But a grain of salt was required. Extremely successful or not, T. Boone’s reputation was not established in philanthropy.
In order for us to forge forward, we need to look at our past. It does us no good dissecting the mistakes and ills of the past, the results are with us today. However, understanding our history and what lead us to the problems we are facing today, is key to minimizing those short comings in the future. Hind sight is twenty-twenty, and we would be wise to learn from it.
How did we get here?
In the U.S., the abundance of domestic coal has made it the de facto “King of the Castle” for electricity production, doubling nuclear energy’s consistent 20 per cent national production since the 80’s.
Shortlink – http://wp.me/pfF9G-8R
I would like to discuss, what is generally considered my open opposition to “Solar”, in particular its primary and growing implementation in the United States. “Solar” is often the buzzword for PV (photo voltaic), which is the generation of electricity through capturing part of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation reaching the Earth’s surface.
This discussion cannot occur, unless we all understand and agree upon the basic fundamentals of energy, specifically electricity as it pertains to our energy collection, distribution and consumption needs. “Solar” on almost all accepted premises has a leaning towards electricity production, hence the need to understand where we are currently with electricity generation, portability and uses.
Author’s note: Please excuse ongoing design & content changes, I’m composing this as I go. ~Hans 7/21/14
Another day and another night is upon me. I am deep in the [Shirley] Mountains of central Wyoming, between the … Continue reading Rattlesnake Mountains, Middle of Nowhere, Wyoming
In the debate over SUVs and larger vehicles being needed for “safety” over going smaller more economical, either for ecological or economical reasons, the data doesn’t match the “Status Quo” Conventional Wisdom pushed by many, including the “Global Warming Skeptics”. So let’s look at the “big” argument in favor of “Larger is Better”, and Semis versus Passenger Vehicles. [No this is not a male enhancement advertisement, heads out of the gutter please 😉 ]
Maybe a “factor” in choosing safety over economy, should be respecting the semi in the first place. Cut one off, drive in it’s blind spots, drive like an idiot around one, be accepting of Newton’s Law when it plows into you.
If your[the] logic were true, then we should all be driving actual tanks, but then we would not be safe from each other, so then we should upgrade to Continue reading “Evidence against “Bigger is Safer” vs “Economical [smaller] is Less Safe” False Logic”