Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
PG&E's Kindler, Gentler Side
"As a heavily regulated monopoly in California, PG&E can make decisions such as this without regard to their customers or fear of boycott," [a spokesperson] said."
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Sempra's Big Bet Gets Mixed Reviews
On the other hand, Standard & Poor's analyst William Ferrara said EnergySouth “has a notably weaker business profile than Sempra's. Its growth strategy is almost entirely related to gas storage expansion."
Monday, July 28, 2008
Taking Shots at Prop 10
The rebates would include $2,000 for high mileage cars, like the Prius, even though buyers already are lining up to buy them, and up to $10,000 for natural-gas fueled cars and electric plug-in cars, assuming the car makers get enough of them out the door in time."
Friday, July 25, 2008
The "Other" Gas Price Crisis
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Ethanol Goes Hollywood...
Not everyone is happy, though. As with any project of this magnitude, the NIMBY's are restless, and possibly for good reason.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
T. Boone Pickens Is A Rock Star
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
To Drill or Not To Drill...
That means any new oil wouldn't arrive on the market until midway through the next decade, at the earliest. The process is slow enough that the Energy Information Administration, the statistics branch of the U.S. Department of Energy, estimated last year that opening the coasts to offshore drilling would have no significant impact on oil prices before 2030."
"The federal government estimates the nation's outer continental shelf might hold 85.9 billion barrels of crude, including 10.13 billion barrels off California. For comparison, the United States consumes about 7.56 billion barrels of oil per year. The nation's sea floor also could hold 419.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, equal to U.S. consumption for 14 1/2 years. But the federal estimates are just that - estimates. "
Monday, July 21, 2008
Putting Manteca On The Map
Friday, July 18, 2008
The Dark Side of Futures Trading
Thursday, July 17, 2008
CAL ISO's Plan to Speed Up Grid Connections
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
33,000 Solar Panels in 45 Days
SCE’s massive solar project also is designed to supplement several California environmental programs, especially the Million Solar Roofs program that provides incentives to encourage Californians to install solar projects by 2017. The solar program supports the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, which requires the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as well as complementing California’s renewable portfolio standard, the goal that 20 percent of the state’s electricity be generated with renewable energy. "
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Battle Lines Being Drawn Over Offshore Drilling
Monday, July 14, 2008
Is Arnold Jumping Ship?
Friday, July 11, 2008
Hey, It's Only Money...
Without offering a specific dollar amount, Schultz said the price of solar power will be nearly double that amount.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Walking the Walk...
In the heat of battle, SSJID officials went on record saying that if they couldn't buy out PG&E, they would build their own system from the ground up. Now the District is backing up that tough talk.
It opted to power its water treatment facility near Woodward Reservoir itself, cutting out PG&E in the process. The solar array went online in April and so far is working as advertised.
With the new solar power array, SSJID's energy portfolio remains 100% green, with all power being generated by hyrdoelectric or solar.
SSJID solar farm takes equivalent of 202 cars off road [Manteca Bulletin]
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
The Pro's & Con's of Offshore Drilling
Even oil industry representatives won't say that drilling would reduce pump prices. They said it takes five to 10 years to produce much oil in new areas.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
The Big Picture
As the U.S. endures an energy crisis and imports 60%+ of its energy needs, the House and Senate decided to take action: they overwhelmingly voted to allow OPEC to be sued in U.S. courts for running a cartel. The mind reels…
Over the last 30 years, U.S. elected officials blocked nuclear build-out and spent fuel storage construction, impeded construction of oil refineries, refrained from passing meaningful alternative energy legislation, imposed an import tax on cheaper Brazilian ethanol, prevented offshore drilling in Alaska, California and Florida, delayed for 30 years tighter "CAFE" auto fuel efficiency standards, blocked the construction of LNG ports (in the Oregon Democratic primary, Clinton claimed to be more anti-LNG than Obama), killed wind farms in their own backyards (and back bays), and neglected opportunities for public-private sector partnerships on energy R&D.
They got it wrong; Congress should sue itself instead. Instead of ineffectual and counterproductive OPEC lawsuits, look at other countries. Germany has reached 14% renewable electricity use (they're shooting for 27% by 2020, and Denmark is already at 40%).
The entire continental U.S. is much sunnier than Germany, yet Germany has 17 times the installed solar base per capita. Same goes for Japan, where "feed-in tariffs" (subsidies) have ended, and yet the solar business is thriving and competitive. The head of the U.S. government's Renewable Energy Lab said that the Federal Government is doing "embarrassingly few things" to foster renewable energy (a). Renewable energy research has fallen by 78% since 1978, and the Lab's budget is a paltry $200 million (I will not mention the cost of the Iraq War again. It's $1 trillion). This despite the fact that a handful of successful DOE R&D projects yielded benefits that exceeded the total cost of the entire energy R&D program (b). The "just rely on the private sector" solution isn't sufficient, particularly when intellectual property rights aren't long enough for many energy-related investments (Congress did get around, however, to passing the "Mickey Mouse Protection Act", which extended that particular copyright for 120 years after creation).
A National Task Force recommended in 2006 that the Federal government fund demonstration projects to provide proof of concept for carbon capture storage and other complex technologies (c), but it's not happening on any grand scale. Meanwhile, China signs oil and gas supply deals with Venezuela, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Gabon, Russia, Ecuador, Myanmar, Turkmenistan and Australia, and is not wasting much time applying Chinese anti-trust laws to OPEC. The world is changing, much faster than the ability of the U.S. legislature to comprehend it. The bill's misplaced sense of entitlement is matched only by its pandering delusion. On oil prices, they are likely approaching a breaking point of some kind later this year. Yes, the supply-demand equation is tight (U.S. reserves per well are half the levels they were a decade ago), and marginal costs are going up (more costly horizontal and directional drilling now account for 40% of wells drilled).
Even so, marginal costs are $70 a barrel, not $140, and OECD demand is being destroyed at a rapid clip. China uses more energy per unit of GDP than any country in the world, so they're not exempt from energy pressures either; food and transport account for 45% of their CPI.
I don't write 'em, I just pass 'em along...