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I'm a motorsport fan, and I've been hearing a lot about IPAT and similar technologies for a while. The benefit of their technology can be spread to many industries, and from what I can gather, their process is already quite developed, and on the cusp of widespread adoption. My only complaint is that I want the DOE to stop messing around with the shoot-the-moon strategy, and focus on getting people into fuel-efficient vehicles today. If DOE want public support, bring the technology to the masses, instead of expecting Joe Public to see the nuances and implications of obscure technological development.
10-15 figures are useless for Americans, but the JC-08 figures are a bit more relevant. EPA doesn't capture the benefits of stop-start so it will be interesting to see what ratings it achieves when it comes to the states. @MG Static compression ratio doesn't determine the likelihood of predet. Dynamic compression is what really matters.
Thank you, nordic, for shedding some common sense on the situation. A vast majority of our energy problems are the result of ignorance not flagrant immorality. Punitive legislation and government intervention are neither necessary nor preferable at this time.
@EP Assume anthropogenic global warming is true. So what? Why do I have to believe in anthropogenic global warming, climate apocalypse, and polar bear genocide to buy green products? The anthropogenic crowd are like the Catholic church of the middle ages. They sell indulgences. They "bless" things and then double the price. They seek to control all undeveloped land via federal bureaucracy. The leadership actively seek to harm (with taxes) the unwitting middle class citizens who go along for the ride. They turn green energy into a tax evasion scheme. I've got no problem with religion, but I'd certainly never try to pass it off as science, and I'd never go to Washington to impose religion on 300M other people. I've got no problem with anthropogenic global warming theory, but it has nothing to do with green energy. I buy fuel-efficient vehicles b/c we are committing economic suicide with oil imports. I like energy saving technology b/c I get lots of utility from reducing energy usage (psychological and economic). Best of all, green energy could allow people to go off-grid which means they no longer answer to government regulators or energy oligopolists. Furthermore, I just want to reduce pollution. Remind me where apocalypse, onerous taxation, and climate priests (in government) fit into the green energy sector.
Cap-and-trade is neither elegant nor effective, and Pigou (the man who has become famous for his work regarding negative externalities) explicitly said not to use Pigovian taxation in practice b/c it was impossible to accurately assign a price. Energy credits are governed by artificial supply and demand (arbitrarily manipulated by government bureaucrats) not by the actual cost of negative externalities. Also, Pigovian taxes are generally regressive so they require other income redistribution arrangements to avoid destabilizing society as a whole. Much like Keynesian economic theory, Pigovian theory has been exploited by government/private officials who want to create something to further their own ends. The "common good" of Pigovian taxation and Keynesian government spending is often outweighed by the abuses of the people in power.
How much time and money have scientists wasted trying to prove that an apocalypse is coming? Scientists understood that human beings are only 5% of all CO2 emissions and that developed economies are actually getting more efficient (CO2/GDP) so they suggested we plant trees and stop killing oceanic phytoplankton. Planting trees got boring and 3rd world countries refused to stop oceanic dumping so scientists told everyone that anthropogenic global warming was going to bake us alive. Turns out people aren't afraid of 1 degree temperature change. Now scientists tell us that global warming is going to create a climate apocalypse. We have no evidence to suggest that warmer temps will lead to climate apocalypse, and we have absolute no evidence whatsoever that falling carbon levels will create favorable weather patterns. Climate scientists have used fear (mainly in Europe) to stifle the economic innovation and growth necessary to create clean energy. Thankfully the same miscreants have been stopped in the United States. We now have the ability to develop alternative energy as a legitimate industry, not as a tax evasion scheme. It is clear that green energy is the next "hot" technology, and nothing could be more detrimental to its adoption than onerous, unpopular legislation (politicization is bad enough by itself). Green energy is about higher performance (economic, labor productivity, consumer utility) with less negative externalities. It is not about forcing one's culture upon an entire nation of people.
Not happy the car is a plug in now. I would have been more satisfied with the tandem 1+1 hybrid that was "only" going to get 150mpg. Making the frontal area much bigger, and then turning it into a Chevy Volt is a cheesy marketing trick to inflate the mileage numbers. Volkswagen should produce a cheap 1+1 version for those of us who don't want to pay for plug-in hybrid technology or manipulated EPA mileage figures.
Kelly, it's not quite that simple, imo. After the oil crises of the 1970s, the US made a push for efficiency. We generated so much efficiency gain (and oil supply gain) within our economy that we actually broke the cartel pricing power of OPEC and collapsed the oil market. At the time, it was actually in the best interest of global stability for the United States not to pursue fuel saving technologies. Everything is completely different now. The US dollar is weaker than it was during the 90s. We've seen steady growth in former Eastern Bloc nations, explosive growth in China, and steady growth in India. We live in a world where there are four or five major customers, and three of them appear likely to continue exponential growth of oil consumption (China, US, and India). Now, more than ever, the US needs to signal to the oil markets that the US is dedicated to decreasing oil consumption for passenger cars and trucking so we can stop the aggressive pricing of global oil supplies. Americans are not answering the clarion call b/c most of them have no idea what is going on. The private sector and government are strangely tacit. The green scene has no credibility b/c they've been obsessing over man-made climate change and legislation rather than public service and information distribution. I'm not sure who is left to deliver the message to the masses.
Yes, censorship seems to happen quite a bit, especially if you are trying to explain the nuances of market based economies. Anywho, I tend to agree with Harvey in this instance. Our government is an inbred organization that fights all day about social matters, the color of one's skin, and who's the biggest victim in the US. We spend about 2T a year on socialism and debt interest, both of those budget items divert money from the most important transportation tasks we have before us. Our government has failed to inform the people how serious our balance of trade issues are. Our representatives say dumb things like high oil prices will fix our balance of trade and create create green jobs. The volatile oil spike in 2008 sparked a liquidity crisis that collapsed our over stimulated housing sector, and created 10% unemployment. Our military spending is geared too much towards equipment stockpiling and logistics, instead of technological development. We can have alternative energy before this decade is out, imo. The question remains whether people will use green energy has a technological imperative to inspire people to change their consumptive habits and use their imagination to create new technologies and products, or whether people will continue to abuse green energy as a segue for social engineering legislation and social control.
Not a single word on the impact of commerce. I have a feeling the omission was intentional.
I wondered if anything good would ever come of the Scuderi engine. I've been following it for a while, but I thought they had scrapped the idea now that electrics and hybrids are becoming so popular. The engine has so many new technologies going on, it's almost hard to know what to make of it. I hope all of their claims are realized, and manufacturers are able to make it reliable and affordable.
I have no idea why cars are 1,000-2,000lbs heavier than they were 30 years ago, and I share kelly's frustration. I'm unimpressed that they are going to make consumers pay for weight reduction. They already made us pay to make the car heavier. Imo, it's time for specialty vehicles. No reason to pay $2,000 for an SUV that weighs 1,000lbs less and gets 2mpg extra. That kind of vehicle only lines the corporate coffers with gold. If people need to reduce fuel consumption, buy two small cheap cars for family use, and keep the SUV in the garage for group trips and weekends.
Arnold, I have no idea what you are talking about. I'm talking about algae bioreactors on non-arable land that are fed sea water and sterilized CO2 from existing fossil fuel power plants. I'm talking about the announcement today that Valero has partnered with a company to turn waste wood biomass into ethanol. There is no farming involved. I have no idea what you guys are on about. There is nothing wrong with many types of biofuels. The only human rights catastrophe is the government-sponsored way in which we create biofuels from food stock on arable land using fresh water. We don't have to make biofuels that way. We certainly don't have to grow biomass crops on marginal land either.
Quit running your mouth, and do some research. It won't take you long to see how cheap ethanol is to produce. You'll also find out that it can be created from a vast array of algae, food crops, non-food crops, biomass, yeasts, and other organic means (my favorite is probably kudzu). Same goes for biobutanol and many other biofuels. It's not mainstream b/c the production facilities cannot make the equivalent of 134B gallons of gasoline, and we don't have enough flex fuels either and there isn't a single engine available for public sale that is optimized to run in E85 or dual fuel (though they do exist). Companies aren't going to dump billions into ethanol if we don't even have specialty ethanol vehicles.
One of the world's biggest countries and biggest economies has a biofuels-based transportation system. The sources are everywhere including numerous Wikipedia pages dedicated to the Brazilian ethanol marketplace. Furthermore, there have been a glut of press releases and announcements about upcoming biofuels projects as big companies like Shell, Valero, 3M, and DuPont have teamed up with algae ethanol and biobutanol producers in the United States. DOD is even in on the action. The sources are everywhere. You'll find out how cheap ethanol is soon enough.
Looks like Engineer-Poet and SJC need to read up on the latest ethanol and biobutanol production facilities. First, corn is not required to make either biobutanol or ethanol. Second, ethanol and biobutanol are not ubiquitous b/c we don't have the infrastructure to produce the equivalent of 134B gallons of gasoline. In Brazil they make sugarcane ethanol. It's cheap. Flex fuel vehicles are common, and the United States has placed large import tariffs on Brazilian ethanol to keep it out of our country. You should really read up on these things from time to time.
We don't need a nudge. High fuel costs and high electricity costs have gutted the middle class in Europe. They don't have electric vehicles or super efficient appliances or green houses b/c the technology wasn't readily available when the taxes started. Companies weren't ready to take the risks to develop the new technologies, and consumers didn't have the money to transition either. As a result, the government is continually nudging the citizens along and spending massive amounts of money in the process. Best year for Prius sales was 2007, before the oil crisis began, but during a time when people had purchasing power. This study has a few decent policy suggestions, but overall, it's pointless, and I wish people would stop forecasting the future in order to encourage the clumsy, heavy hand of government to start slapping people around. We have no idea what the future holds so it isn't terribly bright to forecast the future based upon the idea that nothing will change (the least likely version of the future). Battery costs are dropping quite rapidly, and the next gen PHEVs may feature 100mpg for around $25,000 (4th gen Prius?). If the VW L1 comes out, it will probably make around 150mpg. When consumers start to see those kinds of figures, they will be more excited about the technology, and the possible savings over the life of the vehicle. Let the market work. If we can slash oil imports, we will send the price of oil tumbling, and the middle class will end up with more purchasing power. Don't blow it, by putting that money in government tax coffers. If the price of oil starts to plummet, then we can introduce feebates to make sure we don't go backwards.
I'm glad Scott is on here to set people straight. This study might be useful in the developing world where investment capital and technology are not easy to find, but the study is pointless in the developed world (unless you want to grow your own fuel). Algae bioreactors (and other types) have higher yields than biomass crops. The US can produce enough fuel to power its own transportation sector, and we could probably power our entire economy if we were so inclined. Best thing about bioreactors is that you can feed them salt water from the oceans and CO2 from power plants. No fresh water, fertilizers, pesticides, or other chemicals are really necessary. It can be extraordinarily cheap as well. I haven't looked into it recently, but last I checked, major biofuels providers were quoting prices around $1 for a finished gallon of product. Brazil is already trying to bring cheap biofuels to the US, but I believe we've been blocking them to protect the current corn ethanol industry. The problem with bioethanol is distribution. The problem with many bio-lipids like algal bio-diesel is refinement. The production is not a problem. Getting ethanol into gasoline stations owned or franchised by major oil companies is quite difficult.
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Dec 30, 2010