Coal Fights Back, and Wins in Europe

A funny thing is happening on the way to the clean energy future.  While the US government wages a regulatory war on coal fired generation, in Europe, the land of the oh so politically correct the drive for greenhouse gas emissions reduction is meeting a new competitor----reality! The EU emissions trading scheme had fallen on hard times as the number of permits issued was large and demand in a falling economy was weak so prices fell.  Some reforms were made and the freebie credits were reined …Continue Reading »

The Big Shift in Energy is Not What You Think

Energy Business Cycle 2

The energy business cycle has always been dominated by boom and bust cycles.  Through changes in technology, economic conditions and regulation nothing has altered that cyclical pattern.  We have, however, seen driving forces of change affect the energy business cycle both for the good and not so good. The Big Shift in energy today is not what you think.  It is not going to be driven or dominated by political correctness or government industrial policy. The big shift in energy is not pro-coal.  …Continue Reading »

Will National Energy Policy ‘Evolve’ to a Clean Energy Standard?

Bingaman CES figure4-lg

Clean energy is something everyone is ‘for’.  Few people are in favor of dirty energy.  But the problem is the definition of what is clean depends upon who you ask.  We will say we are in favor of clean renewable energy, when polled, until a wind producer tries to site a wind turbine near us, or spreads out a sea of photovoltaic panels across the desert—or worse says a high voltage transmission line is needed to bring that clean, renewable energy from its remote location to serve demand in the …Continue Reading »

Is there a Small Modular Nuke in our Distributed Energy Future?

WANTED: A Small Modular Reactor for our Nuclear Army’s Energy Future If necessity is the mother of invention, the US Department of Defense is one of the world’s best R&D operations because the success of its missions and the safety of our military personnel depend upon it.  Projecting American military power around the world is a logistics challenge unlike any other.  Recently I stumbled across a presentation made by Colonel Paul E. Roege of the Army Capabilities Integration Center.  He was …Continue Reading »

Irrational Fear of Technology

The media is consumed by the Japanese nuclear power plant problem caused by the earthquake and tsunami hyping it as the next Chernobyl.  Make no mistake it is a big problem.  But the coverage the past few days has raised new questions about the safety of nuclear power in the United States and around the world. A more rational assessment of the impact of the earthquake and tsunami on the Japanese nuclear plants will be made, but those who understand such things are telling us that the Japanese …Continue Reading »