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Interesting Congressional Budget Office report.
 
CBO says: "Drill, baby, drill!" isn't the answer...
Today, CBO released a report, Energy Security in the United States, which describes the current situation and evaluates a variety of options to increase US energy security. A significant conclusion of the report is that increasing domestic oil supply won't do much to shield the country from shocks in the international market. They say:
"Policies that promoted greater production of oil in the United States would probably not protect U.S. consumers from sudden worldwide increases in oil prices stemming from supply disruptions elsewhere in the world, even if increased production lowered the world price of oil on an ongoing basis. In fact, such lower prices would encourage greater use of oil, thus making consumers more vulnerable to increases in oil prices. Even if the United States increased production and became a net exporter of oil, U.S. consumers would still be exposed to gasoline prices that rose and fell in response to disruptions around the world."

The report implicitly supports passage of the Open Fuel Standard Act (HR1687) when it says that: Policies that promote flexibility in the fuels that households and businesses use for transportation would reduce their vulnerability to changes in oil prices. Thus, more drilling isn't the answer. The answer lies in creating a competitive market for transportation fuels.
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James Salsman's profile photoDouglas Bentley's profile photoAlex Emelianov's profile photoJohn Bump's profile photo
15 comments
 
Surprise, surprise. A heroin addict refusing to believe that growing his own supply of poppies will not solve all his problems for good.
 
For transportation fuel synthesis, see page 28 of ceramics.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/mcare12-rath.pdf multiplied by the figures in bloomberg.com/energy (less than $1/gallon) -- note that this also works for dispatchable storage to level demand for wind power on the grid, too. For wind power capacity, see www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/06/19/0904101106 and +Makani Power, which is making high altitude turbines which will produce twice as much wind power per land area, be viable in the deep ocean which the PNAS study doesn't contemplate, and cost half as much per area, too. For carbon sequestration and reforestation, see e.g. www.american-plasticlumber.com/structural.html using pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2012/EE/c2ee03393c as a feedstock source.
 
Such a shame that we cannot invest into better batteries, need for oil would drop maybe 90%......... but I like common sense.....
 
We're working on batteries about as hard as we can, but chemistry improvements are slow. The improvements we've produced in the last 20 years have been astounding, compared to the previous -- well, all of history. But it's really hard to make progress.
 
I thought there was a company a few years ago that was on the verge of exploding the technology, but Texaco bought them.... then folded.....
I think if we put the money used in energy subsidies for 3 yrs, battery technology would be unreckonizable.
 
The best battery technologies are mostly molten salt, like the molten sulfur/sodium ones, and they're really amazing, except they're totally unsuitable for cars. But LiPo, LiFePo, and the like, didn't even exist 20 years ago -- lithium iron phosphate batteries were invented in the late 1990's, if I remember right, and they're going gangbusters now. Have you noticed how we're completely changing battery chemistry every three years over the last 15 years? Remember NiCd's and NiMH's? Battery tech is churning wildly... but the improvements are like 4% here, 5% there. We've been working on this for 200 years and we're hung up waiting for controllable nanotechnology before we can really start making massive advancements (we hope.)
 
John, you def sound like you got the scoop on this.
Thanks for the info....
 
I love chemistry and work with batteries to some extent.
It's possible supercapacitors will completely steal the whole game from batteries, actually: it looks to me like they're developing faster.
(and for crazy power densities, ultra-high-speed flywheels are pretty amazing -- with the added benefit of working at low temperatures, where batteries just suck. But capacitors work well at low temps, too.)
 
I love caps.... Cannot understand why roofing material has not evolved to include them.... The earth is a natural generator and capacitor cannot hold a non charge....
 
There are solar energy shingles! I would love some.
 
Not a fan of solar, too little return
Yield for cost ratio is still too high, plus limited to only when sun is out.
Have a generator on paper that I am trying to built.... round to it thing and I dont know how to weld.
 
I have more solar than I can shake a stick at: average of 14 megawatt-hours falls on my yard each day.

If you want to learn to weld, pick up a MIG welder and one of those automatic LCD masks. You can teach yourself. Stick welding is cheaper but way harder to learn. TIG welding is more enjoyable and stronger, but like 10x more expensive. Oxy-acetylene does good welds, is inexpensive, fairly easy to learn, but veeeeeery slow.
 
The DoE is touting enviasystems.com as so great it will force the price of LiFePO4 batteries down 70% as soon as they go on the market, but the DoD is buying them all up!
 
They're supposed to be amazing on several fronts, from what I've heard. We're getting piles of questions about using them/designing around them. Having the price drop would be quite lovely.
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