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A View from the Altar / Energy
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Category Archives: Energy

Battery technology

01-Jan-12

When I was a kid, nobody wanted a battery-powered toy.  Carbon-zinc cells were all you could buy.  They were so weak that photons from a flashlight would ooze out of the filament and drip onto the floor like goo. Batteries are way better now.  Rechargeable lithium-ion cells can power your cell phone for many hours.  […]

Quicksilver in the coal

28-Dec-11

The Edison Electric Institute has stated that the EPA’s new rule on mercury emissions from power plants is the most expensive in the agency’s history.  Nobody’s in favor of releasing mercury into the environment.  The regulatory approach and schedule for getting rid of it are what it at issue.  The power industry can certainly find […]

Electric cars… and such like

28-Dec-11

Electric cars Cutting to the chase on electric cars: People don’t want and cannot use what the car makers are selling.  The range on the cars is just too darned limited at roughly 100 miles.  Recharging time for the batteries is too darned long at several hours. The price of the cars is too darned […]

Wind investments in Texas

07-Dec-11

Professor Ross Baldick (Electrical Engineering, Univ. of Texas) has analyzed the economics of wind in Texas.  Baldick concluded that the problems with wind generation are all still there. 1.  Wind farms are not near electric loads, so the cost of power lines to connect production to consumption is excessive. 2. Wind farms suffer from very […]

At last, a shale oil power plant! Oh, wait. It’s in Jordan

28-Nov-11

Jordan says they’re the world’s fourth largest holder of shale oil reserves. If you’re wondering who’s number one, why that’d be the United States which has more oil in shale than all the petroleum reserves in the Middle Eastern countries combined.  Our energy reserves truly are ginormous, gargantuan, humongous, or any other hokey size superlative […]

Made in China

31-Oct-11

The Xinhua on-line edition noted that China’s immense Three Gorges Dam reached its full power capacity today.  It’s a little over 8 GW, or roughly 11 million horsepower.  That’s about the size of eight large U.S. nuclear power plants.  You can read about it here. Can you imagine what it would take to build something […]

Solyndra

21-Oct-11

The Solyndra scandal tells you everything you need to know about green gadget energy: It cannot survive on its own.  Since it requires federal money to stay afloat, it aggressively spawns corruption.  The government orders people to build stuff nobody wants to buy.  With that as your business model, survival resides in the greasy palms […]

Maybe it’s time to start using the Constitution for yet another reason.

20-Aug-11

The Obama administration’s rogue Environmental Protection Agency has begun implementing new rules on emissions for power plants.  The result is going to be lots and lots of coal-fired power plants getting shut down, according to an article in the Washington Post. The fifth amendment to the Constitution says private property must not be taken for […]

And now check what the Obama administration is doing to oil

20-Jul-11

The damage just keeps on piling up.  Breitbart has published a report on oil rigs leaving the Gulf of Mexico for foreign shores.  A whole domestic industry is being systematically destroyed.  It’s very disheartening that the public isn’t tuned in to this, not merely because it’ll make gasoline more expensive (which it will), but because […]

Mr. Obama keeping campaign pledge to kill coal industry

19-Jul-11

Former Missouri Senator Kit Bond recently published an article in the Southeast Missourian explaining what Mr. Obama’s minions are doing through the Environmental Protection Agency.  Read it here.  Early in his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama said he would make it impossibly expensive to burn coal.  He’s doing that.  And if the EPA is not reined […]

China building, building, building. America. . . ?

13-Jul-11

The largest tributary to China’s huge Yangtse River is called the Jinsha River.  China already has a number of dams on the Jinsha, but four more are planned.  They’ll have a combined generating capacity of 43 gigawatts.  For those not familiar with numbers like this, the output of a large nuclear plant is a little […]

How regulation makes energy executives crazy

15-Jun-11

The article linked here from a North Carolina on-line business journal called BusinessNC.com is not written by a member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.  But it does contain a fairly beneficial insight.  It shows how America’s crazy quilt of environmental regulations don’t do jack to help the environment.  In this particular example, Duke Energy […]

This one bears watching

13-Jun-11

The American Thinker has posted a piece insinuating that Mr. Obama’s anti-coal energy policies are tied to his Chicago cronies via utility giant Exelon Corp. Exelon is the country’s largest nuclear operator, and the article alleges ties between Bill Ayers, Exelon, Mr. Obama, and policies which would favor a utility that has more nukes and […]

Nuclear industry issue to watch

21-May-11

This link will take you to an in-depth report on a little known issue at nuclear power plants, which is fire protection.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has recently taken fire protection enforcement to a higher level. One of the more serious nuclear events ever to occur on U.S. soil took place at the Browns Ferry […]

Nuclear power risk

01-May-11

From American Thinker, a serious-minded article on why nuclear power remains the safest form of large scale electric power.  If you compare the safety record of nuclear energy with any other form of commercial power production, nuclear power wins by a gigantic margin, even when the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters are factored in.  If Americans […]