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Old 05-26-2012, 10:21 PM  
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Originally Posted by rivalarrival View Post
http://af.reuters.com/article/energy...8GQ1LQ20120526

The price for PV panels, like all technology products, continues to drop.

Wind has already reached or exceeded parity with all other forms of generation save natural gas. Unlike natural gas, though, wind is not a commodity.
If true, it sure looks like it's time for big bro to exit the crony subsidy business.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:18 AM  
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Originally Posted by Eddie_T View Post
If true, it sure looks like it's time for big bro to exit the crony subsidy business.
With wind, I agree, we're just about there.

PV solar technology isn't quite there, but it is getting close.

I really hope that systems like Fischer-Tropsch are heavily subsidized. These plants can stabilize oil prices by providing alternatives that would be cost effective if OPEC and the oil industry decides to screw us over. F/T is never likely to be commercially viable, but has the potential to save us billions.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:33 PM  
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The public tends to favor renewable energy policies such as bio-fuels. After all green sounds so good. However voters have little knowledge of the drawbacks, such as high tax-based subsidies, political cronyism and enormous land use. One source says we would literally have to take all the land in the US and plant it in grass to substantially reduce reliance on crude based fuels.

A friend of mine drives a Mustang and seeks only ethanol free gas. His claim is that his Mustang will deliver 26mpg on gas and only 21mpg with gas containing 10% ethanol.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:02 AM  
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Originally Posted by Eddie_T View Post
The public tends to favor renewable energy policies such as bio-fuels. After all green sounds so good. However voters have little knowledge of the drawbacks, such as high tax-based subsidies, political cronyism and enormous land use. One source says we would literally have to take all the land in the US and plant it in grass to substantially reduce reliance on crude based fuels.

A friend of mine drives a Mustang and seeks only ethanol free gas. His claim is that his Mustang will deliver 26mpg on gas and only 21mpg with gas containing 10% ethanol.
Ethanol does have a significantly lower energy density - A gallon of ethanol is equivalent to 2/3 a gallon of gasoline. If you get 26mpg on gasoline, you should expect slightly over 25mpg on 10% ethanol.

I don't know why your buddy claims he's getting less. I would suspect some form of observer-bias. I can confirm that my results are consistent with the math.

Every three barrels of ethanol produced domestically replaces two barrels of imported oil, reducing our reliance on foreign oil. Burning 9 gallons of imported gasoline alone can push a 25mpg vehicle 225 miles. Burning 9 gallons of imported gasoline + 1 gallon of domestic ethanol (10% ethanol fuel) drives that car 241.75 miles.

With E85 ethanol in vehicles that can burn it, the results are ridiculously better. Burning 15 gallons of imported gasoline at 25mpg should drive a car 325 miles. Burning 15 gallons of imported gasoline and 85 gallons of domestic ethanol should drive that car 1748.75 miles. (Accounting for ethanol's lower energy density) Every 100 gallons of E85 burned eliminates the need for 57 gallons of imported gasoline.

Reducing reliance on foreign oil places market pressures on foreign oil producers; keeps more dollars within our borders. A certain level of subsidies for ethanol makes a hell of a lot of sense.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:48 AM  
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I'm a late comer here, but how about cutting fuel consumption? Cars haven't been getting better fuel economy in the last 20 years especially in the face of higher energy costs. Seems the auto industry has instead been increasing the HP on cars for the same MPG. The government needs to tighten the rules a bit more I'm thinking........
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:42 PM  
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Some producers have been fined for not blending enough ethanol yet there was not enough ethanol being made. There just isn't a market and it isn't cost effective as it requires massive subsidies. The problem seems to be government mandate rather than consumer demand. Creating fuels from biomass is an inefficient process as feed crops are not energy-dense and require a lot of land. Ethanol delivers about 30 percent less energy than gasoline so even if it sells for less than gasoline the consumer ultimately loses by prices at the pump and by the taxation necessary to promote such a loser. This is just not the time to mandate 15 percent ethanol blends, it's time to fire Obama and his EPA.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:20 PM  
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Originally Posted by Eddie_T View Post
Some producers have been fined for not blending enough ethanol yet there was not enough ethanol being made. There just isn't a market and it isn't cost effective as it requires massive subsidies. The problem seems to be government mandate rather than consumer demand. Creating fuels from biomass is an inefficient process as feed crops are not energy-dense and require a lot of land. Ethanol delivers about 30 percent less energy than gasoline so even if it sells for less than gasoline the consumer ultimately loses by prices at the pump and by the taxation necessary to promote such a loser. This is just not the time to mandate 15 percent ethanol blends, it's time to fire Obama and his EPA.
Higher, domestically-produced ethanol blends = less imported gasoline for the same miles driven. Which is better for the American economy, 30 gallons of domestically-produced ethanol, or 20 gallons of imported gasoline?
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:25 AM  
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Higher, domestically-produced ethanol blends = less imported gasoline for the same miles driven. Which is better for the American economy, 30 gallons of domestically-produced ethanol, or 20 gallons of imported gasoline?
We could be energy independent and even export energy from our own oil reserves creating jobs as we go.
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:53 PM  
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We could be energy independent and even export energy from our own oil reserves creating jobs as we go.
No, we can't. OPEC controls the worldwide oil market. Whatever damages domestic oil producers, OPEC will do it. They can flood the market with cheap oil, driving our own producers out of business. They can cut off our supply, damaging our economy. They can fluctuate between the two, keeping us unbalanced. They want us as customers, not competitors. That's their game, and they are very good at it.

What we need to do is quit playing their game, and start playing our own.


Renewable sources are a much better long-term solution to our energy needs. OPEC can't control them; they're forced to compete with them.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:26 PM  
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One acre of land can produce about 50 gallons of ethanol.This would compute to some 2.8 billion acres to totally replace gasoline consumed in the US per year, that's considerably more cropland than is currently in use in the US. Corn requires a lot of water, fertilizer and pesticides compared to other crops and aren't those fertilizers and pesticides made from fossil fuels?
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