Posts tagged “fuel efficiency”
This is a guest post from my friends Katherine Hamilton, Jeff Cramer, and Patrick Von Bargen at 38 North Solutions (one of my best resources on energy policy developments in Washington). I get updates from them on emerging energy and related policy news, and I am excited to be able to share their follow up to the State of the Union here as I thought this was a great summary of the President’s energy focus.
Following up on the President’s largely unexpected statements on climate policy in his inaugural speech, the 2013 State of the Union highlighted accomplishments to date on clean energy deployment and GHG reductions, and outlined five focus areas for his second term climate and clean energy agenda. We have included our prognosis for each of these areas.
1) Challenging Congress to pass legislation addressing climate change through “market-based solutions,” referencing Republican John McCain’s past support for his own cap and trade bill, last introduced in 2007, and threatening executive action to regulate carbon through the Clean Air Act.
Prognosis: Dems in both Houses are expected to introduce climate legislation, perhaps as a Clean Energy Standard (CES) that the President has promoted in the past and that was introduced in Senate Energy and Natural Resources in the last Congress; perhaps through introduction of a carbon tax that has the dual purpose of raising revenues; perhaps through a smaller package of provisions like Master Limited Partnerships for renewables or innovation incentives for clean technology. EPA will also continue regulating greenhouse gas emissions through its Clean Air Act mandate.
While imagining a world where stopping at a gas station is no longer such a crucial part of being a driver may be difficult, two reports from the International Energy Agency (IEA) show that the fuel efficiency of consumer vehicles could be increased by 50 percent by the year 2040 if the necessary technologies and policies to achieve that goal are implemented in a timely manner.
A Changing U.S. Energy Picture
This weekend, Thomas Friedman posed a question in his Sunday New York Times column: “Should the US join OPEC?” I generally don’t like to get into Friedman’s columns, as his name-dropping and taxicab reporting will drive you crazy. However, he probably has the widest readership of anyone in this field, and he does a good job of simplifying complicated issues.
Friedman says the “debate we’re again having over who is responsible for higher oil prices fundamentally misses huge changes that have taken place in America’s energy output, making us again a major oil and gas producer — and potential exporter — with an interest in reasonably high but stable oil prices.”
I hate to say it, but he’s right – although we’re nowhere near being a petroleum exporter today (a clear requirement for membership in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), I believe that fundamental changes in America’s supply and demand over the next 20-30 years mean that we’re moving towards a world where the U.S. has a real interest in exports – probably not of unrefined crude oil, but of all energy products.
The following guest essay is by Paul Nash, a regular reader here at R-Squared. Paul is an Australian who now lives near Vancouver, Canada. He is an environmental engineer who specializes in doing municipal water and energy efficiency projects, and has had experience in managing small town water and energy utilities. He is also developing small renewable electricity projects – micro hydro and wood biomass – neither of which is in short supply in his part of the world. Paul is also a strong proponent of high efficiency automotive engines and alternative fuels, and takes particular interest in the efficiency and multi-fuel capabilities of diesel engines, which is what prompted this essay. ———————————– There hasn’t been an American made, diesel… Continue»
This likely blows previous fuel efficiency records out of the water: VW to roll out 313mpg car in Germany and UK Last week at the Qatar Motor Show saw the world debut of Volkswagen’s XL1, a diesel-electric hybrid two-seater that can do 313mpg (0.9 l/100 km) and an announcement that the vehicle will enter limited production for the UK and German markets in 2013. If it proves popular, VW says it plans to increase production and sell in other countries. More coverage from Auto Express: Volkswagen XL1 With rear wheel covers, an F1-style carbon fibre monocoque, and other ultra-lightweight materials such as magnesium wheels, it’s meant to show how economical cars can be, boasting 300mpg-capability. But what’s it like to… Continue»
China’s rapid development of its wind farms has enabled them to skip past Germany in their wind energy capacity.
The DOE and EPA are taking to steps to bolster the reputation of their ENERGY STAR logo.
Ford has updated the look of their new fleet of police cars which may offer a boost to the environment.
Saint Gobain is expected to receive the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award today.
Often when I am flying, I think about the amount of fuel that the airplane is burning. Then when I am off the plane, I usually forget about it. I have heard mixed opinions on the overall efficiency of airline travel versus automobile travel, but just never got around to investigating the matter myself. Earlier this month I was on a flight from Hawaii to Dallas, and the pilot started talking about some of the plane’s statistics. Paraphrasing, he said: “Today we will be cruising at an altitude of 38,000 feet in this Boeing 757. This aircraft burns about 3 gallons of fuel per mile, and is carrying 243 passengers.” I thought “Hey, I better write that down and figure… Continue»