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Posts tagged “guest post”

By Robert Rapier on Jun 29, 2011 with 229 responses

Worldwide Nuclear Industry Woes Deepen

The following guest post is from ——————————– The year 2011 will go down for the nuclear industry worldwide as an annus horribilis. First came the March Fukushima nuclear disaster, with operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) belatedly acknowledging that three of the facility’s six reactors did, in fact, suffer core meltdowns. On 20 June Moody’s Investors Service obligingly cut its credit rating on TEPCO to junk status and kept the operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant on review for possible further downgrade, citing uncertainty over the fate of its bailout plan. TEPCO is Japan’s largest corporate bond issuer and its shares are widely held by financial institutions. TEPCO shares have plummeted 80 percent since March, dragging its market… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 9, 2011 with 33 responses

It’s Time for Obama to Spook the Oil Markets

The following guest post is from (Readers know my feelings about using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to fight high oil prices). ———————————— It’s Time for Obama to Spook the Oil Markets The fate of the Obama presidency hangs not on a birth certificate or the red ink on the federal budget but by the hose nozzle of your local gas station. Electoral discontent is measured by the price of a gallon of gasoline. Heading past $4 toward $5, that is a lethal trajectory for President Barack Obama. Enter the demagogues, especially the clown-in-a-business-suit, Donald Trump. Unfettered by the gravity that goes with facts, Trump says that he would fix the oil price – now around $110 a barrel –… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 3, 2011 with 12 responses

Oil Price Could Doom Obama

The following guest post is from Normally I don’t add any of my own commentary to these guest essays, but in this case I would say that the idea that oil prices are manipulated by speculators is by no means limited to “left-wing blogs.” I would also add that I predicted several times before the last presidential election that whichever party won would have a hard time getting reelected, because I thought the U.S. was in for several difficult years no matter which party won. The recent elections demonstrate that the country isn’t happy, but I think it would have been the same result had John McCain won. As an aside, right after Obama was elected I wrote “I… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 12, 2010 with 3 responses

Critical Decisions Looming for Japan’s Nuclear Industry

The following guest post was written by the staff of Global Intelligence Report. SITUATION: Japan is advancing with plans to reprocess spent nuclear fuel and boost its external nuclear exports. These decisions will impact the conduct of Japan’s global non-proliferation diplomacy. ANALYSIS: Assessing the degree of salience to Tokyo of non-proliferation goals will be aided by monitoring its policy in two areas: its negotiating strategy in nuclear technology supply talks with other states, and especially India, and its management of its internal nuclear power program. Other aspects of its nuclear diplomacy, including pressure for North Korean disarmament and support for enhanced global nuclear security, are likely to remain robust. External Trade Ambitions: Tokyo signaled its dedication to capturing a larger… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 12, 2010 with 26 responses

The Gas Cartel Idea: On the Road to Another OPEC?

The following guest analysis was written by the staff of Global Intelligence Report. ————————- As oil sees its image tarnished from the disastrous oil spills that took place off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Dalian, China, and as the most promising oil fields remain off limit to the Western oil majors, gas is gaining in popularity. Gas is present in large quantities and in many countries of less questionable reputation such as in the United States and is also less harmful to the environment than oil. Though gas is not intended to replace oil, some gas-rich countries such as Russia and Iran are strongly advocating for a gas cartel to regulate the industry,… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 2, 2010 with 55 responses

The Tesla Motors Electric Vehicle Strategy for South Korea

I am working on two essays, but it is going to be a couple more days before I have either one of them finished. One is about the recent USDA report on the energy return of corn ethanol. This essay will include a look back at how the USDA’s methodology of allocating energy inputs has changed over the years, and how that impacted upon the calculated energy return for ethanol. In the second essay, I will discuss in some detail my graduate school work (which I have never done on this blog), and report on where the process stands today. The process in question is the MixAlco Process and was developed in the lab of my former research advisor, Professor… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 3, 2010 with 87 responses

Will Solar Prices Fall into Grid Parity?

The following is a guest post written by Dan Harding. Dan has written numerous articles on the solar industry, and is a regular contributing author to CalFinder. ———————————- Will Solar Prices Fall into Grid Parity? By Dan Harding The Holy Grail…in solar-speak, it translates roughly to Grid Parity. It is a goal either mythical or predestined, depending on which side of the solar power movement the speaker resides. A recent surge in supply and technology, coupled with increased government subsidies, are tipping the scales toward destiny, although by no means is the path to grid parity set in stone. The rapid fall in prices for solar panels and other system components in an oversupplied and flooded market could continue home solar… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 22, 2010 with 16 responses

Answering Questions on OTEC – Part II

This is the second installment responding to reader questions and comments on ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) by Dr. Robert Cohen. Dr. Cohen’s previous entries are: Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Potential Markets and Benefits from Ocean Thermal Energy Answering Questions on OTEC – Part I RESPONSE TO COMMENTS RE OCEAN THERMAL ENERGY POSTED ON THE R-SQUARED ENERGY BLOG Robert Cohen, February 16, 2010 Environmental, Operational, and CO2 Issues Since the operation of an ocean thermal plant requires the circulation through the plant of a veritable “river of water”, careful design consideration must be given to minimizing effects on the local and downstream temperature distribution with depth. Hence a lot will depend upon how the effluent seawater is discharged following passage… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 21, 2010 with 38 responses

Answering Questions on OTEC – Part I

Dr. Robert Cohen has been involved in ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) since the early 1970′s. He has posted two guest essays here previously: Ocean Thermal Energy ConversionPotential Markets and Benefits from Ocean Thermal Energy Following both essays, a number of questions and concerns were raised, so I asked Dr. Cohen if he would respond. He has written me a thoughtful and detailed response, and I will present it here in two parts. Dr. Cohen also has a website with more information on OTEC. His contact information is available there. Part I is a general commentary on history, current status, and the projections for cost and a market-entry outlook. Part II will delve deeper into the engineering and environmental questions… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 17, 2010 with no responses

Energy Policy and Renewable Hydrocarbons

The following guest essay is by Frank Weigert, a retired DuPont chemist who was involved in some of DuPont’s early work on alternatives to petroleum in the mid-1970′s. This work spurred a lifelong interest in a renewable hydrocarbon economy. Recently Frank sent me an e-mail in which he described his views on a pathway that could lead us away from our dependence on petroleum. It was a very detailed and technically interesting e-mail, and I asked him if we could turn it into an essay for others to read. What developed from that request was the essay below. —————————– Many people find it hard to think rationally about our energy problems because there is so much misinformation and disinformation out… Continue»