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Posts tagged “reader submission”

By Robert Rapier on Dec 29, 2008 with no responses

Final Comments on Solar Posts

I am going to be offline for a few more days, enjoying some time with the family. In the interim, Tom Standing has sent some detailed replies to some of the comments following his posts Arizona Solar Power Project and Ambitious Solar Plans in France. —————————— Here is some additional material in response to a few of the comments that were submitted regarding my essays on the solar project in Arizona and the solar plan for France. First is a general comment about my intent with the two essays. I am merely attempting to contribute some hard-edged reality to many solar proposals that do not seem to have been adequately appraised through the conceptual engineering process. The value and scale… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 22, 2008 with 8 responses

Ambitious Solar Plans in France; Solar Capacity Factors

The following guest post was written by Tom Standing, a “semi-retired, part-time civil engineer for the City of San Francisco.” In Part 1, Tom took a critical look at a 280 MW solar thermal plant in Arizona. Here in Part 2, Tom examines France’s ambitious solar plans. ——————— The December 1 issue of the Oil and Gas Journal carried a “Quick Take” article about France’s “national plan for renewable energies” that they unveiled on November 17. Their plan includes all the popular ideas for alternative energy: biomass, wind, hydro, waves and tides, with a major emphasis on solar. For now France has 13 megawatts of installed capacity in solar, but the energy minister wants solar to be a whopping 5,400… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 20, 2008 with 1 response

Arizona Solar Power Project, Calculations

The following guest post was written by Tom Standing, a “semi-retired, part-time civil engineer for the City of San Francisco.” In Part 1, Tom takes on the calculations for a 280 MW solar thermal plant in Arizona that I looked at back in February. My conclusion from that essay was that the electrical demands of the U.S. could in theory be met on 10,000 square miles of land. Tom peels the onion a few more layers and puts the energy production into perspective. While solar calculations are by no means second nature to me, I see no obvious errors in Tom’s calculations. But I consider peer review to be a very useful component of my blog, and I know that… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 18, 2008 with no responses

The Next Secretary of Energy: Will He Flinch & Cave to the Fossil Fuel Culture?

The following guest submission is from a poster who wishes to be identified as ‘Silverthorne-Cebes’, and describes himself as: “Economist, retired; passionate about; ocean energy, development of eco-batteries for transportation, global debt repudiation, and research on oil culture created environmental disasters.” The bulk of this essay was initially posted as a comment following one of my essays, but I felt that it was extensive enough that it warranted a stand alone post. There are some very controverserial and debatable points in the essay, so let the debate begin. Actually, I will let the rest of you begin the debate, because if all goes according to plan I should be somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean – heading West – when this… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 15, 2008 with no responses

Seeking Reader Input for a Book Project

It should be clear that I enjoy writing. Over the past three years, I have written 665 essays for this blog, a book chapter on renewable diesel in Biofuels, Solar and Wind as Renewable Energy Systems, 130 essays for The Oil Drum, and essays for numerous other web sites. I write for different reasons, but primarily because I enjoy it and I like to share knowledge. I also enjoy the occasional sparring that goes along with the writing. (As someone once said to me, it seems that I like wearing a black hat). I have been approached semi-seriously on a couple of occasions about writing a book, and on other occasions about giving up the blog to write exclusively for… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 18, 2008 with no responses

The Credit Crisis Joins the Energy Crisis

I am presently in Europe, and short on time for posting, but I just received a timely contribution by e-mail. It is quite long, and I have only had time to skim it. Therefore, I won’t say that I agree or disagree with the details of the report; only that I see some interesting points worthy of discussion. Some of the points are sure to be controversial. I have edited some typos in the first few paragraphs, but no time right now to edit the entire essay. The full report may be found at http://www.planck.org/. ——————————————— The Credit Crisis joins the Energy Crisis: Creating the Perfect Storm Amsterdam, October 18, 2008 Robert, Hereby I send you a copy of the… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Aug 22, 2008 with no responses

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

There are several potential sources of alternative energy that I think are quite promising, but don’t get nearly the press of wind or solar power. Geothermal power is one. There are already a number of geothermal power plants in operation around the world, but you wouldn’t know it by the amount of press coverage. Iceland derives 20% of their electricity and nearly 90% of their heating from geothermal power, but in terms of total megawatts the U.S. is the world’s largest producer of geothermal energy (covered in a previous post here). Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is another potential energy source that gets little press. Think of OTEC as a big heat pump that operates off of the temperature differences… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Aug 11, 2008 with no responses

A Reader Critiques My Energy Plan

While I have done a lot of critiquing on my blog, reader Evan Mitchell turned the tables on me and provided a thorough critique of the energy plan I recently proposed in An Open Letter to Our Next President. Evan sent it to me by e-mail, and I asked and received permission to publish it here. Other than a bit of formatting, it is as I received it. Portions of the plan I initially proposed are in blockquotes in the text. Regular readers know that my main purpose here is to engage in and foster debate around our energy policy, and it is with that in mind that I present Evan’s critique below. —————————- Hi Robert, I read your energy… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 8, 2008 with no responses

Guest Essay on Energy Independence

I am still traveling for a few days, and will be back in Scotland on January 13th. One of the e-mails I received while I was traveling was a guest submission. The author wrote: Mr. Rapier After reading a bit of your blog, I am sending this to you in the spirit of promoting a lively debate. Please find attached a practical approach to achieving energy independence. It is a construction project rather than a research project. It does require some tinkering with the market; however, the energy market is not a free market today and the governments setting the price of oil are either overtly or covertly hostile to our interests. The plan is simple and for the most… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 22, 2007 with no responses

My Top 10 Energy Stories of 2007

First, thanks to all who contributed ideas. You may have an entirely different opinion on the most important energy stories. Feel free to share it. Many of these stories were contributed by various readers. Comments by readers are italicized. If you want to know who wrote what, you can see the entire comment thread here. Here are my Top 10 Energy Stories of 2007 1. Oil price soars as media becomes Peak Oil aware One reason I felt pretty safe in making the $1,000 bet on oil prices is that a move from $60 – the price in January – to $100 – the price at which I would lose the bet – would be unprecedented. Of course a worldwide… Continue»