The principal challenge of this century, in my view, will be adapting to a life without abundant, cheap fossil fuels. It has been the lifeblood of our society, and turns out to have some really fantastic qualities. The jury is still out as to whether we will develop suitable, and affordable replacements. But additional challenges … Continue reading The energy-water nexus Part I
t’s often forgotten when talking about energy production that environmental impacts stretch far beyond air pollution and emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Less discussed, particularly in the context of electricity generation, is the dependence and impact on fresh water resources that are vital to other industries and ecosystems. If more frequent and intense droughts are … Continue reading When talking power production, we can’t ignore the water factor
The newest estimates of U.S. technical potential for renewable energy generation and capacity were reported recently by scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the U.S. Department of Energy research facility. For the six technologies evaluated, total technical annual generation potential was estimated at 481,800 terawatt-hours and total technical cumulative capacity potential at 212,224 … Continue reading How Much Renewable Potential Does the US Have?
*** Editors Note: One of the most thoughtful and profound articles written recently - particularly coming from an Aramco executive*** Leonardo Maugeri’s recent paper Oil: The Next Revolution on the presumed future abundance of oil supplies rejects the pessimistic outlook of limited increases in oil capacity over the next decade. It suggests global oil capacity … Continue reading Don’t Count on Revolution in Oil Supply
Australian mining giant BHP has lost a quarter of its former market capitalization since its acquisition of US shale acreage from Petrohawk and Chesapeake last year. The company is keen to point out that worldwide economic conditions have impacted the price and volume of the commodities that BHP extracts and sells on a global basis. … Continue reading Shale Gas Assets – Overpriced Or a Liquid Turn for Mining Giant BHP?
In this post, I give an overview of developments in China to create a coal to chemicals industry, primarily using methanol as an intermediary feedstock. In doing this research, to my surprise, I found that the Chinese chemical economy is advancing rapidly in its use of coal as a chemical feedstock, as opposed to crude … Continue reading China’s Coal to Chemical Future
A series of spikes in global food prices resulted in riots in 2008 and contributed to violent uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East in 2011. The culprit is a matter of considerable and frequently heated debate, but the most commonly cited candidates include market speculators, global warming and aggressive government renewable fuel mandates. … Continue reading The Coming Food Crisis: Blame Ethanol?
Rare Earth Metals | The Big Picture.
Most Oil Drum readers will be familiar with the Land Institute’s work and hopes for a perennial agriculture based on future domestication of wild perennial prairie grasses. The Land Institute is a non-profit, and one of its major products is publications. Badgersett Research Corporation (BRC) has been working over the same time period, but with … Continue reading Woody Agriculture – On the Road to a New Paradigm
Daily natural gas spot prices between Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) Zone 4 Marcellus and Henry Hub have diverged recently largely due to rising Marcellus production, which has outpaced the growth of available take—away pipeline capacity in northern Pennsylvania. As a result, the spot price of natural gas at the TGP Zone 4 Marcellus trading point … Continue reading Spot natural gas prices at Marcellus trading point reflect pipeline constraints