Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

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luukje
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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by luukje »

[quote=""I__CHAOS__I""]
I was happy to see that electric scooters are very commonly used in china now. Not only much better for the enviroment, but they also don't make such terrible noice (which is what I hate about most bikers)

[/quote]

dont tell blackadder!

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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by IndyBrit »

[quote=""luukje""]
And dont put you money on hybrid cars, a recent german survey got the best conventional models being 25% cleaner then hybrids.

And what about those 2-3 billion asians waiting to start consuming like we do? They want a car first, and to travel and a neat home, and.... once they got that, maybe then they will think about going for a better world.
[/quote]

OK - so which is it? Us trying to consume or the "big oil companies" wanting us to keep consuming. (Hint: they are us) Further hint if needed - there are big oil companies in Europe and the U.S., and they only seem to have this magic control over consumers in one of the two places. Hmm.

I'm not sure what your German "survey" (study?) can possibly mean. For example, if we take your "best conventional model" and then make it a hybrid, it's cleaner yet. So how can it be 25% cleaner than hybrids, unless it's being compared to a hybrid that was already designed, and for some other purpose than being clean? Hybrids are the future for the next 25+ years until we figure out how to generate electricity without fossil fuels.

Incidentally - even Europe can't do that yet. They are about maxed on hydro power (to the extent that in some places the hydro environmental consequences are being challenged), and nuclear doesn't seem to be expanding but that may change. Although Europe generates a large amount of their electricity without hydrocarbons right now, anything being generated for cars is incremental above what is already made, and very few places on earth have current extra capacity that would not come from fossil fuels.

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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by Soccerman771 »

The thing about energy that's always "concerned" me is how ignorant people seem to be about what impacts the environment. How many people know that the manufacturing of electricity is the most pollutinous industry in the world. Cutting home electricity use by 20% will do more to help the environment than almost anything you can do with fuel consumption, but that's a different conversation. I agree w/shoot_bogey about the conspiracy. It helps no one if people can travel to vacation destination and spend money because all their $$ went into the gas tank.

The "real" solution to the fuel "crisis" is to find a cleaner and more efficient way to refine crude into fuel. With refinaries being so pollutinous and expensive to build and maintain it's very difficult to justify spending the cash to have them built. Come on the last refinarie in the US was built in 1976... We have been forced into importing refined fuel for consumption and that leave us vulnerable to the world economy and supply/demand.

I paid $3.60 this morning (I thought it was a typo on the sign) and filled my car with 11.57 gallons of regular unleaded for $41.41 (I get a $.03 cent/gallon discount). I've had the car for over 10 years. Back then it cost $13.76 to fill it up. That's a 300% increase over 10 years. Inflation is about 3% per year. Like previous posters have said, you ain't seen nothing yet.
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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by I__CHAOS__I »

[quote=""Soccerman771""] How many people know that the manufacturing of electricity is the most pollutinous industry in the world. [/quote]

there are enough ways to generate electricity without polluting, but it's not widely used yet. Wind/water/solar power should def replace coal-fired power plants.
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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by luukje »

[quote=""IndyBrit""]

I'm not sure what your German "survey" (study?) can possibly mean. For example, if we take your "best conventional model" and then make it a hybrid, it's cleaner yet. So how can it be 25% cleaner than hybrids, unless it's being compared to a hybrid that was already designed, and for some other purpose than being clean? Hybrids are the future for the next 25+ years until we figure out how to generate electricity without fossil fuels.
[quote]

The survey included a real life comparison of the best hybrids available (toyota prius, the honda model, lexus) and compared those with the cleanest versions of normal cars: VW golf bluemotion, Seat ibiza Ecomotive, Ford focus econetic,... The hybrids used 25% more fossil fuel than the classic cars.
I agree that hybrids - or electric cars or anything else are a better option for the future, but this shows how much fast improvements on the existing models can reduce pollution with 10% or 20% until hybrids are performing like they should be.

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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by Soccerman771 »

[quote=""I__CHAOS__I""][quote=""Soccerman771""] How many people know that the manufacturing of electricity is the most pollutinous industry in the world. [/quote]

there are enough ways to generate electricity without polluting, but it's not widely used yet. Wind/water/solar power should def replace coal-fired power plants.[/quote]

Doesn't have to be, but it is. There is no incentive for the coal-power plants to be torn down and have cleaner forms of energy as the main source. I think it is similar to the gas car 'situation' where the price needs to get to a certain level before something is done.

Another example is this. Why isn't there legislation to have solar power built-in to all new homes/apartments being constructed? This would add between 10K and 20K to the price of the house and the pay-back would be between 3-4 years and after that you'd be making money.
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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by IndyBrit »

OK - let's get into this solar power home thing.

Take 3 places in the US: Chicago, San Francisco, and Phoenix. These receive average sun hours of 2.5, 4, and 5.

A typical solar panel system is going to cost you $7 per Watt, and is about 1 square foot per 10 Watts. A typical home uses about 1,000 KWH/month. Therefore, in chicago you need a ( 1,000,000 / 2.5 / 30 = ) 13,333 Watt system. Your system is going to cost you $93,000, and will be about 1333 square feet, or rougly a 42' by 30' panel. Your system will last about 30 years before needing replacement. For your $93,000, you have created a stream of income valued at $85/month based on the current cost of electricity in Chicago, which is a return of 1.1% per year.

An MIT study concluded that carbon capture costs, at the high end, about 8 cents per KWH, or it would roughly double the cost of electricity in a city like Chicago. So if person A puts $93,000 into solar panels he gets a 1.1% return. If I put $93,000 at only 5% return, I can pay my $85 electric bill, pay my $80 carbon capture fee, and pocket the remaining $222 per month.

In San Francisco, the base cost is $58,000 with electricity about 10 cents per KWH, for a return of 2.1% on the investment. In Phoenix, the base cost is $46,600 and I have to fabricate an electricity cost so say 10 cents per KWH, for a return of 2.6% on the investment.

Therefore, even in Phoenix at 5% return on my $46,400, with the highest carbon capture estimate available, the solar panel system nets me only $5 per month.

I conclude that solar panels in most areas of the United States (and the math should be similar for Europe) make no darn sense whatsoever, even if emissions are your only criteria for measurement. Further, even in places where it may be mildly suggested (e.g. Phoenix), by the time we figure in the distribution and installation of individual panels versus a single-point carbon capture plant, I'm not sure the math works out anywhere.

Should solar be part of a diversified energy plan where lots of things contribute? Probably. But any knee-jerk why aren't we doing this plan is probably not the right way to go.

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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by Palehorse »

Some Data

Energy Density of Common Fuels - This is how much energy per unit mass can be derived from a material (in (MJ) MegaJoules per (Kg)Kilogram). Below is a theoretical limit in comparison to common technologies (Note: Gasoline and Diesel are also shown in energy per unit volume, since they are sold on a volume basis):

- Theoretical Mass-Energy = 89,876,000,000 MJ/Kg
- A typical fission Nuclear Reactor = 88,250,000 MJ/Kg
- Compressed Natural Gas = 53.6 MJ/Kg
- Propane (and propane accessories :-P ) = 49.6 MJ/Kg
- Gasoline = 46.9 MJ/Kilogram (Note: 34.6 MJ/Liter)
- Diesel = 45.8 MJ/Kilogram (Note: 38.7 MJ/Liter)
- Lithium Ion Battery (nanowire) = 2.6 MJ/Kg
- Hydrogen Fuel Cell - 1.62 MJ/Kg
- Hydro Power (Water Behind a 100 meter Dam) = 0.001 MJ/Kg

Of all Fuels listed, only the fisssion Nuclear exists in sufficient quantities to last us as long as the earth should be inhabitable. But because of the "Nuclear Boogy Man" we are years away from fully utilizing it (thank you dumbass coalplant engineer who ran Chernobyl 1 into the ground, and a few other incompetents).
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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by Soccerman771 »

Well, can we at least agree that gas costs are OP and need a nerf?
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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by IndyBrit »

@ PaleHorse: interesting way to look at it. We do have enough coal for about 1,000 years, enough oil shale & tar sand for maybe 300 years, and enough solar (if we want to cover the entire Sahara, say) to perpetually power ourselves.

Also - just a comment on my prior post - you will note that a solar panel in Chicago NEVER pays out, since it has to be replaced after only paying 1/3 of the panel (less if you want to get into NPV calculations). In fact, based on 30 years the Phoenix panel doesn't pay out either. Not that paying out is required, as we're trying to reduce emissions so we may be willing to incur a cost, I'm just saying the notion that this pays for itself is not consistent with the facts.

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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by IndyBrit »

[quote=""Soccerman771""]Well, can we at least agree that gas costs are OP and need a nerf?[/quote]

LOL. We need a gas thoroughbred card. :-P

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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by Soccerman771 »

[quote=""IndyBrit""]@ PaleHorse: interesting way to look at it. We do have enough coal for about 1,000 years, enough oil shale & tar sand for maybe 300 years, and enough solar (if we want to cover the entire Sahara, say) to perpetually power ourselves.

Also - just a comment on my prior post - you will note that a solar panel in Chicago NEVER pays out, since it has to be replaced after only paying 1/3 of the panel (less if you want to get into NPV calculations). In fact, based on 30 years the Phoenix panel doesn't pay out either. Not that paying out is required, as we're trying to reduce emissions so we may be willing to incur a cost, I'm just saying the notion that this pays for itself is not consistent with the facts.[/quote]

The problem with the bolded part is that it leaves the U.S. in the same situation because we remain dependent on a foreign source of energy.
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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by IndyBrit »

[quote=""Soccerman771""]
The problem with the bolded part is that it leaves the U.S. in the same situation because we remain dependent on a foreign source of energy.[/quote]

I was just going for a description of scale. Pick your deserts, we have a couple ourselves. Europe is in a real pickle from a solar perspective, though. High population density mixed with few regions of high sun intensity.

I think a quite valid point suggested by your comments though, is that any single fix is going to be vulnerable to whatever problems are associated with it. That is a definite lesson we should take away from over-reliance on fossil fuels as our energy source.

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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by Lokelo »

Well, I'm currently working on a project looking at microalgae for the production of biodiesel. Unfortunately, I'm too busy working at the moment to write anything in more detail... :roll:
But to sum it up, biodiesel is a good replacement of petroleum diesel. It's renewable and carbon neutral (you take CO2 away from the atmosphere and burn it up again, in contrast to petroleum fuel which frees "CO2" from underground storage places), algae are highly productive compared to biodiesel from food crops (Soybeans in the US and I think own in Europe), biodiesel actually runs cleaner than petroleum diesel, a diesel engine is more efficient than an engine running on gasoline and some form of biodiesel could even be used as fuel for airplanes. To supply the worlds entire airfleet you would have to cover the entire area of Europe with foodcrops, if using mircoalgae you would only have to cover belgium (data from 2004).

I try to write some more if there is some interest in this topic... and if I find the time ;-)

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Re: Can Gas Cost get any Higher ?

Post by IndyBrit »

Lokelo,
Algae-based biodiesel is very exciting stuff, and could certainly be a piece of the long-term puzzle. I would like to hear more about where that's at - when you find the time. :D

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