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« Emissions from Photovoltaic Life Cycles | Main | Yergin: Climate Change and Energy are Converging into New Era of Clean Energy »

February 24, 2008



Energy Independence Now!

No more Oil Wars!

Stop funding the terrorists!

Drill in Anwar.

Build more nuclear power plants

Use More coal.

Use more natural gas

Turn trash into energy

Double the efficiency of windmills and solar cells.

If France can do nuclear power so can we.

If Brazil can do biomass/ethanol power so can we.

If Australia can do LNG power so can we.

Domestically produced energy will end recession and spur the economy.


Your editorial is typical in that "efficiency technology" is overlooked. With the current limited electricity output from wind and solar, the near term constraints of peak oil and greenhouse gasses, and my personal reluctance to drill in ANWAR or revisit nuclear, I personally perceive the necessity for reducing our energy demand. More than just LED lighting, better insulation and combined cycle industrial implementations, I perceive proven concepts such as residential solar panels, electric cars, net-metering, urban living and mass transit to be essential.

Efficiency technology is here today. However, I understand human habit is the hardest thing to change.

Charles Barton

Luttkus Since the 18th century Numerous technological breakthrews have greately increased the energy efficiency of your society. When the economist W.S. Jevon's looked at increases of energy efficiency on energy use, he discovered that increased energy always lead to greater energy demand. This discovery is called Jevon's paradox, and it has been observed over and ocer since 1865 when Jevon's furst published it. For over thirty years Amory Lovins has been preaching that energy efficiency will solve our energy problems. Since Lovins started his energy efficiency advocacy, quite litterly thousand of breakthroughs in energy efficiency have been made. If Jevon's was wrong and Lovins was right energy use should have dropped. Guess what happened? Jevon's not Lovins was proven right!

Carl Hage

What's interesting to me is that the investors and industry see that bringing CO2 emissions into the economic system will happen. It seems only politicians can't see it, and choke at even thinking of that t-- word that Jim mentions above.

What the industry and economy needs is a cost for CO2, one that reflects the actual cost of avoidance, and one that is predictable.

The cap-and-trade system, though good in attempting to bring emission into the economic system, is neither predictable, nor reflects actual costs other than by luck-- the price is mostly a matter of cap settings and short term issues.

The prior post "The Case for Investing in Energy Productivity" was on the topic of conservation and efficiency. In the report cited, they measure Rate-of-Return/year at 17-30% up to 500% for lighting.

In the case of Google's solar panels, the costs are very predictable (other than future energy price), so they get payback in 7 years, so it makes sense, independent of anything else. I wonder what the gain would be, replacing all the desktops with energy efficient laptops?

I saw a report on the most energy efficient supercomputer (best performance/kW)-- a simple one was made using laptop motherboards. It reminded me of the home brew computing cluster Google made with bulk motherboards, etc. kludged together without cases inside a rack.


So far Jevon's has been proven right. I suspect that in a time of high and increasing energy costs the result might change. But that needs to be demonstrated. To get back to the main topic, BA seems to be making prudent risk analysis. One doesn't need to be green -or advocate a carbon tax in order to factor it into financial risk analysis. This of course does not make carbon more expensive -at least not by $20-$40/ton -but it does make financing for high carbon projects a bit harder to obtain. And it probably raises the issue for the project designers as well.

Charles Barton

bigTom, High energy cost mean that the financing of nuks will be easier. Nuks with their low fuel cycle costs will eventually drive the cost of electricity down. Lower electrical costs will stimulate demand, even with very high efficiencies.

In addition, it is likely that future surface transportation will be powered by electricity. Industrial processes that currently rely on fossil fuels will probably also use electricity. In the future upwards of 80% of energy will be transmitted via electricity. We will then join Walt Whitman in singing the body electric.

David B. Benson

I contradict myself? I contain multitudes.

--- Walt Whitman

Peter Spinney

I can't imagine anything better to blog on. My own personal bank is going to apply a $20-$40 risk premium to financing it does for coal-fired assets, based on CO2 liability. A couple of years ago that would have been equivalent to the cost of coal itself. But that was before the cost of coal skyrocketed, reaching record levels today of $101/ton.

So just a couple of years ago, NeuCo, Inc. was saving customers on average about $1.50 for each mmBtu avoided through efficiency enhancements for coal-fired plants (ignoring NOx and SOx which both are about to increase precipitously and are now factored into bid/dispatch decisions in all organized markets). Now that same avoided mmBtu just a couple years later is worth anywhere between $4-$8.

One would think that the value of our efficiency improvements going up by 3-5x and the value of our NOx reduction increasing by 4-12x over the last two years would actually have some effects on the market demand for our optimizers. Of course this assumes some modicum of economic rationality on the part of our market. I'm not sure there is any. But it will be interesting to see.

Noclegi Ustka

Use more natural gas
Turn trash into energy
Double the efficiency of windmills and solar cells.
That is solution of problem


Bank of America has taken a nice step in showing interest on Green energy and carbon emissions.Coal industry will be with us for a long time,coal is mainly used for electricity.


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Charge controller

The solution as we all know is renewable energy. We have come a long way, but have we really? I grew up with wind mills pumping water on farms. Why did that go away? Was it too "old" technology to use the wind? Now we find we can do so much more with wind and solar. We are on the right track for sure. We will win this battle.

Charge controller

The biggest problem for the average American is the cost of going solar or wind power is the cost. When the average job for solar is in the $20, 30 or $40,000.00 range, most people cannot afford it, or won't pay for it. When the cost becomes more reasonable then great strides will be taken. In San Francisco, I have been told that all new constuction must have solar power. That will make a big difference whar there is no choice and will be financed in the mortgage.

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@poetry man, strong words.

@charge controller,I think the costs involved in going solar and wind powered is now becoming more accessible to the average consumer.

The main point is if you can afford to completely go green, then do what you can afford rather than say its too much or its not worth it and sweep it under the carpet.

Ben from the windmill power at home hub.

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In this case, I see utilities such as AEP and Southern Company rigging the game. A preemptive strike if you will. They obviously see a carbon tax or cap and trade system coming down the pipeline and they obviously see the threat that solar and wind poses to their veritable mints (coal fired plants).

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This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone

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In this case, I see utilities such as AEP and Southern Company rigging the game

Paineis Fotovoltaicos

Frankly I think this is just an excuse from the bank to raise their clients cost and thus increase their own revenue. First they say the utility company presents a risk therefore their loan rates will have to be raised. Pure BS


I would like to see more details about this topic. I'm going to keep coming back here.

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Simplesmente fantastica esta materia esta de parabens o blog.

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Makes me want to open a Bank of America account actually!

Dentist Hollywood

I'm glad to hear the banking industry has an interest in this- you would HOPE that the government would be invested in working on this but obviously they aren't.

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Interesting that B of A is assessing the cost of carbon, a carbon tax would be good.

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Solar and wind energy resources would be great and though I understand that we cannot 'control' these elements I would think we would have the capabilities of harnessing them fairly soon.

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I don't understand why so many people are uneducated in this area, since B of A was doing this have they tried actually educating their customers at least about the use of energy? They are a huge
bank and should not only contribute money to these causes but should also use their far-reaching abilities to affect the general public.

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Too bad the coal industry will be with us for a long time, I had hoped that as a collective whole we could work together to create positive change. Some people care, most do not.

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I have Bank of America!

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Do you think they're doing this because they can stand to make a lot of money? Or because they really want to be helpful to the environment.

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Informative post I like it. I never read such awesome post before. It's really helpful to me. I always in search of this types of post. Thanks for sharing with us.

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