Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Energy Demand Will Rise--and Carbon Emissions Will Rise Too

Demand for energy will increase because energy use rises with real economic growth.

For decades, Americans have been made to feel guilty because America's oil consumption is roughly 25% of the world's total.   The media has implied that you've somehow been energy "pigs".   Yes, there is a high level of affluence here, but the simpler reality is that the US economy has been about 25% of the world's economy.   Energy use is in proportion to GDP.   Now the US economy is only 19% of the world's economy.

If there's growth, there will be increasing energy demand.  But the West is getting more energy efficient, so energy use is barely rising despite slow but growing economies.  It is the emerging markets whose energy demand is growing rapidly. China's energy consumption (and carbon emissions) is rocketing upward at a much higher rate than suggested by their GDP growth.  Perhaps it's because China is taking on the energy intensive industries such as steel production and aluminum smelting from the West.

ALL of this talk about reducing global carbon emissions is just that: talk.  Carbon emissions will be rising for decades to come.  Kyoto and any other climate change accords are absurd--there will be NO reduction of CO2 for as far as the eye can see.   After decades of talk and small pilot facilities, there is not a single power plant in the world whose CO2 is being captured and sequestered.   The USA has 10,000 power plants alone, so you can see how daunting the task is!

The world's temperatures have risen about 1.6 degrees F in 50 years, so it's hardly a crisis.  But I explain in my blog Global Warming Extremism that the global warming "alarmist" predictions are overdone.  For example, there are new studies that show that the extreme scenarios are not as likely as the fear mongers believe.  Scientists don't know much and their models are not yet accurate in predicting reality.

  • If there are no recovery of carbon dioxide and sequestration at power plants , then electric cars will not reduce carbon dioxide emissions.   It still might still be economical to use an electric car in the USA if your power costs are low in your area.  50% of electrical power in the USA is from more inexpensive coal, another 20% from both natural gas, 20% from nuclear, 7% from hydroelectric.  Notice that wind, solar is less than 1% of power generation.
  • Hydrogen cars will not reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  Hydrogen is  too expensive, it uses methane as a feedstock and the manufacturing process for hydrogen emits CO2!!  You will be more energy efficient and less costly to operate a car on natural gas.  Hydrogen is a complete bust in every sense.
  • Ethanol is not cost effective as it has much lower energy per gallon than petrol but is more costly than petrol.  Using corn for producing ethanol is hurting food prices too.  It has only been used because of a subsidy from the Federal Government.

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