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Who's using all the heating oil?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by begreen, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Dune...

    Yup, I know we don't use much oil for electric generation. Its mostly coal and gas. But those are fossil fuels also, and even though we may have decades yet they will also peak and decline eventually.

    As to the energy use.. a typical gasoline engine converts, what , 25% or less of the fuels energy into work rihgt? Ok, so an electic motor can be potentially 90% efficient. Plus the gains of regenerative braking, etc. But to that efficiency you have to subtract losses in transmission and battery charging. And then there is the power plant... what the efficnecy of a typical gas power plant... maybe 40 - 50% ? Overall I agree the electric has an edge but I dont think its huge.

    As to coal. Yup we have all we need for now. But when we start having trouble securing enough oil and there are not enough electric cars to go around what do you think the next best option will be? Im betting we will turn to CTL. I don't think ethanol will scale up without putting major pressure on the food supply and there is precedent for countries with oil shortages turning to CTL (south africa, etc).

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  2. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Let me toss out an interesting theory.

    Jevon's paradox. Look it up. Adds a whole new view of peak oil, peak food, etc.

    Jevon basically says that increased efficiency actually leads to more consumption, not less.
  3. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    You nailed it!
  4. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    http://peakoildebunked.blogspot.com/2005/12/180-jevons-paradox-refuted.html

    Another theory based entirely on one persons misinterpretation and then taken as fact for centuries.

    Of course the demand for coal increased after the invention of the steam engine. Demand for fuel created a new market.

    This has nothing to do whatsoever with fuel efficiency and every thing to do with work efficiency.

    What is there to argue about? There is a finite amount of oil. When we use it all it is gone. Do you deny this fact?
  5. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I read this article http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-path-to-sustainable-energy-by-2030 It makes clear a path by which fossil fuels can be elininated within 20 years, using current tech. Integral to this plan is all manner of alternative energy conversions. Will we go this far this soon? I don't know, kind of doubt it. We could though, and the only way it will happen is in small steps, millions of them all other world. Waiting for the "solution" to be discovered is like being an ostrich.
    If those of us who can, on a personel level, do everything within our means, the solution becomes nearer.

    It is time to look at this problem selfishly. When I stopped burning oil for home heat, I saved thousands of dollars a year, every year. When I stop using electricity from the grid, I will save more thousands every year. When I stop using gasoline, I will save more thousands. When I stop using lettuce from across the world, I will again save money. All of these actions put dollars in my pocket and reduce the drain on resources.
  6. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Just as important as using less fuel to me is where does it come from. My home heating appliance was constructed 40 miles from where i live,not in china as some kerosene and wood heaters are. Also the fuel sources for my heater are less than 10 miles in any direction, not saudi arabia or some other country. I think our economy is just as sick as our environment and needs us to support local industries. Also im not likely to suffer from supply shortages and problems involving transporting other heating fuels long distances.

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