Energy- A lot of our problems are the result of non-market distortions caused by congress imposing non-market ideas on what should be Free-Markets. Subsidies and tax credits cause us to do the wrong things in the wrong ways. Free Markets will straighten this out. I do believe there are looming problems with insufficient energy. But Congressional feel-good legislation has only made things worse. While free markets will straighten out these mistakes best and will be more effective in meeting the future. People who want gasohol should form a corporation and do it – but not at public expense.
Summary of my understanding:
Peak Oil as described by Marion King Hubbert is correct in regards to conventional oil that can be discovered and pumped cheaply. Shale-oil and Fracking is much more expensive, maybe 8 times more, which means there is a lot more oil available than what M. King Hubbert believed. But it is much more expensive. Price levels are discovered at the margin.
Abiogenic Oil as described by Thomas Gold, the astronomer, is possible. But I don’t think it changes our reality.
Gasohal is dependent on subsidies to corn production, ethanol production, and tarrifs on Brazilian ethanol production. This non-market pricing exists across our economy and is causing poor price signals resulting in poor economic decisions. I wish the subsidies and tarriffs would disappear. The Free-Markets would price ethanol out of gasoline and corn would be priced back to the feedlot.
Windmills are not economic on a commercial scale and should not be subsidized by government in any way. If individuals want to subsidize windmills, great! But it should be at their own expense and not at public expense (as they are now.) They are not green. They are expensive.
Photo-Voltaic is a really cool technology and I think the panels are pretty cheap. I will probably buy one. But they only make sense ror isolated uses, not as a system. The government should definitely not subsidize photovoltaics as Obama subsidized Solyndra which went bankrupt.
Solar-Thermal is cost effective if implemented on an individual basis. As part of a government program it is a waste. The Federal Government should end all subsidies to Solar-Thermal implementations. A lot of ingenious Solar-Thermal designs have been built in spite of the government. We would all be better off if there were no building codes so that individuals could freely experiment with solar thermal designs.
Hydro-electric is a great source of clean cheap energy. There is no signifigant new supply.
Household LPG or natural gas Co-generation Normal grid generated electricity is about 35%-40% efficient. Most of the innefficiency is lost to heat. The idea of co-generation is to generate the electricity in home with a small natural gas motor or LPG, and then capture the heat from the exhaust giving a combined efficiency of 92%. Honda is one of the leaders in this technology.
Nuclear Reacters are not all equal. Thorium reactors are probably a safer reactor than the Uranium 238 reactors, but I haven’t studied it and do not have an opinion. Other than reactor manufacturers need to be held accountable for design or manufacturer failures.