According to EPA, mobile sources emitted 31 percent of all U.S. GHG emissions in 2007 and have been the fastest-growing source of U.S. GHG emissions since 1990.
Example footprint targets for popular vehicle models are shown in Table 2.
James Hansen champions an alternative solution to address climate change called “fee and dividend” which would impose a fee on any pollution source (mines, wells, ports of entry) and distribute the revenue back to the public. Both “fee and dividend” and “cap and trade” attempt to reduce carbon emissions by raising the price of fossil fuels, but Hansen insists that the former is simpler, more effective, and less vulnerable to speculation and gaming. I agree with him.
A pollution tax is the easiest way to incentivize alternative technology and energy efficiency. Give the dividends back to legal citizens, just like Governor Palin did in Alaska.
Cap and trade would create bloated bureaucracies, gaming and corruption. Fee and dividend would promote clean energy without the bureaucracy. Right now America seems to lag behind many other industrialized countries in developing clean technology. We are addicted to cheap coal and oil. Those countries that lead the way to clean energy will benefit economically because they will develop clean technologies and services that they can eventually export to the rest of the world as the demand for clean energy grows.
Interview with Climate Scientist James Hansen on Why He’s Pleased the Copenhagen Summit Failed, “Cap and Fade,” Climategate
Renewable Energy World did an in depth podcast on the solar thermal earlier this year that I just listened to last week. It’s a good listen for anyone interested in solar energy technoloogy to heat their domestic hot water, what types of technology are out there, and some important things to consider before selecting a solar thermal system.
Listen to the Podcast: Realizing the Potential of Solar Thermal
When was the last time you checked your electric and gas utility rates? You may pay twice as much as you would pay if you called your supplier – or shopped for a competitor – for the best, most recent tariff.
Natural gas prices are very volatile. Tariffs change every quarter. If NYMEX natural gas prices drop, or natural gas futures drop; you could be stuck with the previous, higher tariff, unless you call to ask for the best available tariff each quarter. But be careful when you switch suppliers. There may be hidden charges, such as the “gas cost adjustment charge”, which typically varies between $0.70 and $2.80 per MCF per month. No utility in PA has been able to define this particular charge for me.
Gas rates have dropped significantly in 2009. Unregulated suppliers obviously know to play the game, but residential consumers are not so up to speed, based on my experience and what I am reading: “PUC: Effective natural gas competition doesn’t exist.”
Many consumers have no idea where to start and who to call in order to start shopping for the best competitive supply tariffs. Some utilities have several competitive suppliers of gas or electric. Others only have one supply. Each state is different, and each utility is different.
Further c0mplicating the comparisons in PA, we have that nebulous “gas cost adjustment charge”. As I said, it’s not clear how the utility determines this charge each month, but I do know that it changes monthly or quarterly, and you may or may not have to pay it, depending on which gas supplier you choose. Unfortunately this type of nebulous, hidden charge doesn’t make it any easier for consumers to compare gas tariffs.
As a consumer I would rather see my regulated utility company collectively bargain with the suppliers serving my market and take care of that supply side transaction, to make sure that I the consumer am always getting the best available supply tariff ($/mcf of natural gas), and then simply pass that rate along to me, plus the local distribution tariffs, plus the customer charge. If the supply falls, the price would go up and I would pay it. If they supply goes up, the price would fall and I would pay it. In my ideal system I would always get the market price without me having to work the phones every quarter, sift through the various hidden charges to try to compare and shop for the best supply side tariffs.
But that’s not how the game works. At least, not in most states.
The way it works in most states is that every residential consumer has to work his or her phones, and compare the various charges and tariffs throughout the year, in order to make sure that he or she is getting the best deal at any given moment. Your supplier will NOT notify you if their “going rate” suddenly drops. You have to call them and ask them for it. Or you might find a competitive supplier with a better supply tariff plus charges. They press a button, and voila! Your rate changes! But watch out for those hidden fees! Oh, and don’t forget. You may need to do this for both electric and gas!
There are winners and losers in this game. If you have internet access and patience, you may have an advantage. If you don’t give a damn, you will probably lose given today’s volatile natural gas prices. There are websites to help electric and gas utility customers navigate this mess. For example in Pennsylvania, you can visit a website affiliated with the state Office of Consumer Advocate, where they publish a natural gas shopping guide, updated monthly. And they have a similar shopping guide for electric. I added these links on the EnergyAnalysis links page. These guides are also available in PA by mail by calling 1-800-684-6560.
If you live in another state, do a google search, or call your public utility commission or state consumer agency to find similar shopping guides. Good luck!
This tutorial is housed on the official BACnet website with a growing list of tutorials at http://www.bacnet.org/Tutorial/index.html, including:
- “BACnet – A Tutorial Overview”
- “Understanding BACnet Encoding”
- BACnet – Der neue Standard für die Gebäudeautomation
Eight utilities in the U.S., Canada and India are teaming up with Google in smart meter projects that will enable customers to monitor their energy use online and better manage their power consumption.
In partnership with FPL Group, Cisco Systems, and start-up Silver Spring Networks, GE is preparing a major Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) initiative in Miami.
Most natural gas customers in the U.S. have the ability to lower their commodity price at any time. There are usually two or three competitors in any given territory, and you can call each of them to get the lowest possible commodity supply tariff at any time, and as often as you wish in some territories. Each supplier will quote you a new tariff (for example $10 or $11 per thousand cubic feet gas) that you may keep for up to 12 months or some specified time frame. If you sign up for a lower tariff with an alternative supplier, your local gas utility monopoly will continue billing you, but your next bill will reflect the lower commodity tariff.
The 12-volt lead-acid battery used in traditional automotive applications has given way to higher energy density batteries as the automobile industry moves toward further electrification. The advent of hybrid electric vehicles in the past decade gave way to mass production of nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) batteries in automobiles, which have twice the energy density of lead-acid batteries. Now the demand for long range electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the coming decade is giving way to mass production of lithium-ion batteries in automobiles with twice the energy density of Ni-MH batteries. The lithium ion battery offers 100-150 Watt hours per kilogram, Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) offers 65-70 Wh/kg, and lead-acid offers 30-40 Wh/kg.
According to an “EIA in Brief“, government controlled companies, or “nationalized” companies, control most of current production (52% in 2007) and proven reserves (88% in 2007). That is, 88% of the world’s oil is controlled by nationalized companies like Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia), Pemex (Mexico), and PDVSA (Venezuela), which use money from their oil exports to support domestic government programs and discount prices for domestic customers. U.S. oil resources are not nationalized. U.S. oil resources are controlled by Chevron, Exxon, Shell, and other international oil companies that control about 12% oil the world’s proven oil reserves.