Re: [DML] Fuel cost (WAS: Alternate Fuels)
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Re: [DML] Fuel cost (WAS: Alternate Fuels)

On Mar 5, 2012, at 3:21 PM, jtrealtywebspannet wrote:

> Crude oil is also a finite non-renewable resource. Not many Dinosaurs left to get Dino Juice out of! It is getting harder and harder (read more expensive) to extract it from the earth so it costs more. Adding to that is the ever increasing burden of regulation and taxation. Now they are putting "carbon credits tax" on top of all of the other taxes that will make energy cost even more. The hard fact is gasoline (and all hydrocarbon based energy) is going to get more and more expensive. When it reaches a tipping point and becomes financially cheaper to use other forms of energy we will see a lot more choices. None will be cheaper, just more readily available. The great question is how much will the last gallon of gas cost? The obvious answer is, "Too much".
> David Teitelbaum

I agree with all of this except the "none will be cheaper" part. Energy will only be expensive as long as it is scarce. There is no law of nature that requires energy to be scarce (at least not for a very, very long time).  The problem is funding the R&D necessary to make one or more of the obvious alternative energy sources practical.  That is just not going to happen at the necessary scale until it makes economic sense to invest, and that won't be until oil is reliably expensive. It probably won't be long until that requirement has been met, but we're not there yet.  When American gas is permanently at $10/gallon, we will have practical alternatives in the wink of an eye (relatively speaking). I am not making any prediction as to what the Next Big Thing in energy will be, but whatever it is, there is no reason to doubt that it will follow the same dramatically-falling cost curves as all other modern technologies.  This assumes, however, that the eventual winner will be genuinely renewable, or at least be nowhere near its point of scarcity.   Yes, coal can in principle meet this requirement--there is plenty available. But whether the necessary carbon-sequestering technologies will prove feasible is a very open question (this wasn't a requirement at the turn of the 20th Century, but it certainly is now).  I'd put my money on some form of solar, but that implies much better batteries, and the technical feasibility of that is another open question.   We'll see...

--Pete Lucas
  VIN #06703

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