2011 July 15

The Master Resource Report  2011-07-15

IEA EIA Opec on oil supplies in 2011-12.    (page 1 ) 

“…fossil fuels won’t be enough..”.    (page 1 )

The U.S. trade deficit: Oil matters more than China.   (page 2 )

Your gasoline could be $0.58/g cheaper, yes there is a catch.   (page 3 )

20% of global wind power is in the U.S.   (page 3 )

Dilithium crystal, solar panels on paper & ocean power.   (page 4 )


The Bloom isn’t gone

Remember the Bloom Box? Well it isn’t gone and it continues to made inroads with some high profile companies. “AT&T said it plans to install 7.5 MW of Bloom’s fuel cells, which it calls Bloom Energy Servers or Bloom Boxes, at 11 AT&T offices in California, including Redwood City, San Jose and San Diego. AT&T will use the fuel cell power for administration offices, data centers and facilities that house network equipment.”


AT&T’s motive are twofold, first to capture some carbon reductions and to test a possible backup power source similar to that being done by Sprint. “AT&T’s 7.5 MW fuel cell deal, or roughly 75 Bloom Boxes, is a large one for Bloom. Each Bloom Server provides 100 kW of power each, and costs between $700,000 and $800,000 before subsidies, so AT&T is likely spending in the $50 million range before subsidies for this carbon-reducing tactic.” [Compare these to the 150 kW wave power buoys on page 4 of this week’s report.]


By providing the expected 7.5 megawatts AT&T plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% or close to 250 million pounds of CO2 annually. So why doesn’t it reduce it by 100%? Aren’t fuel cells zero pollution running on hydrogen?


The Bloom Box is tied into the natural gas system (it could potentially also run on other hydrocarbon or hydrogen sources) which provides the hydrogen through a process called reforming. It therefore releases CO2 but at a lower level per kilowatt than more traditional thermal methods. A video animation is available on the Bloom Energy web page that does a good job of illustrating the process.


While Bloom Energy is not a public company there is an investment idea buried in this news. Can you find it???


For more on fuel cells and solid state fuel cells in particular the U.S. Department of Energy web page is a good place to look.


A or B?

“Which sounds better? A) The Obama administration should be doing more to develop U.S. oil-and-gas reserves. Or, B) The Obama administration should be doing more to deplete U.S. oil-and-gas reserves.”


But as Richard Heinberg explains in his article on the Post Carbon Institute web page you are being set-up. “It’s a trick question. Let me explain: What does it mean to develop  non-renewable resources? Extract, mine, dig up, disperse, burn. When we develop muscles or skills, we have more at the end of the process than when we started. When we develop non-renewable resources, we have . . . less.”


So one might ask an interesting question, is it more patriotic to use our children’s domestic legacy in natural resources or make sure we leave some intact for them.


“We did not inherit the Earth from our parents; we are borrowing it from our children”.

- Chief Seattle (1788-1866)


Think about that quote the next time you look your kids or grandkids in the eye.