Entries by Richard T. Stuebi

Thoughts from Shell

Last week, Shell’s US President John Hofmeister came to Cleveland as part of a US tour to offer Shell’s perspectives on national energy security. Hofmeister made some interesting comments at a private reception and at a luncheon at the City Club: World oil supply at 85 million barrels per day was barely exceeding world oil […]

Peter Schwartz on The Future of Energy

Peter Schwartz is one of the most influential progenitors of scenario planning, dating back from his work at Royal Dutch/Shell in which he helped the company foresee the rise and fall of oil prices in the 1970’s and 1980’s. He subsequently wrote a widely-read book about envisioning the future called The Art of the Long […]

The 2030 Challenge

An architect from Santa Fe named Ed Mazria is passionate about the need to dramatically reduce the energy intensity of residential/commercial buildings, which are responsible for about 48% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Driven by his commitment, Ed devised The 2030 Challenge. Simply put, he challenges architects, engineers and contractors to cut the carbon intensity […]

Dissing Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Ulf Bossel is a well-known fuel cell technologist based in Switzerland. For years, he has been organizing the annual European Fuel Cell Forum in Lucerne, which has alternated every other year between focusing on PEM fuel cells and on solid oxide fuel cells. At the end of this year’s show earlier in July, Bossel announced […]

Some Clarity on Ethanol

The most controversial issue about ethanol is whether its use is actually a good idea, and therefore worthy of public policy support and environmental endorsement. Two questions come up again and again: 1. Does the production of ethanol actually yield more energy than is consumed in the process of producing it? 2. Does the use […]

Recommended Climate Change Reading

I just read a superb report writtend for the nonpartisan Civil Society Institute called Seeds of Opportunity: Climate Change Challenges and Solutions by Professor Lloyd Dumas of University of Texas at Dallas. The report does two things exceptionally well: It conveys the extremely strong likelihood of climate change occurring (and its consequences) in the most […]

Renewables to the Rescue?

This past week in Denver, the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) held its annual conference, Solar 2006. The theme of the conference was “Solar Energy: The Key to Climate Recovery”. The first two days of the conference featured several of the leading scientific experts on climate change, including NASA’s James Hansen and NCAR’s Warren Washington. […]

What, We Worried? Yes!

RBC Capital Markets recently conducted a survey that shows the widespread worry, perhaps despair, that Americans have about our energy situation: 53% think energy problems will not be solved in their lifetime 80% think high energy costs are not temporary The good news, if any, from this survey is that maybe the dissatisfaction will – […]

They Can’t Handle The Truth

By now, I’m sure every reader of this blog knows about Al Gore’s movie on global climate change, An Inconvenient Truth. Reputable scientists have generally given the movie excellent marks on the accuracy and reliability of the information presented. USA Today article Of course, that hasn’t completely stopped the few remaining global change skeptics from […]

Big Green

In the past few weeks, a couple of the world’s largest corporations have released some noteworthy environmental announcements. Two weeks ago, GE released their first Ecomagination Report. According to this report, GE is now producing over $10 billion annual revenues from environmentally-friendly or sustainable products. I’m sure there’s room for debate on some of those […]

Energy: "The 21st Century’s Greatest Challenge"

This headline is not mine. It’s from Deloitte, the white-shoe professional services firm. Deloitte recently hired Joe Stanislaw, who is a long-time guru in the energy industry, having founded Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA). Stanislaw recently authored a compelling report for Deloitte under the title, “Energy in Flux: The 21st Century’s Greatest Challenge.” It is […]

New Nukes

Of all subjects in the energy industry, few inspire such controversy as nuclear energy. The facts about the current nuclear fleet are worth revisiting: The existing plants were generally very expensive to build. Most of the plants had significant cost overruns – some due to required design changes in the wake of Three Mile Island, […]

Deutsche Wind

In the past month, I’ve visited not one but both of the major wind energy trade fairs in Germany, in Hannover and Hamburg. Why there are two trade shows targeting the same audience less than a month apart is a long and silly story – suffice it to say that Americans have no monopoly on […]

Vanity Fair’s Green Issue

The May 2006 issue of Vanity Fair has been dubbed its first “green” issue. It easily stands out from the magazine racks — the cover photo of Al Gore, George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Robert Kennedy is tinged in deep and pervasive green. Inside the issue, VF trumpets 22 eco-heroes, including many of the usual […]

Friedman on Energy

Thomas Friedman of The New York Times is arguably the most widely-read and influential of the op-ed columnists in the business today, particularly in regards to geopolitics and the Middle East. His recent book, The World Is Flat, is dominating best-seller lists around the world. When he writes, people take note. Over the past few […]

Let Markets Work!

Last week, as oil surged to $75/barrel and retail gasoline prices broached the $3/gallon level again, came renewed calls for the government to “do something, anything”. The thinking on this issue continues to be highly confused. The loudest cries were for the imposition of windfall taxes on oil companies. True, the profits that the majors […]

It’s the Jobs, Stupid

Advocates of renewable energy are increasingly promoting the prospects of job creation as a key reason to aggressively move to renewable energy. One of the more publicized initiatives to link renewable energy to job creation is the Apollo Alliance. This organization recently completed a study that estimates over 3 million jobs to be created in […]

PowerGen Renewables: Viva Las Vegas!

This past week, I attended probably the largest annual pan-renewables event in the U.S.: PowerGen Renewables, held each spring in Las Vegas. This event is produced by Pennwell (which puts on the immense annual PowerGen show for the conventional power generation industry), and is organized by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). The keynote […]

Thoughts on Offshore Wind Energy in US

In Europe, wind energy is moving offshore. It’s simple, really: Europe is densely-populated, land is scarce and hence valuable, and so anyone wanting to develop new wind projects is looking at putting turbines in the Baltic Sea. A side benefit is that the wind resource is more plentiful offshore, not subject to disturbance from hills […]

Black and Green: Strange Bedfellows

Most environmentalists have a knee-jerk wretching reaction to coal. In a word, coal is “dirty”. Uncontrolled, burning coal results in about twice the carbon emissions as burning natural gas — not to mention all of the other nasties (sulfur dioxide, NOx, particulates, mercury, etc.). So imagine my surprise when I met the other day with […]