08 September 2006

The Oil Drum Debate, Round One

It's an Oil Drum day.

During the slow times that is otherwise supposed to be summer there was a very good debate between Vinod Khosla's (ex of KPCB and Sun Microsystems) and Robert Rapier in The Oil Drum on the benefits, or otherwise, of ethanol.  The newly launched Venture Beat does a good job of summarizing that debate.  I take one exception to VB's commentary.  It paints TOD as being on the side of “Big Oil.”  A more thorough read of TOD would show that whilst there are a lot of oil & gas people active in TOD they are there principally because they believe in Peak Oil, or variations of the same.

I would rather categorize the argument as to whether ethanol is where Government's generally should be spending your tax dollars to decrease dependence on fossil fuels.

The good news about ethanol is that it is available now.  The bad news is that it is vastly inefficient.  The trouble with these debates is that they tend to black and white positions.  There is so much that can be done to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions - there is no one killer app.

Anyway, read for yourself.

VentureBeat » The Oil Drum debate, round one:


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1 comment:

copydude said...

Yes, interesting debate. Quote:

"Brazil, which has been heralded as a great example of oil-independence, has displaced only 10 percent of its petroleum usage with ethanol, not 40 percent." Brazil is indeed frequently misrepresented as a success story.

Given the resources already put against developing biofuels - without much success - it does look like the solution will have to come from somewhere else. Or as you say, a combination of resources.

Not a bad quick digest here: The Hope And Hype Of Biofuels There's a reference to the 1910 Stanley Steamer, the steam driven car here. In fact there were steam-driven buses in Germany until the 1930s.

08 September 2006

The Oil Drum Debate, Round One

It's an Oil Drum day.

During the slow times that is otherwise supposed to be summer there was a very good debate between Vinod Khosla's (ex of KPCB and Sun Microsystems) and Robert Rapier in The Oil Drum on the benefits, or otherwise, of ethanol.  The newly launched Venture Beat does a good job of summarizing that debate.  I take one exception to VB's commentary.  It paints TOD as being on the side of “Big Oil.”  A more thorough read of TOD would show that whilst there are a lot of oil & gas people active in TOD they are there principally because they believe in Peak Oil, or variations of the same.

I would rather categorize the argument as to whether ethanol is where Government's generally should be spending your tax dollars to decrease dependence on fossil fuels.

The good news about ethanol is that it is available now.  The bad news is that it is vastly inefficient.  The trouble with these debates is that they tend to black and white positions.  There is so much that can be done to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions - there is no one killer app.

Anyway, read for yourself.

VentureBeat » The Oil Drum debate, round one:


[composed and posted with
ecto]


Technorati Tags: ,

1 comment:

copydude said...

Yes, interesting debate. Quote:

"Brazil, which has been heralded as a great example of oil-independence, has displaced only 10 percent of its petroleum usage with ethanol, not 40 percent." Brazil is indeed frequently misrepresented as a success story.

Given the resources already put against developing biofuels - without much success - it does look like the solution will have to come from somewhere else. Or as you say, a combination of resources.

Not a bad quick digest here: The Hope And Hype Of Biofuels There's a reference to the 1910 Stanley Steamer, the steam driven car here. In fact there were steam-driven buses in Germany until the 1930s.