Building a world of
resilient communities.

How Fossil Fuels Subsidize Us

“The subsidies we give fossil energy companies are a rounding error relative to the subsidies fossil energy give to society.”

Renewable Hydrogen on the Big Island

Because of the relatively low population density and the abundant natural resources, Hawaii has the potential to do something that will prove to be much more challenging elsewhere: Derive most or all of its energy from renewable sources.

Nonrenewable Renewables?

What does renewable energy mean? This question isn’t as simple as it sounds.

The way I saw things

I often find myself wondering where my life would be today had I not stumbled across The Oil Drum in 2005. I don’t know that I would still be writing today were it not for my early experiences with TOD readers. As TOD winds down, I thought I’d share my story, which I have not told before.

The Key to Running the World on Solar and Wind Power

Perhaps the biggest shortcoming of solar and wind power is their intermittency. In locations like Hawaii, where I live, wind and solar power are already competitive on price. My fossil-fuel supplied electricity typically costs above 40 cents a kilowatt-hour, and wind and solar power can compete with that. But since they can’t supply power that is available on demand (firm power) they …

Book Review: Reinventing Fire

While I disagree with Amory Lovins on many topics, the man is definitely a visionary. In his latest book Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, Lovins and his coauthors make the case for retrofitting 120 million buildings, and for fundamentally changing our transportation infrastructure, the way our industries use energy, and the way electricity is produced and consumed.

Hofmeister: A difficult decade ahead for oil prices and supplies

I, along with my editor Sam Avro, recently conducted a broad-ranging interview with John Hofmeister, former President of Shell Oil. The topics touched upon included future oil supplies and prices, climate change, U.S. energy policy, and topics familiar to R-Squared Energy readers such as Peak Lite and the Long Recession. I will present this interview in a series of stories covering some of the …

Aaron Wissner interviews Robert Rapier after ASPO 2011

Following last year's ASPO conference, I was interviewed by Aaron Wissner of Local Future, which is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to issues of energy, the environment, and sustainability. Aaron just made that interview available, and instead of an R-Squared Energy TV episode this week, I thought I would share this interview with readers.

Climate change and developing countries

This post continues a theme I covered in my book Power Plays. Part 1 covered the impact on oil price and supply in Petroleum Demand in Developing Countries. Here I discuss some of the climate change implications.

Petroleum Demand in Developing Countries

Conventional wisdom might suggest that as oil prices rise, developing countries would be less able to afford oil, leaving wealthier countries to bid against each other for increasingly higher-priced supplies. But that is not at all what happened over the past decade, and the trend may give developed countries a reason for concern.
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