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Al Jazeera on World Petroleum Conference in Doha
Counting the Cost, Al Jazeera
The price of oil

In a special edition from the 20th World Petroleum Congress we ask: will oil prices keep rising?
Counting the Cost Last Modified: 12 Dec 2011 10:21

This week, Counting the Cost is out on location again – this time at the 20th World Petroleum Congress, being held in Doha.

Incredibly, in the more than 80 years the Congress has been held, it has never come to the Middle East.

In attendance were over 5,000 delegates from all over the energy sector – oil, gas, coal, renewables – all exhibiting their latest technology, and meeting to discuss the industry’s future.

Among the hot-button topics were the price of oil – which is now firmly above $100 a barrel and likely to stay there – as well as the available alternatives. Gas is increasingly being seen as a long-term option, and renewable energy is high on everyone’s agenda – even the big oil companies themselves.

Through a team effort from Abid Ali (business editor), Neil Collier (interview producer), Blake Sifton (co-ordinating editor), Andre Khalil (cameraman) and Kamahl Santamaria (host), Counting the Cost brings you the headline interviews with some of the biggest names in the business.

Guests on the show include: Peter Voser, CEO, Royal Dutch Shell; Sergio Gabrielli, CEO, Petrobras; Günther Oettinger, EU Energy Commissioner; and Lean Strauss, Senior Group Executive SASOL.

Plus, a look inside the exhibition hall at what was was being presented to vistors and media, and an effort by the hosts – the Qatar National Convention Centre – to move in the direction of renewable energies at their massive new venue.
(12 December 2011)
Video at original. Suggested by Derek T. -BA

Reining In the ‘Soft Costs’ of Solar

Jim Witkin, Green Blog, New York Times
Reducing the cost of installing solar power systems for homes and small commercial properties remains near the top of the Department of Energy’s to-do list. Early this year, Steven Chu, the energy secretary, unveiled the department’s SunShot Initiative, fashioned at least in spirit on the moon shot program, in which the Kennedy administration set out to put a man on the moon.

With SunShot, the Department of Energy has set a goal of reducing the cost of solar installations by 75 percent by the end of the decade. While this may not be a giant leap for mankind, the department hopes it will make solar power competitive with other forms of energy and as easy to install on your house or at your business as buying a set of tires for your car, Ramamoorthy Ramesh, the manager of the SunShot program and a materials scientist from the University of California at Berkeley, said in a telephone interview.

The department estimates that 40 to 50 percent of the total cost of owning and operating a rooftop solar power system today is administrative or “soft” costs, red-tape impediments like permitting, zoning, metering, financing and arranging a grid connection. That means consumers are now paying more to generate electricity from rooftop systems — an average of 18 cents a kilowatt-hour, according to the Department of Energy’s calculations — than they would for conventional energy purchased from a local utility.
(9 December 2011)
Emphasis added. -BA

Overview of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) as Implemented by Andrea Rossi and Francesco Piantelli
Michael A. Nelson, NASA via New Energy Times
Slides from 2011 LENR Workshop at GRC
September 22, 2011

Highlights of Recent History of LENR
with Andrea Rossi

• January 14, 2011 – Andrea Rossi demonstrated a Nickel-Hydrogen
LENR technology that produced steam. Levi coordinated the demo
with other University of Bologna professors.
• February 10-11, 2011 – Rossi performs 18 hour test. Reported by
Mats Lewan on Feb 23rd in Ny Teknik: “Cold Fusion: 18-Hour Test
Excludes Combustion.“

Is it Nuclear?

Criteria for Nuclear Reaction

Gamma Radiation
• Rossi has avoided direct measurement for fear of revealing catalyst
• To date has only been observed by very few people
• Cannot rule out spurious signals on Rossi’s device

Self Sustained mode
• Claims have been made that this is possible but has never been
satisfactorily demonstrated
• Would need to run for 8 hours or more with a small ECAT and much longer
for an Ottoman

Long enough duration to rule out chemical reaction
• 3 or more days for a small ECAT
• 2 or more weeks for an Ottoman ECAT
• Several months for a 1 MW plant


Difficult to rule Rossi out

In spite of the low quality demonstrations no one has yet to
completely dismiss Rossi’s work as a total sham
• From all accounts he has sunk a personal fortune into this
• He is not selling shares in a future company
• He does allow potential investors to kick the tires a bit … albeit strictly on
his terms thus far

Endorsed by Focardi and Guiseppi Levi

Stay tuned… these next few months will be interesting

(12 December 2011)
Recommended by EB reader Peter Hunt, who says, “This does hold an answer for both Climate Change and Peak Oil – I believe and so does NASA. Time to start spreading some electronic ink on it.”

Canadian MP, Laurin Liu, proposes sustainable energy strategy

Laurin Liu, official website
Laurin Liu proposes a viable energy strategy that is consistent with the principles of sustainable development

2011 09 29 – Speeches

Laurin Liu (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, NDP): Madam Speaker, I am pleased to be following up on a question that I raised in the House about the Keystone XL pipeline. First I would like to say that the Keystone pipeline is part of a massive plan to renew North America’s oil and gas infrastructure. It will allow for a drastic expansion of oil sands production.

Under this plan, oil from the oil sands would be destined for export markets. Crude oil would be sent to the United States, where it would be refined. The refined oil would then be shipped back to us. That is illogical. This is not a viable energy security plan. The Keystone XL pipeline project is the third phase of a $13 billion project to export western Canada’s bitumen to American refineries.

It is estimated that 900,000 barrels of raw bitumen will be exported to the United States each day. An estimated 40,500 potential direct and indirect jobs will be lost because of this government’s negligence. The president of the Alberta Federation of Labour believes that the Keystone XL pipeline project will kill far more jobs than it will create.

The pipeline projects to the United States have already slowed down new bitumen upgrading projects in Canada. According to a study by the Alberta Federation of Labour, nine bitumen upgrading projects have been postponed or delayed. While the Americans will benefit from well-paying refinery jobs, all Canadians will get is the environmental costs of oil sands development. In addition to taking potential upgrading and refining jobs away from Canadians, the pipeline project will also destroy the environment.

Just last year, the Transportation Safety Board recorded over 100 leaks in Canadian pipelines, including 23 leaks in the first section of the Keystone project. In addition, the rights of aboriginal people have been violated because they were not properly consulted. Last week, during question period, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources said, and I quote: “…the Keystone XL pipeline will provide a substantial economic benefit to both Canada and the United States.”

However, since this project is being developed at the expense of workers, our environment, future generations and the rights of aboriginal people, how can the parliamentary secretary claim that the Keystone project will provide significant benefits to Canada?

The government did not give us all the facts and is unable to justify the so-called benefits of the Keystone pipeline. This project does not make any sense in terms of energy security, the environment or the economy. I would like to know why the government chose a quick profit and why it is protecting the interests of the large oil companies rather than developing a viable energy strategy that is consistent with the principles of sustainable development.[…]

Mr. Speaker, the government seems incapable of understanding that economic development and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, sustainable development is the way of the future. We believe that instead of approving a pipeline that will destroy everything in its path, cost us 40,500 jobs, and considerably increase our greenhouse gas emissions, the government should stop this project.

The NDP is proposing a transition plan for a green economy, which will create good jobs and ensure our energy security. Until then, the burden of proof rests with the government. It must prove that the massive export of crude oil is a good thing for Canada. We just do not believe it.
(September 27, 2011)
Suggested by EB reader Harold Pardey.

ASPO: Benzin und Diesel immer teurer

ASPO-Switzerland, ee-news
„Benzin und Diesel werden teurer, weil Öl immer knapper wird” berichtet am 23. November 2011 die Süddeutsche Zeitung unter dem Titel “Fatale Abhängigkeit”. Der Ausdruck Peak Oil wird im Artikel von Silvia Liebrich zwar nicht verwendet, die Autorin schreibt aber richtig, dass die IEA beim konventionellen Erdöl die maximale Förderrate auf das Jahr 2006 datiert hat.

“Die aktuellen Preissteigerungen sind nichts anderes als die Vorboten des grossen Umbruchs. Das Ölzeitalter neigt sich dem Ende zu.”

Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) Schweiz möchte als gemeinnütziger Verein dazu beitragen, dass ein breites Bewusstsein über die Phänomene Peak Oil und Peak Gas und deren Konsequenzen geschaffen wird.

Zum Artikel auf der Homepage der ASPO (PDF via ASPO-Switzerland)

Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) – Switzerland
(12 December 2011)