Thursday, February 02, 2012

Underground Energy Revolution in PA Without Any Government Interference, Just Consumer Greed

PENN LIVE -- "It’s an underground energy revolution happening in the basements of home after home, throughout the midstate and across Pennsylvania.

For the fiscal year that ended in September, the gas utility UGI completed more than 7,300 residential and 1,600 commercial fuel oil-to-gas conversions, a company record. Yet, the record pace accelerated by another 57 percent in October, November and December, the first quarter of UGI’s 2012 fiscal year. The reason?

“It’s clearly price,” answered Joe Swope, UGI’s communication manager in Reading. “That is the driving factor. Right now, you have a situation where there is just a tremendous price disparity.”

How big are the savings?

UGI estimates that the average family of four will save $1,000 to $1,500 a year at current prices by switching from oil to gas."

MP: Note that this "underground energy revolution" in Pennsylvania is happening automatically and spontaneously without any specialgovernment taxpayer-financed tax breaks, tax credits, incentives or subsidies, but is being driven purely by "consumer greed" because it makes economic sense to switch from fuel oil to natural gas.  When energy sources like natural gas make sense based on their scientific and economic merits, government and political support is unnecessary.  When energy sources like solar (or electric vehicles) don't make sense scientifically and economically, no amount of government support coercively extracted taxpayer money will make those energy sources or vehicles competitive in the long run. 

HT: John Hanger


11 Comments:

At 2/02/2012 9:55 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

When energy sources like natural gas [or solar, wind or nuclear] make sense based on their scientific and economic merits, government and political support is unnecessary.

The issue is not the fuel, it is how we evaluate the scientific and economic merits.

When economiss get off their butts and educate the public on how to value non-market cash flows, we will be in a bettr position to make good decisions.

In this particular case, it seems to be a no brainer, but that does not mean there is not a case to be made for others sources under other conditions.

Considering the monetization of politics, political support in and of itself may be a factor in what decisions produce the lowest system level economic costs.

 
At 2/02/2012 10:47 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Hydra states:

"When economiss get off their butts and educate the public on how to value non-market cash flows, we will be in a bettr position to make good decisions.

In this particular case, it seems to be a no brainer, but that does not mean there is not a case to be made for others sources under other conditions."


Hydra, could please restate this, because I have absolutely no idea what your saying. Negative externalities maybe?

 
At 2/02/2012 12:41 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Well of course hydra no idea so he just throws a random collection of words at the posting...

"more than 7,300 residential and 1,600 commercial fuel oil-to-gas conversions..."...

Oh dear! All those drivers and ancillary people involved in the oil delivery business will be facing a questionable employment future it seems...

Maybe some of them can get employment in the oil/gas fields where there are lots of trucks running around...

 
At 2/02/2012 12:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Considering the monetization of politics, political support in and of itself may be a factor in what decisions produce the lowest system level economic costs."

Hydra, could you please restate this, because I have absolutely no idea what you're saying. Political corruption maybe?

 
At 2/02/2012 1:36 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Now, can we get the government to stop interfering with our gasoline, and keep the ethanol out?

 
At 2/02/2012 2:00 PM, Blogger kmg said...

Hydra's comment itself was enough gas to heat two more homes for the winter.

 
At 2/02/2012 3:05 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

The release below is fascinating--I don't believe we will ever "wire up" our roads, but it is very conceivable that you park you car in your garage or assigned space, and it charges up automatically and effortlessly.




Stanford researchers designing magnetic resonance coupling system for wireless on-road dynamic charging of EVs
2 February 2012

Simplified schematic of the wireless energy transfer system in free space. Yu et al. Click to enlarge.
A Stanford University research team is designing a high-efficiency wireless charging system using magnetic resonance coupling (earlier post) to wirelessly transmit large electric currents between metal coils placed several feet apart. The long-term goal of the research is to develop an all-electric highway that wirelessly charges cars and trucks as they cruise down the road.

Their proposed design, as published in the journal Applied Physics Letters (APL), would transfer up to 10 kW of electrical energy to a coil 6.5 feet away with an efficiency of up to 97%.

Resonant coupling wireless power transfer uses two copper coils tuned to resonate at the same natural frequency. The coils are placed a few feet apart. One coil is connected to an electric current, which generates a magnetic field that causes the second coil to resonate. This magnetic resonance results in the transfer of electric energy through the air from the first coil to the receiving coil.

 
At 2/02/2012 3:34 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

That's an fascinating story, Benjamin! Actually pretty exciting too

 
At 2/02/2012 5:07 PM, Blogger Stephen Behnfeldt said...

I'm not 100% convinced your title is correct. We just (within the past 3 months or so) converted from oil to gas, and we got a LOT of cash from rebates. They came from the energy company (PECO), but I'm pretty sure they were just passing through govt subsidies.

 
At 2/02/2012 8:14 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"but it is very conceivable that you park you car in your garage or assigned space, and it charges up automatically and effortlessly"...

Yeah, that's what I want, a car that runs on coal...

 
At 2/03/2012 7:04 PM, Blogger Marko said...

I am not sure Dr. Perry's substitution of "Tax Payer Money" is apt - since much of the money is borrowed, with seemingly no intention to pay it back . . .

 

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