Author Archive | Davis Swan

LCOE for Hydro Projects – Pick a number, any number!

One of my pet peeves has been a metric with the glamorous acronym LCOE which stands for Levelized Cost of Electricity. This is the “go to” number when evaluating electricity generation sources and comments about solar and wind reaching “grid parity” relate to this measure. My annoyance comes from comparisons of LCOE for solar (PV […]

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If it ain’t a lie it sure ain’t the truth

I have complained previously about the misrepresentations published about renewable energy. In most cases the authors just seem to be so overcome with excitement about some new milestone achievement so that they lose sight of the big picture. But I recently ran into a post from 2016 that demonstrates more clearly than anything else I […]

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The Trendline is not good

Going on 4 years ago I wrote two blog posts outlining what I thought were the best case and worst case scenarios for the five years from 2013-2018 in terms of developments in renewable energy. Given recent events in the United States I thought it might be interesting to revisit those posts and see where […]

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The $US 134 Trillion, 100 Year Challenge

As anyone who has read some of my blog posts knows I do not believe that we should be basing our transition to a sustainable energy environment on the need to moderate climate change. I’m not convinced that eliminating the burning of hydro-carbons altogether would make a huge difference to what our planet is doing. […]

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Hydrokinetics – The Renewable “Silver Bullet”

In searching for technologies that can aid in the transition to a low carbon environment the following characteristics would define the ideal new energy source; Characteristic Wind PV Solar Large Hydro Hydro-kinetics Geo-thermal Can generate electricity without any fuel Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Reliable at peak demand times including winters in middle latitudes No No […]

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How Quickly will the Electric Vehicle Revolution Come?

In a previous posting I stated my belief that EV's will continue to make up an ever-increasing fraction of the vehicle fleet worldwide.  However, the pace at which the transition will happen depends upon many factors.  I now believe it will probably take an extended period of time – decades perhaps – to move a […]

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Imagine no possessions – I wonder if you can?

In  John Lennon’s song “Imagine” we are asked to consider what it would be like to live in a world where there was a lot less focus on material possessions.  In the hierarchy of ecological responsibility the first “R” has always been “Reduce” and the positive impacts of focusing on doing with less are very […]

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Where are Natural Gas prices headed?

A lot of decisions about how the electricity industry will evolve depend upon the future of Natural Gas prices. As prices hit historic lows in the last 2 years drilling activity dried up. Recent “tight gas” and “shale gas” reserve additions experience rapid declines. To me the signals are for significant price increases in the […]

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Germany at the Crossroads

For more than 10 years Germany has been the poster child for the development of renewable energy sources – principally Photo-Voltaic (PV) solar and wind. The Germans have stoically endured ever-increasing electricity rates that cannot do anything but continue to go up because of guaranteed Feed-In-Tariffs (FITs) for systems being installed each month. They have […]

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