Energy News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Energy News Articles in Media
What we drive in the future may not be designed in Detroit, or Tokyo or Stuttgart, but on the college campuses of North America. Teams of students from 17 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada have spent the last three years taking apart models of a Chevrolet Equinox, and re-designing and re-fitting the crossover SUV to get better fuel efficiency than the engineers and designers at General Motors have been able to achieve. It's called Challenge X. So what did these college teams come up with? They came up with bio-diesel, ethanol, hydrogen, hybrid electric, plug-in electric - with most of the teams using two of these energy sources together. The team from Penn State created an Equinox that runs on three fuels: bio-diesel, hydrogen and electric hybrid power. "The way it's designed, it's always burning hydrogen and bio-diesel together, and the hybrid motor turns on and off," explained Nate Simmons. The team from San Diego State created a bio-diesel electric hybrid, and transformed the transmission from automatic to manual for even better gas mileage. They were able to boost the EPA rating for the conventional Equinox from a rating of 23 miles per gallon highway up into the low 30s. "We set out to produce the most powerful vehicle in the competition," said faculty advisor James Burns. This year's winner was Mississippi State University, for its bio-diesel hybrid electric design. The MSU vehicle is powered by a 1.9-liter GM direct injection turbo-diesel engine, fueled by bio-diesel (B20). It won for achieving a whopping 38 percent increase in fuel economy over the production-model Equinox.
Thane Heins is nervous and hopeful. In four days the Ottawa-area native will travel to Boston where he'll demonstrate an invention that appears ... to operate as a perpetual motion machine. The audience, esteemed Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Markus Zahn, could either deflate Heins' heretical claims or add momentum to a 20-year obsession. Zahn is a leading expert on electromagnetic and electronic systems. In a rare move for any reputable academic, he has agreed to give Heins' creation an open-minded look rather than greet it with outright dismissal. The invention ... could moderately improve the efficiency of induction motors, used in everything from electric cars to ceiling fans. At best it means a way of tapping the mysterious powers of electromagnetic fields to produce more work out of less effort, seemingly creating electricity from nothing. Heins has modified his test so the effects observed are difficult to deny. He holds a permanent magnet a few centimetres away from the driveshaft of an electric motor, and the magnetic field it creates causes the motor to accelerate. Contacted by phone a few hours after the test, Zahn is genuinely stumped – and surprised. He said the magnet shouldn't cause acceleration. "It's an unusual phenomenon I wouldn't have predicted in advance. But I saw it. It's real. To my mind this is unexpected and new," he [said]. "There are an infinite number of induction machines in people's homes and everywhere around the world. If you could make them more efficient, cumulatively, it could make a big difference."
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In 2000 Jonathan Goodwin, a self-described "gearhead", bought his first Hummer, an old H1, in Denver, Colorado. "The thing did eight miles to the gallon and nought to 60 in about two days," he recalls. On his drive home to Wichita, Kansas, it broke down three times. The engine died. Rather than fix the engine, he replaced it with a new Duramax diesel and doubled the fuel economy to 20 miles per US gallon (equivalent to 24 miles per Imperial gallon), tripled the horsepower to 600 and quadrupled the torque to 1,200ft lbs. Driven by his quest for more power and less consumption he had inadvertently stumbled across a solution for America's SUV-loving masses. The byproduct of the system he installed is lower emissions - a greener output for these thirsty beasts. "Now we can have our cake and eat it," he says. "It's difficult for these huge companies. The technology is there to make cars that have vastly improved consumption figures already, but they're driven by the need to sell all the cars they currently make," Goodwin says. "If they announced they were bringing out a 100mpg car then no-one would buy the old line." Goodwin sees three stages to a process of change: converting all autos to diesel which can then run on biofuel, making the step to bio-electric and finally to hydroelectric, meaning cars will run on water.
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Everything that goes into Frank Pringle’s recycling machine — a piece of tire, a rock, a plastic cup — turns to oil and natural gas seconds later. “I’ve been told the oil companies might try to assassinate me,” Pringle says without sarcasm. The machine is a microwave emitter that extracts the petroleum and gas hidden inside everyday objects. Every hour, the first commercial version will turn 10 tons of auto waste — tires, plastic, vinyl — into enough natural gas to produce 17 million BTUs of energy (it will use 956,000 of those BTUs to keep itself running). Pringle created the machine about 10 years ago after he drove by a massive tire fire and thought about the energy being released. He went home and threw bits of a tire in a microwave emitter he’d been working with for another project. It turned to what looked like ash, but a few hours later, he returned and found a black puddle on the floor of the unheated workshop. Somehow, he’d struck oil. Or rather, he had extracted it. Petroleum is composed of strings of hydrocarbon molecules. When microwaves hit the tire, they crack the molecular chains and break it into its component parts: carbon black (an ash-like raw material) and hydrocarbon gases, which can be burned or condensed into liquid fuel. If the process worked on tires, he thought, it should work on anything with hydrocarbons. The trick was in finding the optimum microwave frequency for each material. In 2004 he teamed up with engineer pal Hawk Hogan to take the machine commercial. Their first order is under construction in Rockford, Illinois. It’s a $5.1-million microwave machine the size of small bus called the Hawk, bound for an auto-recycler in Long Island, New York. Oil companies are looking to the machines to gasify petroleum trapped in shale.
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Gerald Rowley keeps his dreams in his garage. There ... he stores an aging Mazda 626 sedan [specially outfitted with a] one-gallon steel box in the trunk connected to fuel lines leading to a gasoline vaporizing device under the hood. The steel box holds one gallon of regular unleaded gasoline. The device beneath the hood is called the VFS, Vaporizing Fuel System. I came here to drive Rowley's VFS-equipped car. For years, I had spurned the invitations of homespun inventors worldwide to travel to distant points to witness first-hand machines that could deliver 100 miles per gallon or 200 miles per gallon. The claims sounded too incredible to believe -- ridiculous, in fact. If such devices really worked, really did what their inventors said they did, why would they still be sitting on shelves in anonymous workshops -- ignored by the driving public and all of the vehicle manufacturers who serve them? What automobile manufacturer in its right mind, especially with rising concerns about future oil availability and with gasoline prices escalating worldwide, would not jump at the opportunity to acquire a device that delivered 100 miles per gallon? Rowley's patented device is nothing new. It's just the latest iteration of an idea already developed by others -- the notion that you could get more miles per gallon out of a traditional gasoline engine if you pre-heated the fuel to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, thus turning it into a vapor before it enters the combustion chamber. Vaporized fuel, when properly mixed with air, burns more efficiently, saves fuel and emits fewer tailpipe pollutants than traditional fuel-air mixtures in which gasoline is sprayed into a combustion chamber in tiny droplets and then mixed with air before burning. All car companies know this.
That 55-mile-per-gallon hybrid car you've been eyeing may end up being a 44-mpg hybrid. The federal Environmental Protection Agency announced a new system Monday for evaluating fuel economy that will lower mileage estimates for most vehicles. On average, vehicles rated under the 2008 method will post a 12% drop in city gasoline mileage and an 8% decline in highway mileage. With the new testing requirements, the EPA is attempting to come up with estimates that more closely reflect the real-world mileage motorists can expect when they purchase a vehicle. Under the current system ... actual mileage is often far lower than the posted EPA ratings. Hybrids will be hit harder because the new test eliminates some of the all-electric driving that helped them produce impressive results. A recent study ... found that the average mileage for passenger cars and light trucks was about 14% less than EPA estimates. The mileage for gas-electric hybrids probably will be 20% to 30% lower than present estimates for city driving and 10% to 20% lower on the highway. These vehicles quickly lose their all-electric advantage when operated in cold weather or quickly accelerated. The new EPA mileage estimates won't harm automakers' ability to meet federal rules requiring an industrywide average fuel economy of 27.5 miles per gallon for cars and 21 mpg for sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and vans.
Note: The government could easily mandate higher gas mileage, but has not significantly raised the bar in almost 20 years. Why? The current average mileage for all cars is less than the mileage of the 1908 Model T. With all of the incredibly technological advances in other fields, how is this possible? For more on this vital topic, click here and here. Toyota came out with a hybrid that got 100 mpg in 2002. For what happened to it, click here. And to learn how a Toyota Prius can be converted to get 100 miles per gallon, click here.
Chris Paine´s documentary film "Who Killed the Electric Car?" argues convincingly that there was indeed a market for the cars — and a devoted one, ... but that GM [General Motors] squashed the EV1 because, quite simply, it threatened the livelihood of the entire automotive industry. The car used no gasoline, no oil and no mufflers, and it required only sporadic brake maintenance. Each of these components represents billions of dollars in profits for the industry. GM, the oil companies and various government agencies argued that the car wasn´t practical, didn´t have enough range for consumers and was less promising than the apparently imminent hydrogen technology. The reality was exactly the opposite, Paine´s film suggests — the viability of hydrogen as an automotive fuel source alone is in fact almost comically optimistic. The whisper-quiet EV1 was designed by [an] aviation pioneer, Paul MacCready of AeroVironment. In the 1970s, MacCready built the only successful human-powered aircraft, the Gossamer Condor and the Gossamer Albatross. His solar-powered electric car Sunraycer, built for GM, won the 1987 World Solar Challenge Race in Australia. His corporate mantra is "do more with less" — that is, focus on creating vehicles that require less energy to operate, not on finding ways to pump more power into inefficient systems. His team´s battery-powered EV1 was a triumph of engineering and a joy to operate.
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LOS ALAMOS, N.M. - There is a new breed of weaponry fast approaching. They are labeled "directed-energy weapons," and they may well signal a revolution in military hardware -- perhaps more so than the atomic bomb. Directed-energy weapons take the form of lasers, high-powered microwaves and particle beams. Their adoption for ground, air, sea, and space warfare depends not only on using the electromagnetic spectrum, but also upon favorable political and budgetary wavelengths too. After more than two decades of research, the United States is on the verge of deploying a new generation of weapons that discharge beams of energy, such as the Airborne Laser and the Active Denial System, as well as the Tactical High Energy Laser, or THEL. Then there’s Active Denial Technology -- a non-lethal way to use millimeter-wave electromagnetic energy to stop, deter and turn back an advancing adversary. This technology, supported by the U.S. Marines, uses a beam of millimeter waves to heat a foe’s skin, causing severe pain without damage, and making the adversary flee the scene. By tuning the resonance of a laser onto Earth’s ionosphere, you can create audible frequencies. Like some boom box in the sky, the laser-produced voice could bellow from above down to the target below: "Put down your weapons."
Economists have predicted that 2005 is the year of the "global oil- production peak," when the world produces the most oil it will ever produce. And so ends the era of cheap fossil fuels, taking with it everything we've associated with modern American living: cheap groceries, cheap electricity, cheap construction, cheap beer, cheap everything. Because without cheap fossil fuel, nothing is cheap; and without cheap stuff, our society will soon be a very, very different place. A better place. At least for Ben Jordan. "The sooner we get rid of fossil fuels," explains Jordan, "the sooner we can have alternatives like biodiesel." Using vegetable oil as fuel isn't new; in fact, it's what the diesel engine was originally intended to run on. When Rudolf Diesel first showcased his engine at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris, he used peanut oil. Diesel engines -- operating solely on vegetable oils -- got an average of 30 percent more miles per gallon than traditional combustion engines, and soon became the standard for buses, trucks, freightliners and marine craft. In the 1920s, impressed by the efficiency of the engine and eager to control the diesel market, oil companies forced car manufacturers to modify diesel engines to run off their huge supplies of cheap, low-grade petroleum diesel. And the world's cities have been clogged with sooty, black, highly polluting diesel exhaust ever since.
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Carmakers such as Toyota and Honda can't seem to make hybrid vehicles fast enough to keep up with public interest. Interest in this new technology is growing, and one group is highlighting these technical marvels in a yearly event called the Tour de Sol. Top prize for the Monte-Carlo Rally went to a modified Honda Insight driven by Brian Hardegen, of Pepperell, who broke the 100-mile-per-gallon barrier over a 150-mile range. The car actually got 107 miles-per gallon. St. Mark's High School in Southboro, and North Haven Community School, North Haven, ME, demonstrated true zero-oil consumption and true zero climate-change emissions with their modified electric Ford pick-up and Volkswagen bus. More than 60 hybrid, electric and biofueled vehicles from throughout the US and Canada demonstrated that we have the technology today to power our transportation system with zero-oil consumption and zero climate-change emissions.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. If high school students can do it, why aren't the car companies seriously developing these technologies? And why are car manufacturers not able to keep up with demand on hybrid vehicles? For more, click here.
in January, Halliburton won a contract to drill at a huge Iranian gas field called Pars, which an Iranian government spokesman said "served the interests" of Iran. "I am baffled that any American company would want to have employees operating in Iran," says Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. "I would think they'd be ashamed." Halliburton says the operation — videotaped by NBC News — is entirely legal. It's run by a subsidiary called "Halliburton Products and Services Limited," based outside the U.S. In fact, the law allows foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations to do business in Iran under strict conditions. Other U.S. oil services companies, like Weatherford and Baker Hughes, also are in Iran. And foreign subsidiaries of NBC's parent company, General Electric, have sold equipment to Iran. For Halliburton to have done this legally, the foreign subsidiary operating in Iran must be independent of the main operation in Texas. Yet, when an NBC producer approached managers in Iran, he was sent to company officials in Dubai. But they said only Halliburton headquarters in Houston could talk about operations in Iran.
Peter Hagelstein is trying to revive hope for a future of clean, inexhaustible, inexpensive energy. Fifteen years after the scientific embarrassment of the century ... a panel of scientists gathered. The panel's charge was simple: to determine whether [cold fusion] had even a prayer of a chance at working. The Department of Energy went to great lengths to cloak the meeting from public view. No announcement, no reporters. None of the names of the people attending that day was disclosed. Since 1989, hundreds of scientists working in dozens of labs around the world have claimed ... results. Supporters point to the written literature -- more than 3,000 papers -- as proof of the effect. But the most credible cold fusion advocates concede that the vast majority of those papers are of poor quality. "Brilliant," "genius" and "reclusive" were words used to describe [SRI scientist Peter] Hagelstein 20 years ago, when he rose to prominence as one of the young scientists behind President Ronald Reagan's plans to build a missile shield in outer space. Hagelstein [now] describes the mainstream scientific community as "mafias" that promote and publish their friends' work, unwilling to accept new ideas. As Hagelstein explains it, leading physicists came out swiftly and prematurely against cold fusion. Hagelstein says his acceptance of cold fusion was by no means immediate. It took several years before he was convinced. [Now] Hagelstein says, he has seen enough cold fusion data to convince him that the science is clearly real. The field's acceptance, he maintains, will be simply a matter of the scientific community's looking at the improved experimental results in the future and coming to understand them.
Inventors who are mixing water with fuel to power engines say they're onto something big. German-born inventor Rudolf Gunnerman [believes] that one of the world's most common compounds - good old tap water - can be blended with fuel to power your car, truck or lawn mower. Gunnerman claims to have devised a means to blend water with naphtha in order to power engines in a cleaner, cheaper, more efficient way. "New ideas and better ideas are not necessarily found by universities or by large companies. New ideas and better ideas are found by people who look for them," says Gunnerman, 68. "Caterpillar" is the single word that brings a degree of credibility to Gunnerman's claims. The Peoria, Ill.-based heavy- equipment manufacturer entered a joint venture with Gunnerman in July 1994. Together, under the name Advanced Fuels, they've conducted experimental uses of the A-21 fuel - made up of 70 percent naphtha, a crude-oil byproduct, and 30 percent water. And now, Paccar Inc. is throwing its trucking weight in Gunnerman's corner. The Bellevue-based manufacturer of Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks recently sent a truck to Peoria for testing with the A-21 fuel. Paccar changed out the engine to add a Caterpillar engine and modified the cylinders and fuel injectors to handle more fluid volume. They also did a series of baseline tests of noise, cooling, drivability and fuel economy, said Jim Reichman, Paccar's technology-development manager. Back at Paccar's Mount Vernon technical center, Reichman is enthused. "We're pretty pleased with it," he said.
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It seems too good to be true, but rigorous tests under way in Nevada, California and Illinois show a breakthrough fuel that is more than half tap water could power the nation's vehicles, trains and gas-powered aircraft by century's end. The milky fuel was developed by Reno inventor Rudolf Gunnerman and is being pushed through the federal fuels-testing labyrinth by Gunnerman and diesel giant Caterpillar Inc. It has passed every test thrown at it. In virtually all categories, it tops conventional gasoline and diesel as a clean, cheap and safe fuel that can be used in almost any combustion engine. If it works -- and disinterested outsiders who have tested it say it may -- drivers could see the price of gasoline cut more than half. "Everybody said it cannot work, that I'm a fraud,'' the German-born inventor said. No one's laughing now: Nevada last November certified the water-based fuel as a "clean alternative fuel,'' meaning it can be used to meet federal mandates requiring clean fuels in fleets and other vehicles. The Energy Department is awaiting test data from trials run by Caterpillar before passing judgment. If DOE reaches the same conclusion as Nevada, Gunnerman's concoction could be used as a clean fuel in all states.
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Nikola Tesla, one of the truly great inventors [says] that he stands ready to divulge to the United States government the secret of his "teleforce," of which he said, "airplane motors would be melted at a distance of 250 miles, so that an invisible 'Chinese Wall of Defense' would be built around the country against any enemy attack by an enemy air force, no matter how large." This "teleforce" ... would operate through a beam one-hundred-millionth of a square centimeter in diameter, and could be generated from special plant that would cost no more then $2,000,000 and would take only about three months to construct. A dozen such plants, located at strategic points along the coast, according to Mr. Tesla, would be enough to defend the country against all aerial attack. The beam would melt any engine, whether diesel or gasoline driven, and would also ignite the explosives aboard any bomber. No possible defense against it could be devised, he asserts, as the beam would be all-penetrating. The beam [would involve] a new method for producing "a tremendous repelling electrical force." This would be the projector, or the gun of the system. The voltage for propelling the beam to its objective, according to the inventor, will attain a potential of 80,000,000 volts. With this enormous voltage, he said, microscopic electrical particles of matter will be catapulted on their mission of defensive destruction.
Note: If you are unable to access this article at the link above, you can also find it at this link. The technology Tesla was exploring here may well have been used in the currently functioning HAARP facilities, which some researchers believe are being used to manipulate weather and more. For an abundance of reliable information on HAARP, click here. For an amazing 35-page autobiography by Tesla himself, click here.
Nikola Tesla (pronounced Teshlah) [invented] the Tesla induction motor which made alternating current practical, and the Tesla transformer which steps up oscillating currents to high potentials. Last week was Dr. Tesla's 75th birthday. To Nikola Tesla, all the world's a power house. For 40 years he has been reasoning, calculating and arguing that the earth has a definite electrical resonance. All that men need do to have unlimited power at their command, and that power without the necessity of transmission wires, would be to generate electricity in tune with the earth's. Only possible drawbacks would be the vast expense of installation ... and anyone could tap the current. There could be no financial control of electricity. In Colorado in 1899, Tesla built a huge induction coil by which he generated and, he says, sent out wireless waves the same year Marconi established wireless communication. Tesla claims priority, because he conceived his system six years earlier, in 1893. The theoretical path of Tesla's waves were through the earth, not through the air as Hertzian waves go. [Tesla has commented] "I think that nothing can be more important than interplanetary communication. It will certainly come some day, and the certitude that there are other human beings in the universe, working, suffering, struggling, like ourselves, will produce a magic effect on mankind and will form the foundation of a universal brotherhood that will last as long as humanity itself." Dr. Tesla migrated to the U. S. in 1884 to work for Thomas Alva Edison, whom he soon quit. His naturalization papers he keeps in a safety box, his scientific medals and degrees in old trunks and cupboards.
Note: The above link requires a small payment. To view the full article free, click here. Though Marconi gets major mention in the history books while Tesla is given but a footnote, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1943 "ruled that that Tesla's radio patents had predated those of [Marconi]," as stated in this Chicago Tribune article. There are many intriguing secrets about this mysterious genius. To learn how the government seized his work immediately after his death and lots more, click here. For other verifiable information on incredible new energy inventions based on Tesla technology and more, click here.
Nikola Tesla, the inventor, winner of the 1915 Nobel Physics Prize, has filed patent applications on the essential parts of a machine ... which he says will render fruitless any military expedition against a country which possesses it. The destructive invention will go through space with a speed of 300 miles a second, [a] manless airship without propelling engine or wings, sent by electricity to any desired point on the globe on its errand of destruction, if destruction its manipulator wishes to effect. Ten miles or a thousand miles, it will be all the same to the machine, the inventor says. Straight to the point, on land or on sea, it will be able to go with precision, delivering a blow that will paralyze or kill, as is desired. A man in a tower on Long Island could shield New York against ships or army by working a lever, if the inventor's anticipations become realizations. "It is perfectly practicable to transmit electrical energy without wires and produce destructive effects at a distance. I have already constructed a wireless transmitter which makes this possible, and have described it in my technical publications. With transmitters of this kind we are enabled to project electrical energy in any amount to any distance and apply it for innumerable purposes, both in peace and war. The art is already so far developed that great destructive effects can be produced at any point on the globe, determined beforehand and with great accuracy." Dr. Tesla then said that it would be possible with his wireless mechanism to direct an ordinary aeroplane, manless, to any point over a ship or an army, and to discharge explosives of great strength from the base of operations.
Note: If you are unable to access this article at the link above, you can also find it at this link or this one. Some believe that this amazing technology was developed and then kept secret for reasons of national security. The technology Tesla was exploring here could have played a part in the secretive HAARP facilities, which some researchers believe are being used to manipulate weather and more. For an abundance of reliable information on HAARP, click here. For an amazing 35-page autobiography by Tesla himself, click here.
More than half of the electricity generated in the UK in 2017 came from low-carbon sources for the first time ever. Renewables and nuclear provided more electricity than all fossil fuels combined, with wind generation alone supplying twice as much energy as coal, according to analysis by Carbon Brief, a website that tracks climate change and energy policy. Wind made a greater contribution to the country’s electricity needs than coal in every month apart from January. The share from low-carbon sources doubled between 2008 and 2017, Carbon Brief said. The UK has also added wind and solar power generation rapidly, as costs have fallen. Future development will increasingly be possible without the Government subsidies that have aided the industry’s development until now. The UK also passed a series of other milestones last year, including its first day without coal power since 1882, the most electricity produced from solar power at any one moment and the most wind power produced in a day. Wind saw the biggest increase of any energy source, with supply up 31 per cent for the whole of 2017 on 2016’s level. The electricity sector has been the primary focus of renewable power generation as that power can then be used to revolutionise the other sectors, for example through the electrification of transport. Britain’s power system is the fourth cleanest in Europe and the seventh cleanest in the world.
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China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate the push into the electric car market. Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the government is working with other regulators on a timetable to end production and sales. The move will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China’s auto industry, Xin said at an auto forum in Tianjin on Saturday. The world’s second-biggest economy, which has vowed to cap its carbon emissions by 2030 and curb worsening air pollution, is the latest to join countries such as the U.K. and France seeking to phase out vehicles using gasoline and diesel. The looming ban ... will goad both local and global automakers to focus on introducing more zero-emission electric cars to help clean up smog-choked major cities. “The implementation of the ban for such a big market like China can be later than 2040,” said Liu Zhijia, an assistant general manager at Chery Automobile Co., the country’s biggest passenger car exporter. The U.K. said in July it will ban sales of diesel- and gasoline-fueled cars by 2040, two weeks after France announced a similar plan to reduce air pollution and meet targets to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Norway and the Netherlands are considering a more aggressive way to put an end on fossil fuel cars years earlier than its European peers.
Note: According to a recent study, subsidies propping up the global fossil fuel industry "were $4.9 tn in 2013 and they rose to $5.3 tn just two years later."
Fossil fuels are expensive. Much of their costs are hidden, however, as subsidies. If people knew how large their subsidies were, there would be a backlash against them from so-called financial conservatives. A study was just published in the journal World Development that quantifies the amount of subsidies directed toward fossil fuels globally, and the results are shocking. The authors work at the IMF and are well-skilled to quantify the subsidies discussed in the paper. The subsidies were $4.9 tn in 2013 and they rose to $5.3 tn just two years later. According to the authors, these subsidies are important because first, they promote fossil fuel use which damages the environment. Second, these are fiscally costly. Third, the subsidies discourage investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy that compete with the subsidized fossil fuels. Finally, subsidies are very inefficient means to support low-income households. With these truths made plain, why haven’t subsidies been eliminated? We are talking enormous values of 5.8% of global GDP in 2011, rising to 6.5% in 2013. Petroleum and coal receive much larger subsidies compared to their counterpart fuels. There are two key takeaway messages. First, fossil fuel subsidies are enormous and they are costs that we all pay, in one form or another. Second, the subsidies persist in part because we don’t fully appreciate their size. These two facts, taken together, further strengthen the case to be made for clean and renewable energy.
Note: Even competing with such heavily subsidized fossil fuels, the solar power industry in the US now employs more workers than the coal, oil and natural gas industries combined. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing energy news articles from reliable major media sources.
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