Sunday, November 22, 2015

This Day In Renewables

The United States Persists in it's addiction to expensive, damaging gasohol: New ethanol rules: No benefits, up to $600M cost, EPA says
The Environmental Protection Agency doesn't expect next year's increase of ethanol put into gasoline to have any environmental benefit, but it could end up costing as much as $600 million per year.

The EPA estimates the Renewable Fuel Standard, or the amount of biofuel required to be added to the nation's gasoline supply, to have zero dollars in benefits, according to the agency's Fall 2015 Statement of Regulatory Priorities. However, the new rule, set to be announced by Nov. 30, could cost between $118 million and $595 million, according to the document.

The EPA is set to announce that 17.4 billion gallons of biofuel must be added to the nation's gasoline in 2016. That amount is expected to break the "blend wall," or the amount of biofuel that car engines can handle without suffering any damage.

The Energy Information Administration, the independent analysis arm of the Department of Energy, believes reduced gasoline demand will push the percentage of biofuels in gasoline past 10 percent, which automakers say most models cannot handle.

The EPA requires a certain amount of biofuel to be added to the nation's gasoline supply, rather than having it make up a certain percentage.
The continued gasohol program is a testament to longevity of  bad ideas in American politics.

On the other hand, the British seemed to have decided to slow, if not stop, the flow of good money after bad into the ever empty hole that is solar and wind power subsidies: On eve of Paris climate summit, Britain pulls the plug on renewables
With breathtaking abruptness, the British government has in recent months slashed its support for solar power and other renewable forms of energy, leaving a once-promising industry with grim prospects and throwing into doubt the country’s commitment to clean power.

The moves have baffled environmentalists, business leaders and even many government allies. Britain has long been in the vanguard of efforts to combat global warming. It has been expected to play a leading role — alongside the Obama administration — in efforts to secure a package of tough reforms at the U.N. climate change summit in Paris, which kicks off at the end of this month.
But it didn't baffle anyone with a simple knowledge of economics. They simply weren't getting anything in return for their investment, and winters in the UK are long and cold.
But the decision to cut hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of support for renewable energy at home, with a planned 87 percent reduction in subsidies for solar power, threatens to undermine Britain’s international authority, while showing just how difficult it can be for a developed nation to break a centuries-long addiction to fossil fuels.
Wow, ever present editorializing as news before, Washington Post?

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