Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Electric Gallon of Gas

A couple of weeks ago, I was visiting with one of those white haired senators from the South who rarely takes an opportunity to get out of ass kissing distance from the POTUS. But on this day, perhaps because he sees a tightening in his upcoming race, he wanted to be seen hanging out with folks who are trying to deal with the great issues we face in non-violent, creative ways.

You know, people who think that we should stop bombing those who have oil, and instead start retrieving all of our energy from the daily photon bombardment of our nearest nuclear star.

During his talk, he made some mention of oil prices and what a difficult issue it was. Given that oil prices have increased 10 fold in 10 years mostly under his party's leadership, I had to agree with him on that.

After his talk, I talked to him for a moment about the price of an electric gallon of gas.

"A what"? he said.

"An electric gallon of gas" I said. You know, if a plug in hybrid or other electric car can get 3-4 miles per KWh, depending on the size and load of the vehicle, and it cost 10 cents a KWh, and you compare that with a gasoline vehicle that gets 30 to 40 miles per gallon; then, the electric gallon of gas cost the consumer about a dollar.

I went through the calculation one more time for him and you know, I think he got it.

Sure, he will vote to drill anywhere his oil masters say, but I'm pretty sure that he's also going to support plug in legislation too.

And according to the National Plug In Hybrid blog, we will all soon be able to buy sophisticated plug in vehicles from GM, Toyota, and Nissan by 2010, with Ford, Volvo, and a host of others following right behind.

This is important because here in Texas, we are getting ready to spend a lot of money to bring more wind and solar energy from the resource dense areas in the west to the load centers in the center of the state. We are even going to build enough capacity to begin to strain the system at night when the load drops down substantially.

Those who want to oppose this build out see that as a problem. Those who want to see as much non- carbon energy in our total energy mix as possible, see it as an opportunity to seriously penetrate the transportation sector.

And as it looks right now, the new breed of cars will be here by the time the transmission lines are finished. That will allow some Texans to charge their cars at night for 10 cents/ KWh and in the not so distant future, sell some of that power back to the grid at 4 dollars/ KWh at five in the hot summer afternoon.

That's right, last week MWhs of electricity were selling for $4,000.00 a MWh during these hot summer afternoons. Theoretically, you could buy at 10 cents after you get to work, retop your electric tank (which only holds about 10 KWhs) for about a dollar, and for each Kwh you sell back in the afternoon at 4 dollars, you make a profit of 3 dollars.

If the utility had 100,000 of these new cars on V to G (vehicle to grid), it would be the equivalent of bringing a major 100 MW gas turbine on line.

If everyone played in this game, it would be the equivalent a major nuclear plant.

Not a bad plan really.

We get affordable renewable non polluting transportation fuel that is produced locally. In turn, that allows more renewables to be brought on line. We reduce our peaking generation needs, and we unify the stationary generation and transportation sectors, thus, reducing our overall energy infrastucture investment. And, we don't have to bomb anybody to do it.

The good news is.

We are doing it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo! Totally agree that we can do this ourselves. It is astounding that we keep depending on oil countries. We need to push hard for new legislation to drill off shore and on gov lands with shale.

Oh yeah..and develop electric cars at a resonable price. Hybrids are way over hyped.

6:05 PM  
Blogger oZ said...

Dear Mary:

Thanks for your comment. Are you from this planet? You see, here on Earth we have problem with CO2 emissions.

I notice that your name is linked to

Are you a computer?

Or an R?

Informed readers would like to know.

12:44 PM  

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