Today in Energy


Pin It

1, 2, 3s of Energy – All you need to know

This section will be a large undertaking and I will build over time. I have a lot of digital information to sort through and organize. There will eventually be several sections.

I decided to create this web section dedicated to accurate information on the various sources of energy. There is so much misinformation, confusion and propaganda on energy without a lot of knowledge and research it is very difficult to sort the fly shit from the pepper.

Why is this?

With energy the first thing you have to understand is that it is the most important and largest market in the world.

Everything relies on energy

More $$ are made on energy than probably the next 5 biggest market sectors combined (my guess). Just look at oil production that is about 85 million barrels a day at $100 is $3,120.5 trillion per year. At less than $50 a barrel now it is half that enormous number.

And you thought a $2 or $3 trillion US budget deficit was big. This does not consider any of the other energy sources, the industries to produce them, transportation and shipping of fuel, the pipelines, electricity generation. No doubt we are talking millions of trillions!!!!!!

And Coal is about as big as Oil. According to Int. Energy Agency as of 2013, coal provided approximately 41% of the world’s electricity needs. And at 29% of total world energy supply, coal is second only to oil, at 31%.

The Coal industry is estimated around $1 trillion

Then there is transporting energy. Oil tankers move about 14 trillion barrels per year. Pipelines they do even more

Rail moves a lot of Coal and Oil. I have not even got into Natural Gas Industry and Electrical generation and distribution. Alternate Energy

Than there is the massive Hydro Dams around the World. In the U.S. alone there is over 100,000 Dams on various rivers, not all produce hydro power, but most of them

Simply put Energy is massive. You see the picture??

If you looked at the World from space, the Oceans would be energy and one of the large rivers is everything else we do

It runs all transportation, grows our food, delivers water, runs our cities and factories, cools, heats, runs all tech gadgets, controls the weather and influences people, cultures and society.

Wars have been fought over energy since man discovered fire and most obvious has been the Middle East conflicts

Now that you understand how big and important energy is it is easy too understand why there is so much fighting over it, political posturing, foreign policy and even severe competition and battling among the industry. This why there is so much rhetoric and misinformation.

For example, of late the coal industry is getting a lot of bad raps over how dirty and poluting it is, so they counter back against Renewables and Natural Gas pipelines. Do you really think oil&gas companies want to see cars powered by electricity and/or power cells?

Are wind companies going to talk positive about coal or oil energy?

We are talking about industries worth $100s of billions and $trillions. They all have big budgets for advertising, promotion and mud slinging. Energy companies fund a lot of environmental groups to oppose other energy industries or companies. Many have their own lobby organizations, political connections etc.

Energy lobbying for 2010

These are the reasons for so much misinformation and twisted numbers and analysis in the energy sector

So why should I know so much or be any different? What side am I on?

I have an electrical and analitical background. I studied electricity and electronics in High School and College and then into electronics when I started at IBM and moving up into systems/business/inventory analysts. I have invested and researched resource stocks, energy and oil&gas for over 30 years. I have visited many oil&gas and electrical generation facilities. My analytical background has taught me that one must look at all the data from all angles and verify that data as well. So what I am going to do is layout I hope in a organised format what I have discovered about the energy market.

I am going to list the advanatges and disadvantages of the different sources of energy and why some sources are better than others for certain application but also dependent on location and other factors

To start with I am going to list each energy source, some of the facts and important tributes of each. They can basically be broken down into:

  • Solar/Sun
  • Fossil Fuels
  • Nuclear
  • Renewables that create electrical or mechanical energy.

The most common measurement of energy is the BTU (British Thermal Unit) A BTU is small about the same as burning one wooden match. One BTU is the he amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water through 1 degree Fareheight(58.5 F – 59.5 F) at sea level (30 inches of mercury). It is derived from the calorie where 1 BTU = 251.99 calories. One calorie is what it takes to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celcius

Common energy sources in BTUs

1 ton of Coal                                      = 28,000,000 BTU
Crude Oil 1 Barrel (42 gallons)            =   5,800,000 BTU
1 gallon diesel fuel                             =      139,000 BTU
1 gallong Heating Oil                           =     139,000 BTU
1 gallon gasoline                                =     124,000 BTU
1 pound of Wood (air dried)                =         8,000 BTU
Electricity 1 kilowatthour (kWh)           =         3,412 BTU
Propane Gas 1 Cubic Foot                  =          2,550 BTU
Natural Gas 1 Cubic Foot                    =         1,028 BTU


The list above is just in high to low order for easy reading does not mean one or the other has more energy. For example it is a lot harder to move and use a ton of coal compared to a gallon of gasoline

Solar – Sun burning at 15 million degrees Celsius

Most people think of power from the Sun as used in solar panels or heating water, but it is far more powerful. The Sun is so powerful it heats our whole planet and causes and creates a lot of our other energy. The effect of the Sun on Earth as day passes to night and the seasonal changes as the Earth's poles tilt relative to the Sun causes all of our weather changes. The winds that create wind power, the cycle of water evaporating and raining that creates all of our river systems by essentially moving water from the Ocean to the interior continents and these can end up driving hydro dams for electricity.

The Sun is essential to create the air we breathe and food we eat. You can viably argue that changes in how the Sun heated the Earth millions of years ago created what we know as fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas.

Pin It

Oil Tankers

Shale Gas Pros & Cons