Author Archives: Peter Spitz

All solar; all the time

Can a sentence including the words “solar” and “Tesla” make sense. Cars can not run on solar roof panels, but such a sentence would make sense if it also includes Elon Musk who is the CEO of both his eponymous car company … Continue reading

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Nanocrystals for tagging: A possible breakthrough

Research carried out at MIT and funded by the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Office and National Institute of Health has led to the successful development  of tiny, smartphone-readable particles that, inventors say, could be used to authenticate currency (see also … Continue reading

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Finally: Waking up to the folly of biofuels

The corn-based ethanol producers in Iowa and elsewhere must be throwing money at their congressmen as their industry is starting to look more and more threatened, both short term (high corn and low crude prices) and long term(Do we need … Continue reading

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Desalination becoming important contributor in drought-stricken California

Desalination is a technology that has been around for a long time (a classmate of mine at MIT became one of the founders of Ionics Corporation shortly after he graduated) but it has had little impact on life in the United … Continue reading

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New hope for Nuclear Waste disposal?

In the U.S. there are now 70,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel at 75 locations in 33 states awaiting disposal and this volume of highly radioactive waste will swell at the rate of 2100 tons per year as existing reactors … Continue reading

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Likely crude oil price “bottom”: It’s a puzzle

This update to my recent post provides more background on the costs of producing crude oil from different fields in different ways and, together with the visual below, is useful in trying to assess where the “equilibrium” crude oil price might be … Continue reading

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Crude Oil Price: Small Imbalances create major volatility

My October 19th post on crude oil pricing outlined the basics behind crude oil supply-demand pricing and pointed to a likely “floor” price around $60 per barrel, largely based on the fact that around this price the more expensive crude oil … Continue reading

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