Energychallenge’s Weblog

Israeli Shai Agassi May Have the Right Approach for Electric Cars

T. Boone Pickens Should Take a Close Look at This Solution for Powering Cars

Israeli company Better Place has an innovative solution for electric cars that holds great promise for countries around the world. Israel has plans to be totally off of gasoline powered cars by 2020. Don’t be surprised if they achieve this goal before then. Better Place’s goal is to put in place zero emissions electric cars. In countries like Israel, where there is an abundance of sun, solar power will generate the electricity. In other countries, where the sun is less available, the electricity can be generated by other energy sources including some solar power, wind power, nuclear power, natural gas, clean coal, geothermal power, hydro-electric power and other possible sources.

If Shai Agassi’s plan works, it will truly take the world to a “Better Place”. Here are some of the details of his plan (from Better Place’s web site):

Founded in October 2007 on $200 million of venture capital, Better Place, in its first six months, announced cooperative agreements with Israel and Denmark to transform their transportation infrastructure from oil-based to renewable energy and significantly reduce harmful emissions.

Better Place’s model means consumers subscribe to transportation as a service, much like they do today with mobile phones. Auto companies make the electric cars that plug in to the Better Place electric recharge network of charging stations and battery swap stations. Energy companies provide the network’s power through growing renewable energy projects. And Better Place provides the batteries to make owning an electric car affordable and convenient.


Al Gore’s Energy Challenge

Former Vice President Al Gore challenged the United States to shift its entire electricity sector to carbon-free wind, solar and geothermal power within 10 years, and use that power to fuel a new fleet of electric vehicles.

The debate is now on. Is Al Gore’s Challenge realistic? Can the U.S. become energy independent within 10 years, and can we do it with alternative energy solutions rather than continued reliance on oil, coal and natural gas? Should we drill for more oil within the U.S. and off-shore?

Whether Gore’s proposed energy challenge is doable or not, it will hopefully spark debate and action in Washington, and start to mobilize the country to achieve energy independence while addressing Global Warming in a meaningful way. John McCain and Barack Obama responded positively to Al Gore’s energy challenge, however their energy plans clearly are not aligned with achieving Gore’s challenge.

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President Bush Requests $25 Billion for U.S. Department of Energy’s FY 2009 Budget

Posted in Energy Policy,Energy Solutions,National Energy Security by Howard Deutsch on July 18, 2008

Only $1.25 billion is for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Let’s put this in context. We are spending approximately $150 billion/year in Iraq and we are spending over $700 billion/year for imported oil. The 2009 U.S. budget is over $3 trillion and President Bush is recommending $1.25 billion for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. This is less than 1% of what we should be spending on energy efficiency and renewable energy!

The energy war is a much greater threat to the U.S. today than the war in Iraq. It is killing our economy.

If President Bush and this Congress were in power from 1940 – 1945, the U.S. would now be speaking German or Japanese. There hasn’t been a sighting of leadership in Washington in years, many years!

U.S. Department of Energy’s FY 2009 Budget

Are High Oil Prices Caused by Oil Supply Shortages or Oil Speculators???

The answer is YES!!!

For the last several months, as the prices of oil and gasoline have escalated to hit all-time highs, a debate has been raging in the media among pundits, spin doctors, politicians, oil company executives, OPEC representatives, journalists, correspondents and the public at large. The issue:  Are High Oil Prices Caused by Oil Supply Shortages or Oil Speculators??? Congress has now gotten into the act, holding hearings to see if oil speculators are driving up the price of oil and gasoline.  

Who is right on this question? Does it matter? Is there anything that can be done in the short and long-term to bring down the price of oil and gasoline? The debaters use selective information and misinformation to make their case. What most people agree to is that high oil prices are having a severe impact on countless people around the world, and on local, national and the world economy. The high price of oil is a high-stakes game, with clear winners and losers. The winners – any country that is a net producer of oil, oil companies in the US and worldwide, oil support companies such as drillers and manufacturers of drilling equipment, and individuals, investment banks, hedge funds, pension funds and sovereign-wealth funds investing and speculating in oil futures and oil company stocks. The losers – everyone else….everyone that uses petroleum products for personal use including transportation and home heating, every person who buys products and services that depend on petroleum-based products, and every company that uses petroleum products.