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Showing posts from September, 2017

Lecture 2

How Else Did Humans Acquire Energy Before Fossil Fuels? Mainly animals, wind, water Resources, like wood, vary considerably from region to region – little wood in deserts Comparing pre-industrial energy systems at various times, big differences based on available resources, climate, level of technology, level of organization What Factors Determine Differences in National Energy Systems Today? Available resources Level of income/development Economic activity mix (manufacturing) Climate Government policies (subsidies) Culture, habits, etc History (house sizes, city structures) Where do prices come from? World prices for some inputs Local resources, costs Costs of capital, labor Efficiency/productivity Taxes/subsidies Environmental, other policies National energy systems are incredibly diverse, with many drivers of diversity – not just resource Growth in energy use, CO2 likely to come mainly from developing nations, esp. China Geography of the country - ease of im

Lecture 1

How should we define “energy” in this course – and why? There is a wide variety of uses and sources Why are you interested in energy? Use of resources Energy security Does America face an “energy problem”? If so, what is it? Running out Environment International dependence Cost and market efficiency Even if we don't run out it might get really expensive Why haven’t all the smart people working in private business solved the problem? Focused on the supply side because demand is so high Lack of consensus about what should be done Because the market doesn't solve externalities - pollution - it is a secondary or unintended consequence Why do we all need to agree? Climate change What do you think Obama meant by “clean energy standard” “clean energy sources” Environmental concerns Renewables - solar, biomass, some uses of natural gas Would this raise or lower the price of electricity? Raise because there would be no federal push if it naturally fell Wha