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Rob wrote:

>We ignore how much oil it takes to get a gallon of gasoline to the
>pump at your local gas station (exploration, extraction,
>transportation, refining, refined product transport), so it's fair to
>ignore how much energy it takes to get a kWh of electricity to your
>wall socket.

I don't think you have thought this through.  Assuming we're using oil to
generate electricity, the cost to get oil to the power plant will not be
dramatically different from the cost to get it to your gas station.  So
it cancels out.

>IIRC the newest combined-cycle NG plants, and coal gasification plants
>are doing something on the order of 50-60% efficiency.  And you could
>sequester the carbon if there were an economic incentive to do so, or
>use some process heat to power a bioreactor and make biodiesel &
>ethanol from algae fed from your exhaust CO2.  It's tough to add
>sequestration to a vehicle and even tougher to retrofit it to existing
>vehicles...

A power plant efficiency of 50-60% seems conceivable.  OTOH, this higher
efficiency does imply signficantly larger construction costs because you
need high temperature turbines.  I think that the 35-40% efficiency is
typical and not likely to change dramatically in the next ten years.  After
all it sure hasn't changed much in the last 50 years...

For sure, you can do cool things by siting a power plant next to a
greenhouse where you can use the extra heat.  With an electric car, you can
also feed the car with solar energy, which is not possible with a gasoline
engine.  I think GM's Volt concept is cool, where you combine an electricy
generating turbine with full-time electric drive.

Mig

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