LNG in Cars?
Q: With all this talk about LNG, why don’t you hear anyone say anything about using it to power vehicles? Afterall it has a higher energy density than CNG.
A: While LNG’s energy density is 2.4x greater than CNG’s, 1 gallon of LNG has only 64% of the energy of 1 gallon of gasoline – http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/fuel_comparison_chart.pdf.
To Frack or Not to Frack?
Q: Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is on every energy person’s mind. How environmentally dangerous is it? Should we do it or not?
A: While there are some risks to fracking (i.e. contamination of aquifers/drinking water, methane gas leaks possibly leading to explosions, small earthquakes) and natural gas is a fossil fuel, therefore adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and carrying the risk of spills during its transportation, overall the risks appear relatively remote and manageable. Futhermore, natural gas emits half as much carbon dioxide as coal, which is most commonly burned to generate electricity, making a switch to natural gas a step in the right direction. Here is a balanced column in the New York Times addressing the issue – http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/opinion/global/the-facts-on-fracking.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. Also, here’s another concise debate – http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/934
German vs. U.S. Solar System Cost
Q: Why are German solar systems ($3.00/watt) so much cheaper than those in the U.S. ($6.19/watt)?