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Scientists Just Set a Nuclear Fusion Record

CNN | Energy Production

Scientists Just Set a Nuclear Fusion Record

“Scientists and engineers near the English city of Oxford have set a nuclear fusion energy record, they announced Thursday, bringing the clean, futuristic power source another step closer to reality.

Using the Joint European Torus (JET) — a huge, donut-shaped machine known as a tokamak — the scientists sustained a record 69 megajoules of fusion energy for five seconds, using just 0.2 milligrams of fuel. That’s enough to power roughly 12,000 households for the same amount of time.”

From CNN.

Bureau of Land Management | Energy Production

BLM Expedites Geothermal Energy Permitting

“To improve permitting of geothermal energy exploration on public lands, the Bureau of Land Management today adopted two existing categorical exclusions from the United States Forest Service and the Department of the Navy. The categorical exclusions will enable the agency to expedite the review and approval of geothermal exploration proposals.”

From Bureau of Land Management.

BBC | Science & Technology

How AI Is Helping to Prevent Future Power Cuts

“AI is also now being used to protect the physical infrastructure that carries electricity to our homes.

One company, Buzz Solutions, uses AI to scan through imagery of electricity cables, pylons and substations, identifying signs of damage such as broken parts or rust.

The system also identifies when trees and other greenery are growing too close to power lines.

Not only can this prevent power outages from damaged lines, but it can also reduce the risk of wildfires.”

From BBC.

TechCrunch | Energy Production

Electricity and Air Converted into Synthetic Natural Gas

“Instead of reducing humanity’s dependence on hydrocarbons — which is impossible or undesirable or both, depending on who you ask — Terraform Industries’ solution is to produce this resource, using electricity and air, via a system it calls the Terraformer. Today, the startup is announcing that it has commissioned a demonstrator Terraformer and produced synthetic natural gas for the first time.

Roughly the size of two shipping containers, the Terraformer consists of three subsystems: an electrolyzer, which converts solar power into hydrogen; a direct air capture system that captures CO2; and a chemical reactor that ingests both these inputs to produce pipeline-grade synthetic natural gas. The entire machine is optimized for a one-megawatt solar array.”

From TechCrunch.

Blog Post | Energy Prices

Where Is Gasoline the Most Affordable?

Remember that it’s the time price, not the money price, that counts.

Summary: The affordability of gasoline varies significantly worldwide due to varying taxes and subsidies. Analyzing the GDP per hour worked against the money price per gallon shows that the United States emerges as the most affordable country for purchasing gasoline, even compared to nations where gasoline prices are heavily subsidized by the government.

According to GlobalPetrolPrices.com, the average price of gasoline around the world is USD5.03 per gallon. However, there is substantial difference in these prices among countries due to the various taxes and subsidies for gasoline. All countries have access to the same petroleum prices of international markets, but countries do not all impose the same taxes. As a result, the retail price of gasoline varies significantly.

Graph displays the gasoline price per gallon in US dollars in various countries

The money price of 16 selected countries ranges from $2.26 in Russia to $8.55 in Denmark. But what about the time price? To calculate the time price, we first calculated the GDP per hour worked in each country. The data to calculate this ratio come from the World Bank and the Conference Board.

Graph displays the GDP per hour worked in various countries

We then divided GDP per hour worked by the money price per gallon. This gave us the gallons of gasoline that one hour of work would buy in each country:

Graph displays the gallons of gasoline per GDP per hour worked in various countries

We also divided the nominal price per gallon by GDP per hour worked to get the minutes required per gallon:

This chart illustrates how much more expensive relative to the US the other 15 countries are in terms of time price:

Chart displays the cost in time price of gasoline in 15 countries

Of the 16 countries analyzed, the US is by far the most affordable place to buy gasoline. There are other countries where gasoline is more affordable, but the gasoline price in those countries is heavily subsidized by government.

Tip of the Hat: Jeremy Horpendahl

This article was published at Gale Winds on 4/1/2024.