Carbon Sequestration to Improve Energy Yields
Thursday, November 22, 2007 at 08:04PM
Toby Considine in Markets and Innovation

A tip of the hat to Lynne Kiesling for pointing out one of the more interesting energy plays in the carbon neutral realm.

The company Blue Source is offering a carbon sequestration solution that increases oil production. They make this cost effective by producing revenue at each end of the pipeline. CO2 is captured at a cola plant, pumped to a nearly depleted oil field and pumped into the ground where it rejuvenates oil production.

This is yet another example of an important principle. The best solution to most problems is to increase transparency and let more detailed information flow. Regulatory plans are too subject to meddling and patronage. Mandated solutions are too prone to technical lock-in. Liability issues make companies reluctant to try anything other than a “recommended” or pre-approved solution.

oBIX will make the operations of buildings visible. Utility-to-Building communications, of which standards such as DRAS are the beginning, will make visible the actual costs and instabilities of grid. Visibility will alert creative minds as to what problems are worth solving. Markets will take care of the rest.

The solutions may be long term; Stirling Energy systems worked for thirty years before their technology became the viable basis for one of the more interesting solar power production projects in the Southwest. Blue Source needed a very short time to put together a bridge between newly visible carbon disposal costs and newly expensive oil.

Storage and buffers will solve many of the problems of the grid. These problems have been intractable. Making these costs visible and assigning economic value to them in an open market will hasten their solution. Will it be old-school floor-by-floor thermal storage? Will it be new school vanadium cells in the basement? It doesn’t matter – markets will show us the way. And free markets come from free information.

Article originally appeared on New Daedalus (http://www.newdaedalus.com/).
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