The International Energy Agency has reported that the world will add as much renewable energy over the next five years as it did in the past two decades, with renewables such as wind and solar overtaking coal as the largest source of energy generation worldwide by early 2025.

That’s a significant development, so to bring it into context we have with us on the Lean to the Left podcast Jack Kerfoot, a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States.

Jack has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics. This is his fourth appearance on the Lean to the Left podcast.

Discussion questions:

Why is the demand for coal, declining around the world?
2. Which countries are the primary consumers of coal around the world?
3. Is the United States reducing its consumption of coal? I
4. Is the reduction in coal consumption impacting the United States greenhouse gas emission?
5. Where and why are renewable energy projects, like solar and wind being developed?
6. Are the volatile fossil fuel prices, the reason for inflation in the United States?
7. What exactly are greenhouse gases and what generates greenhouse gas emissions?
8. How do greenhouse gases cause global warming?
9. What is the impact of climate change?
10. What is the future of electric vehicles in the U.S.?

Show Notes

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Show Transcript

[00:01:05] Jack Kerfoot: Bob, it's a pleasure. It's always a pleasure to be on your show on Lean to the Left.. 

[00:01:09] Bob Gatty: Thank you my friend. So tell me why is the demand for coal declining around the world? Jack? . 

[00:01:18] Jack Kerfoot: I think it's important to recognize that when changes happen, there's always driving forces for that change.

[00:01:25] Yeah. In the 18 hundreds and 19 hundreds, coal was the revolutionary fuel source that replaced wood. So what we've seen though, is the change. We're going through another. Evolutionary change in the energy sector. So the move away from coal is because, first of all, economics, the cost to generate electricity and coal is primarily in the world right now used as a fuel source to generate electrical power.

[00:01:55] So coal, right now, the cost to generate electricity from coal is two to up to four times as much as electricity generated from renewables, which Includes hydropower, wind, and solar. Okay. So that's a huge factor, and that is one of the reasons that utilities not just states, but the utilities have been shifting from coal to renewables and also gas.

[00:02:23] The second factor, and this has to do with pollution, is that when you burn coal, you generate what's called coal ash. Now the US Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental agencies mandate that coal ash be stored so it cannot be washed into the groundwater or absorbed into the soil and get into the groundwater because the coal ash contains mercury, lead, and even arsenic.

[00:02:53] It's highly toxic. Now the question is how severe of a problem it is. In 2019. , U S E P A identified 241 coal sites closed and still operating that had contamination over 100 miles away from the coal plant. So that talks about serious contamination of the groundwater, which will be used in agriculture or for potable water for drinking.

[00:03:22] And that in, they used in agriculture we're talking about contaminating crops and also contaminating feed animals, cattle, livestock, sheep. And then the third reason is climate change. When we burn fossil fuels it generates carbon dioxide, co2. Okay? And that generates, that's most of 80% of greenhouse gas emission is. Now the amount of CO2 generated from coal is 40 to 48% more than natural gas. . So that significantly increases greenhouse gas emissions, which accelerates climate change or global warming, which generates or precipitates climate change. Okay, and when we talk about climate change, we're not just talking about warmer weather, we're talking about dramatic increases in severe weather.

[00:04:18] We're talking about hurricanes, flood. Blizzards, like we're about ready to go into where I live in the Pacific Northwest. Heat domes, which we had earlier this year in 2022, we had temperatures breaking over a hundred degrees, actually topping 120 degrees, which was unprecedented. And an area, or a heat dome spot that included western Alberta, Canada, British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, and Oregon area. So these are extreme weather trends that we're seeing and looking at documents, we say from the period of 20 year period from 1980, To 19, let's see, 1980 to 1999, let's say a 20 year period and compare that to the next 20 years, from 2000 to 2001 99, documented over 80%, 84% increase in this severe weather.

[00:05:16] And we have to realize that is talking about a major impact, not only on agricullture, but also on the power grid as well, which means that we'll have power outages and also potentially lives are at severe risk of life because of this severe weather increase. 

[00:05:33] Bob Gatty: Okay. 

[00:05:35] Jack, what are the, which countries are the primary consumers of coal around the world?

[00:05:40] You've been doing a lot of research. I know, I see that almost every day. You send out analyses of various countries and what's going on there? Fill us in on that. .

[00:05:52] Jack Kerfoot: Let's, first of all, the unprecedented consumer of coal is the People's Republic of China. Had over 50%, 50.5% of the coal consumed in 2021 was out of the People's Republic of China.

[00:06:08] We have, when I was first in China, I live 25 years overseas and over 15 years in Southeast Asia. Traveled frequently on business. across Asia from Japan, China all of Southeast Asia. And when the first time I went into Beijing, . I got up early in the morning, and this was 1982. Nine? Yeah, early, late 1981.

[00:06:34] NI early 19 80, 82. And so the city have Beijing was about 20 million people. Okay. However, at that time there were maybe no more than 50,000 cars because the only. , the political elite, were the only ones that had cars in Beijing at that time, unlike today. Okay. So I got up early in the morning and I thought I'd go for a run, and I looked outside and it was, I thought it was foggy, but I quickly realized it wasn't fog, it was pollution from coal.

[00:07:05] Because they used coal for heating. Now as the population has grown in China, have they become more industrialized now? They have a mission. So they are by far the largest user of coal in the world to generate power and electricity, and also for heating. Two is India. They generate about 11%. Three is the United States, about eight, eight and a half percent.

[00:07:31] Then we come into Germany at 3%. And although Germany. Smaller in percentage than the US on a per capita basis. Actually, it's a much higher user on a per capita basis than the us. Okay. And then after Germany, it's Russia. So basically what you come down to is the top 10 countries in the world in consumers of coal generate over 85% of the coal in the world.

[00:08:01] We've seen that coal has gone from a major source of power and now the changes are starting to happen. 

[00:08:08] Bob Gatty: Okay? Now in the us we've been on the decline, right? In terms of consumption of coal. 

[00:08:15] Jack Kerfoot: Absolutely. In 2005 there was a bipartisan bill called the 2005 Energy Act. And that was designed to try and look for ways to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and foreign hydrocarbons.

[00:08:31] So IT pro provided incentives for renewable energy and also per nuclear, which is zero carbon emissions. And even for things such as. Fracking or a hydraulic fracking to increase oil production. But in 2005, 49 per 49.6%, let's call it 50% of the US' electrical power was from coal. It was plentiful. At the time.

[00:08:55] It was cheap, and that was the reason the utilities were using coal. It was also a reliable source of coal. They could bring in a three month supply of coal and they could be sure of that flow of that power for a two or three month period of time. But in 2021, the US used less than 20%. 19.8% of electrical power was from coal.

[00:09:22] And in 2021, actually renewable energy passed coal and the reason is the same reasons I gave why people are leaving coal. Cost. Again, if we talk about solar or wind, the cost to generate electricity in the US is from renewables is three now three to four times less than coal we can generate with solar parks.

[00:09:48] Companies can come in and bill these parks and sign a purchase agreement with the utility to sell electricity to the utility for about two to 3 cents per kilowatt hour. Now, the average price for electricity in the US right now is around 16 cents per kilowatt hour. So moving to renewables, we will see the consumer's electricity process actually drop.

[00:10:12] So we're heading in the right direction. As far as moving away from coal, it's being driven by economics, and it's certainly being driven by concerns about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and also pollution. 

[00:10:27] Okay. Now is the 

[00:10:29] Bob Gatty: reduction in coal consumption in the United States affecting the greenhouse gas emissions?

[00:10:37] Jack Kerfoot: Absolutely. Again, it generates, like I say, 40 to almost 50% of the emissions or more emissions from coal than natural gas. So in 2005, when the US was using 50% of our power was generated from coal. We generated over 6 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalent. and in 2021, the US generated 4.8 billion metric tons of co2.

[00:11:08] So electrical power generation generates about 30% of the total emissions in the us. . Another 30% is from vehicles, from cars, trucks, planes from that standpoint. And then also another 20% is about from manufacturing, major industrial manufacturing. So as we set, move away from coal-powered fuel plans we will see emissions continue to. and as we move to electric vehicles, we'll also see emissions dramatically dropped. Those are the two big areas that we can make the most impact as far as reducing our emissions. 

[00:11:49] Bob Gatty: Okay, so where and why are renewable energy projects like solar and wind being developed?

[00:11:57] Jack Kerfoot: Where is simple. It's everywhere. Okay? The locations and the reasons are very diverse. Perhaps one of the more interesting reasons, many people may not be aware that there is an enormous boom in development of solar in Saudi Arabia in the United Arab Eran. The reason, is, Fossil fuels, coal, oil, and natural gas are not renewable, and there's a finite amount.

[00:12:24] Okay, so Saudi's and the UA E'S oil production and gas production has been steadily declining for the last 20 years. Now they can do other things to try and maintain that production and they can produce a short term surge or. , but long term, their production is declining. So they're building solar parks in these two countries, oil exporting countries, so they can fuel the electricity in their country with renewables so they can make the oil export and gas export, extend its life, which is critical to their economy.

[00:13:02] So that's one area. Okay. Another interesting area is in places in North Africa as Egypt and places like Algeria. They have been building renewable energy, wind and solar, particularly in Egypt, along the Eastern part near the Gulf of Suez. , they've been doing that for the same reason as other Middle Eastern countries, to maintain the fuel that they have for domestic export or for minimize domestic use and for increased export for a longer period of time.

[00:13:34] Okay? But now what they've just done in Egypt is sign an agreement with the European Union to lay a cable from Egypt all the way to Greece to sell green energy. Wow. And so similar approaches are being looked at by Algeria to sell electricity, green energy, wind, and solar. And they have significant solar and wind energy in the North Africa to the European Union has an alternative to natural gas.

[00:14:05] And this will help offset the power with the loss of natural gas from Russia that because of the embargoes, okay. In countries like Africa, we have to realize many countries in Africa have only a small percentage have access to electricity. Countries like Chad in the Sahara, Burundi, Burki, Faso, Madagascar those, countries have.

[00:14:33] anywhere from 10 to 30% of their whole population has access to electricity. Indeed do not have the financial resources to go out and build a major grid. So the most cost effective way for them is to go out and build small solar projects or wind projects that can tie into a local community grid.

[00:14:54] And that's helping electrify Africa. Now the reason electricity is so important for them, it's not just to have a access for light at night. , it's to run the water pumps, which are so critical for their agriculture, okay, for their crops and also for their animals. Now in Southeast Asia, we're seeing massive developments of solar and wind, but primarily solar in oil and gas exporting countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.

[00:15:27] What they're doing, let's say in Indonesia, it is the small islands just to the north of Singapore, a major industrial city. They are building these major solar parks with the intent of building laying a major cable into Singapore, which is a densely populated, highly industrialized island country, off the tip of peninsula Malaysia.

[00:15:50] So they're going to sell green energy to Singapore. They're planning on doing the same thing in Malaysia. Okay? In Europe, the move to renewables has been going on for, at least 20 to 30 years. However, with the Ukraine war in the Ukraine and the embargo and the attack of Russia, The EU has put in embargo and they're trying to wean themself away from gas.

[00:16:19] The US for the last 20, perhaps 30 years, has advised the EU and particularly Germany about the risk of becoming overly dependent on cheap natural gas from Russia and up until this year those concerns have gone ignored, have been ignored. But now what we're saying is the, war, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and now the embargoes, those countries are now scrambling to try and accelerate the development of renewables.

[00:16:52] They talk about other sources of energy coming into the country as well. Renewables is the best and the most effective answer to that. If you're going to read about, or you may have read about liquified natural gas from the US going to the eu, but what people don't realize is their fuel system is not designed. It's not been set up for liquified natural gas to be imported. , they have to build terminals, import terminals, and then they have to figure how they're going to distribute it. And you can't build an import terminal to countries like Austria, which have no ports. So the balancing of gas from other sources is going to be extremely difficult, the most reliable source of energy for electrical power is actually going to be renewals. And then of course we have countries in South America, like Paraguay and ua, which are developing renewable energy hubs to export a larger countries and population like Brazil and Argentina. In 2020, Paraguay actually generated almost 2 billion in revenue from selling green electricity to Argentina and Brazil.

[00:18:04] Wow. So we're seeing the whole energy system across the world changing not just because of the Ukraine war, but effectively because of the economics and also concerns about the climate. 

[00:18:18] Okay. 

[00:18:19] Bob Gatty: Now, in the United States the development of new renewable projects are booming in almost every county and state, right?

[00:18:29] Jack Kerfoot: That is correct. We're seeing that across the, area. Some states are more successful than others, but right now with the way we're looking at right now, the cost of renewables, we have to realize that renewables also helped revolutionize or helped change the utility industry. Yeah, it used to be an in a utility for particular state.

[00:18:52] We'd go to the utility board and propose a rate increase so they could fund building a new coal plant or a new gas plant. even a nuclear power plant. So now what's happening is entrepreneurs 15, 20 years ago with people like T Boone Pickens, who was in the oil and gas industry would come to a utility and say, I will build a wind farm in Texas and I'll build a solar park in Texas.

[00:19:20] I'll tie it into the grid and I'll provide electricity and the only thing I want is a contract to set at a certain fixed price for a 15 or 20 year period of time. So that means the utility does not have to go to the utility board. More importantly, they don't have to ask for a rate increase. These companies are now going out building these wind projects, going to the utilities with a power purchase agreement, and then borrowing the money from the banks based on their performance.

[00:19:52] So again, we're seeing these contracts save the consumer's money from that standpoint. I think more importantly, if we look at the Department of Energy, they're forecasting and they're notoriously conservative. Okay? So whatever they forecast, if you look back historically like I tend to do, if they say it's going to increase X, then I'll tell you that it'll actually increase X times 1.5.

[00:20:17] Okay? So they're saying that by 2030 in eight years, , which that's not that far away, that we are going to be generating somewhere around 20 to 22% of the electricity in the US Just from wind. 

[00:20:34] Bob Gatty: Just from wind, did you say? 

[00:20:35] Jack Kerfoot: Just from wind. 

[00:20:36] Bob Gatty: Wow. Okay. incredible. 

[00:20:38] Jack Kerfoot: And solar, you'll be 17 to 18%. Wow.

[00:20:43] Okay, so now you throw in the other sources of renewal that we have. We have hydro, which generates about seven or 8% of our power. And then also you have sources like geothermal as well. And biomass, which is a waste energy weight, which cuts down emissions from landfill and also is a very effective way.

[00:21:04] It's been proven in Europe to generate electricity literally from liquid or dry waste. So I think that by 2030 we will be, well over 60% of our power will be from renewable energy sources. 

[00:21:20] Bob Gatty: Wow. That's incredible. It really is. That's good news. Now we just went through an election, Jack and during that election campaign Inflation was one of the huge issues that was in play.

[00:21:40] And one of the major factors given by those who were arguing about inflation was the price of fossil fuel. now, is that really the reason why we are in, experiencing the inflation that we're experiencing 

[00:22:03] now? 

[00:22:05] Jack Kerfoot: Bob? I think it's important to realize that inflation is not a US issue. Yeah. . When people talk about, it's because of the president, my comment response is rubbish.

[00:22:20] The US produces about 1.1 million barrels of oil a day. Which is more than any other country in the world. The problem is we consume about 1.8 million barrels a day. Okay. So when we have covid, demand drops, when we have higher gas prices, demand drops as well. But we have to realize. If we look at inflation from January of this year through November of this year, which is current data, and I check multiple sources.

[00:22:51] Inflation in the US is about 7.1%. Compare that to 12% in Russia. 12% in Italy, 11% in the United Kingdom, 10% in Germany, 7.3% in Australia, 7% in Canada, and 4% in Japan. Okay, Japan looks like it's low, but we have to realize it's been, its previous inflation was zero or actually negative from that standpoint.

[00:23:19] Okay. So what we're seeing is inflation is a global issue for multiple reasons. The real issue with oil and gas right now, or fossil fuels is the volatility because we are seeing the demand surge. When people think the demand for oil is gonna go up, the price goes up, and when it doesn't, then it, drops as well.

[00:23:41] A year and a half ago just to show the impact of supply and demand. Oil producers in Texas were trying to sell oil to the refineries in the Houston area, the Houston HaBO of Houston, Texas. They actually had to pay the refiners $30 a barrel to take the oil. And the reason for that is the, storage tanks were completely full.

[00:24:07] And the refiners, the only way they could take the oil is to rent cargo ships, and they had to pay a significant price for that. So we've actually seen oil drop as low as minus $30, and we've seen it jump as high as almost 150, $160 a barrel. It's a commodity, and so we're going to see that Yo-yo back and forth.

[00:24:29] For businesses, when you're trying to plan your business and you're trying to figure out what your heating costs are going to be, or fuel costs are going to be, how do you forecast that? Sure. So you tend to put in a little bit of additional extra cost in there, anticipating the volatility. That uncertainty contributes to it as well.

[00:24:51] Another factor that people quite fail to realize is China and Covid in China. We have to realize that China was, for this year, the largest manufacturer of goods around the world, but because of their Covid policy,. What they do is when there were a few outbreaks of covid, let's say in a city like Shanghai, which is a major hub for export at a major port facility.

[00:25:20] The city has over 30 million people, but when they had over a few hundred cases of Covid, they locked down the entire city. All the businesses were closed, all the apartments were locked in. People couldn't go out and unless they had special passes to the grocery store, everything was locked down.

[00:25:38] And they've been doing that for years, which is why when we read about the shortage of the Apple phones, particularly the Apple iPhones that were being made in China, all of a sudden there was all this concern because. The whole plant was shut down because of outbreaks of Covid. Additionally, now they've now gone the other 180 degrees in the other direction and basically said Covid.

[00:26:03] Covid is not no longer a problem. We're not worried about it. And so they are literally best estimates, not from the cpp, but from all the people that are there. Somewhere around 40 to 50 million cases of Covid today. So that's disrupting the supply chain from that standpoint. And then of course, if we look at the industrialized countries, let's start with the US.

[00:26:28] Yeah. When the, economy was, our economy was coming out of covid, businesses were looking to rehire and to staff back up. And the desire for people to come back into the workforce. They were tentative, which is understandable. And as a result, they were having to pay bonuses and increase salaries.

[00:26:48] Okay. To get people to en entice people back. And that was passed on to the people as well. Sure. So if you actually look at our inflation rates, that we have in the us. More than half of that was increased wages to workers because of the necessity of a supply shortage, the worker coming back to the businesses.

[00:27:10] So can President Biden impact any of that? Of course not. He can't nor can any president, whether he's red or blue. From that standpoint. So I, it causes me concern when I hear that because we're not talking about facts and not, we're not looking at the real issues at hand. Yeah. We're just trying to throw mud at somebody because we don't like of their political persuasion.

[00:27:37] Yeah, exactly. Okay. Now, greenhouse gases. Exactly. What are they and what generates greenhouse gas emissions, 

[00:27:50] Jack. Okay. When we talk about greenhouse gas emissions, what we're talking about is a composition of gases. , including something as benign as water vapor, a small percentage. Carbon dioxide, methane, which you get when you burn natural gas.

[00:28:07] Also ozone nitrous oxide and certain chloroform. Chloro. Fluorides, excuse me, but 80%. of greenhouse gas emissions are from co2, carbon dioxide, and the overwhelming majority of carbon dioxide is generated from the burning of fossil fuels. Okay. Burning of coal for power, burning of gasoline or diesel when we drive trucks and plane or flying a plane.

[00:28:35] And also the burning of natural gas for heating and also powering electrical power plants. Moving to renewables or low carbon sources will dramatically empty, decrease the amount of emissions in our country. 

[00:28:51] Bob Gatty: Okay. That's good news as well. What's the impact of climate change overall?

[00:29:00] Jack Kerfoot: That's what I was alluding to earlier. Yeah. Is when we talk about climate change people will see graphs that say, we want to, we're concerned about the average temperature increasing by another 1.5 degrees Celsius. . And to most people that doesn't have any impact. They think, oh, maybe the winters won't be as quite as cold, and that might be, that might not be so bad.

[00:29:24] But the reality, what we're talking about is a dramatic increase in severe weather of hurricanes, of tornadoes, of floods, droughts. Blizzards key domes as I referred to. Sure. Again, the UN study that was done showed that there was an 83 84% increase for a 20 year period of time, 19. 80 through 1999 and 2000 through 2019.

[00:29:54] So it's a large population of data looking at severe storms and weather around the world. And if we look in the US, we can certainly see increases along. So it's not just the world, it's a, our country has impacted us well, so we're talking about hurricanes, we're talking about severe weather, and we're talking about potential increased loss of life. The blizzard that hit north Texas, and actually even northern Mexico in February of this year. The average temperatures in Texas for that February are typically high fifties, low 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Their temperature is dropped down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, so well below freezing.

[00:30:42] So what that caused was people that. We actually had fatalities from, I think well over 300 people fatalities because people turned up their heat, they were cold, so they turned up the heat and that put a dramatic surge of power onto the grid and they came. The entire state of Texas came within literally 15, 20 minutes from losing power across the entire grid. So in some areas, to address this, they had rolling power outages. And as a result, there were several hundred people that died of hypothermia as some were homeless, but some were in their homes, but their power had been turned off. So when we talk about severe weather, we're talking about what's best for our population and our country and around the world.

[00:31:31] Bob Gatty: Jack based on all the research that you've been doing and, really what we've been talking about here today. Is there good news in all of this? There seems to be a ray of sunshine showing through with with the change from reliance on coal to renewables. . 

[00:31:56] Jack Kerfoot: I, think I, equate the renewable energy movement to a lot like the Vietnam War, and since I'm a veteran who served there, I'll relate to that.

[00:32:06] Initially everyone was for the Vietnam War, and then slowly, the opinion started to change from that standpoint. Yeah. And so it took time and consistent messages. Not extreme rhetoric, not prophesizing, the end of the world.. Logical, coherent thought and discussion on the issues at hand to try and address the issues that are there.

[00:32:31] There is a lot of passion for renewable energy. What we need is more analytical thinking on how to achieve that in a way that we can do it the most effectively as far as a cost standpoint and the most effectively. As far as a time standpoint, certain states. Like New Jersey, like Minnesota, like New Mexico.

[00:32:55] Interestingly, Texas are doing very well in making that move. They're looking at how do we weatherize the grid? From extreme weather. They're looking at how do we make the move to renewable energy, which will drive down the cost. At the same time we do it in a way that mitigates any I impact on the environment from that standpoint.

[00:33:18] We also see certain states like New Jersey for the offshore wind of building a wind hub port. Yeah. So the wind turbines can be staged there and built before they're towed offshore and put on small little pedestals and then tied back into the power ground. They're also creating training programs as well.

[00:33:39] So those states. I would like to say get it. Other states, unfortunately, many in the western us west coast, US in particular have a lot of passion for green energy, but they haven't done the real analysis to recognize how they're going to get there. So one of my catchphrases are investigate before you legislate and those states that I've mentioned as stars in the area understand about removing barriers to renewable energy. And our current president has done a remarkable job of trying to open up federal lands for renewable energy projects, and also to shorten the cycle time for permitting. They're trying to do that as well along the east coast, along the offshore areas for the wind grids.

[00:34:29] And if we start to put wind farms along the entire eastern seaboard, , the potential on the Eastern seaboard says that we could generate basically enough electricity from Maine down to Florida to generate 25 to 30% of the nation's, the entire nation's electricity, cuz it's such a high population area.

[00:34:51] Bob Gatty: Yeah, that's incredible. 

[00:34:52] Jack Kerfoot: And now we're talking about states along the Gulf Coast, which are oil and gas producing areas. Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas developing offshore wind farms right now. Okay. So they're making that move right now. States on the West coast. , we're talking about it, but we're not taking the necessary action to really implement it from that standpoint.

[00:35:18] So unfortunately, as someone who's an advocate for renewable energy in a state that prides itself on being green we have a lot of passion. We just need to improve our analysis on how to make it. . 

[00:35:33] Bob Gatty: Okay. In some of our earlier discussions, we talked a lot about the growth of, and the beneficial growth of electric vehicles, and you mentioned that a little earlier today.

[00:35:50] Are you seeing a lot of change going forward? It seems to me that over the past year, and a half, even two years That the automobile companies have done an incredible job of moving forward with electric vehicles. Is that what you're seeing? 

[00:36:12] Jack Kerfoot: Absolutely. We're seeing more new electric vehicles by manufacturer.

[00:36:17] We're now seeing the Kia out of Korea, and now we're starting to the key thing is, If we look at the European automakers and the US automakers, they actually see that the demand for combustion engine vehicles will drop where it will no longer be economic for them to maintain production of combustion engine vehicles.

[00:36:41] For gm, it's 2035. For Ford, it's 2040. For BMW is 2030. From that standpoint, so they clearly see that happening and they're not doing this from environmental reason. They're looking at the economics. The CEO for GM said in 2021 that she sees the price sticker price for a combustion engine vehicle to be the same as electrical vehicle by 2025.

[00:37:11] Okay. Okay. And she thinks that they'll be able to drive on a single charge for over 500 miles. So you are seeing that right now. And then at the cost standpoint, I get about three miles per kilowatt hour, on my electric vehicle, and that cost is about 12 cents right now. So you sit there and say, 30 miles I can drive for a dollar 20 and then I can drive 60 miles for two 40.

[00:37:41] Where in the United States can you get gas for ? $2 and 40 cents. Yeah, okay. So the impact of that is there. And then the operating cost for the electric vehicles is almost zero. There's windshield wipers and there's tires. But you don't need antifreeze. You don't need to change your points and plugs.

[00:38:01] You don't need to change the oil. So the operating cost is less. So actually now the payout for electric vehicles without any subsidies is probably about four or five years. In which case then it's about the same. So we're seeing on the West coast from Oregon, Washington, and California, a big surge in electric vehicles because of economics.

[00:38:28] But what we have to look at is what the impact is on the grid, and that's the other factor we see. And that's why it's important that I start with talking about the power grid and power supply to maintain that. Because as we use more electricity for our electric cars, it's gonna put more demands on the utilities.

[00:38:50] Now the utilities like to ra, raise the red flag and say, oh, we won't be able to handle it. But actually, if you look at energy consumption in the US, It's been steadily declining over the last 20 years because of energy efficient appliances, because of better insulation. So the end of the day, maintaining an electric car fleet around the world for most of the drivers is a doable objective.

[00:39:16] So when I hear criticisms or concerns that we won't be able to maintain the charging of electric vehicles, I say, hold on here. If we start at the fundamental problem of how do we green the grid and how do we get diversification of power and ensure the grid is secure, we won't have that problem. Now, the next big aspect in technology, and that I think will be between 2025 and 2026 at the latest is there new batteries coming out that are not necessarily lithium batteries? Okay. There are other new types of batteries. Okay. And they have now said they can get a full charge in somewhere between five and 10 minutes. And when that happens, . Then the gas stations that we see are up and down the freeways will be putting those in.

[00:40:03] Yeah, because their only revenue is from selling soft drinks and munchies, and so they don't care if it's gasoline cuz they don't make much money off the actual gasoline. They want you in there. That's right. That's when we'll see the real book. 

[00:40:20] Bob Gatty: So you believe that, the convenience stores across the country that now sell, they now, so let's say they have 20 gas pumps out front.

[00:40:31] They'll probably have half of that gas and half of that electric To charging stations. Is that 

[00:40:40] Jack Kerfoot: I, think what you're saying absolutely. That is because what gets them in 85% of the gas station's renewables in the US Yeah. Is from the sale of soft drinks and munchies and lottery tickets and cigarettes.

[00:40:52] Yeah, that's That's the driver. Yeah. So from that standpoint, the capitalism for from the economy is just what will accelerate this change from that standpoint. Yeah. Okay. So I absolutely believe it will happen. So there, there's several things that we have to do together in a coordinated effort.

[00:41:11] The grid. also the investment in new technology from that standpoint. And we have to realize that moving to renewables is just the next step. At some point in nine time, fusion will be the next potential power source and that may replace power plants that are wind and solar with something that be more economic and.

[00:41:31] More environmentally friendly. So change is not bad as long as you understand what that change is and the advantages and disadvantage change is just change, it's different. And so open our minds and to the perspectives and opportunities that we have. 

[00:41:47] Bob Gatty: All right, my friend, thank you so much. I really enjoyed this conversation and I hope our listeners did too.

[00:41:53] II think that every time I talk to you, Jack, I learn something new. I don't know where the hell you get all your information, but you do an incredible job. I really enjoy seeing your reports that come through every day on various countries and what's going on there. So thank you for being with us today, 

[00:42:13] Jack Kerfoot: Bob. Thank you. It's a real pleasure. And anytime. Thank you very much. 

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