California Energy Economics Notes

 

(7 July 2004)

 

The following represents the opinion of Jim Easton and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Home Energy Systems, Inc. or of its employees or affiliates.

 

 

I believe that we are seeing a permanent change in the world energy situation that will deeply affect how we live – and the market for solar energy.

 

World oil production has apparently peaked, while world demand for energy and petrochemicals continues rising.  This can only lead to continuing progressive increases in energy costs.

 

While the gasoline price increases are obvious, the impact on the solar energy industry in California should take into account some special factors:

 

  1. Most of California’s electricity generation relies on the use of natural gas.
  2. Natural gas prices, in the short term, are likely to increase faster than petroleum prices because of the historic undervaluation of natural gas energy relative to petroleum energy.
  3. The consequence of this is that electricity prices must rise.
  4. It requires approximately two years’ solar electricity production by a typical high-efficiency solar (photovoltaic, PV) panel to pay back the energy used in its manufacture.
  5. Solar panel technology is relatively static, using, for the most part, methods developed more than 30 years ago.
  6. With the increase in the costs of energy, the increasing world demand for non-petroleum energy sources, and the very slow pace of technical innovation, solar (photovoltaic) panel prices will rise.
  7. The devaluation of the dollar relative to other currencies contributes to making more expensive (in US dollars) any commodity that has high value (per pound/cubic foot) that is non-perishable and readily transported – such as solar modules.
  8. The California Energy Commission plans to continue reducing the subsidy given to entities that install solar electricity generating systems.

 

The result of all this is to make delay in installing solar generating facilities costly.  Unfortunately, solar modules are already in extremely short supply, and it may already be too late for many potential customers to obtain systems.  Production capacity of solar grade silicon is already tapped out, and capacity increases require major investments of risk tolerant capital.

 

The best single professionally written reference to the world energy situation I have found is: Deffeyes, Kenneth S., Beyond Oil,

 

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0809029561/qid=1116628346/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/102-8939560-8620912

 

The following web references have been kindly supplied by Jim Shawvan mailto:Jim%20Shawvan%20[jshawvan@yahoo.com]:

 

 

Lee R. Raymond: Facing Some of the Hard Truths About Energy:

 

http://www.petroleumworld.com/SF061304.htm

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Adam Porter: Is the World Running Out of Oil Fast?

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3777413.stm

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Daniel M. Kammen: California's Energy Future:

 

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/07/18/EDG3B7MF141.DTL

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Paul B. Weisz: Basic Choices and Constraints on Long-Term Energy Supplies

 

http://www.physicstoday.org/vol-57/iss-7/p47.html

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Murray Duffin: Energy Challenges 2004: Petroleum

 

http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_display.cfm?a_id=868

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Murray Duffin: Energy Challenges: Solar

 

http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_display.cfm?a_id=864

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Latest info at the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre:

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Muhammad Sahimi: Iran's Nuclear Energy Program Part IV: Economic

Analysis of the Program

                        This is much more than the title implies.

 

               http://www.payvand.com/news/04/dec/1056.html

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California Energy Commission Publications

 

Gasoline Price Watch

 

http://www.gaspricewatch.com

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WIND ENERGY

 

http://www.awea.org/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Shell Oil: Carbon Dioxide and Climate Change.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1240496,00.html

 

 

Annual Energy Outlook 2004 with Projections to 2025

 

    (Note that the DOE projections are significantly different from

        most private expert's projections)

 

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/index.html#key

 

Secretary Spencer Abraham: National Petroleum Council Speech:

 

http://energy.gov/engine/content.do?PUBLIC_ID=16041&BT_CODE=PR_SPEECHES&TT_CODE=PRESSSPEECH

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The Association for the Study of Peak Oil Newsletter:

 

http://www.asponews.org/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

International Energy Agency Prediction

 

http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=4d9ac2f7-7e33-435a-9d49-e28b888ac49a

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Transitioning to a Renewable Energy Future: ISES

White Paper

 

http://www.ises.org/shortcut.nsf/to/wp

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Remarks of A.M. Samsam Bakhtiari (Iranian National Oil)

 

http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/071604_samsam_bak.shtml

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Brad Foss: Energy Prices Affect More than Gasoline:

 

http://www.thehollandsentinel.net/stories/070404/bus_070404066.shtml

 

http://www.newsok.com/article/1274553/?template=business/main

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ross Gelbspan: Toward a Global Energy Transition:

 

http://www.petroleumworld.com/SunOPF070404.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Haroon Siddiqui: Energy Crisis Ahead:

 

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1091311809719&call_pageid=968332188854&col=968350060724

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Chip Haynes: Ghawar is Dying:

 

http://www.newcolonist.com/ghawar.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

G. R. Morton: Ghawar Fading:

 

http://www.ocnus.net/artman/publish/article_13527.shtml

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Murray Duffin: The Energy Challenge 2004:

 

Petroleum

 

http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_display.cfm?a_id=868

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Murray Duffin: The Energy Challenge 2004:

 

   Wind Energy

 

http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_display.cfm?a_id=843

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Murray Duffin: The Energy Challenge 2004:

 

        Nuclear Energy Pros & Cons

 

http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_display.cfm?a_id=839

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy:

 

http://www.dsireusa.org/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bush Clears Path for Energy Development

 

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/9831724.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Half-MW Solar Energy System for Water Treatment Plant:

 

http://www.solaraccess.com/news/story?storyid=7199

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alex Kirby: Energy: Meeting Soaring Demand

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3995135.stm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.bu.edu/cees/people/faculty/cutler/index.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.bu.edu/cees/research/publications/beyond_oil/beyond_oil_title/beyond_oil.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.bu.edu/cees/research/publications/energy_rq/book_intro/Energy_Resource_Quality.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jerry Taylor & Peter Van Doren: Gas Panic

 

    Historical inflation adjusted perspective on gasoline prices.

 

http://www.liberty-news.com/showNewsletter.php?id=200407051

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CIBC: US Economy More Vulnerable to Energy Prices than Generally Reported

 

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/041104/to185_1.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.eagle.ca/~gcowan/boron_blast.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://home.earthlink.net/~annallen0416/daleallenpfeiffer.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nuclear Energy is Embraced by Asia:

 

http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=733912004

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

C.J. Campbell: The Coming Oil Crisis (2001 Update)

 

http://www.hubbertpeak.com/campbell/update2002.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.dieoff.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://dieoff.com/page199.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.geocities.com/combusem/PRICE.HTM

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.energyrichjapan.info/en/welcome.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www9.ocn.ne.jp/~aslan/fande21e.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_display.cfm?a_id=556

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.eurosolar.org/new/en/home.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.energiekrise.de/e/index.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.globalpublicmedia.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://mwhodges.home.att.net/energy/energy.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/utilities/rp/rp002193.pdf

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.hubbertpeak.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://hubbert.mines.edu/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.homepower.com/files/fuelcell.pdf

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://csf.colorado.edu/seminars/nondual-ecology/nondual-ecology.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.oildepletion.org/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ODAC - Oil Depletion Analysis Center:

 

http://www.odac-info.org/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.oilcrash.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://greatchange.org/othervoices.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/PFE307A.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://melbourne.indymedia.org/news/2004/01/59989.php

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1248068.stm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://members.efn.org/~fodor/Resources/Bartlett-Reflections.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.tinaja.com/glib/hack64.pdf

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://rclsgi.eng.ohio-state.edu/~korpela/oil.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.bigwig.net/sergey/hubbert.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://skywindpower.com/ww/index.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://seaspower.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/index.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.technocracyinc.org/articles/hub-gro.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.oilcrisis.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://planetforlife.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/brat_fuel.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.cheniere.org/correspondence/index.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.uic.com.au/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.isv.uu.se/uhdsg/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.wolfatthedoor.org.uk/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.wcre.org/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/energyresources/message/48367

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.lenr-canr.org/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.infinite-energy.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.ncga.com/public_policy/issues/2001/ethanol/08_22_01c.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.idatech.com/solutions/multi_fuel_solutions/Hydrogen%20Economy%20Report%202003.pdf

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/052703_9_questions.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.durangobill.com/OilCrunch.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.newint.org/issue335/contents.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.newint.org/issue361/contents.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://eces.org/articles/000806.php

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.otherpower.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.whentechfails.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/energyresources/message/49475

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.paleotechnics.com./

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/energyresources/message/51013

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/~babb/casimir-bib.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.solarenergy.com/info_history.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.amasci.com/tesla/tesceive.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.tinaja.com/glib/energfun.pdf

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://physicsweb.org/article/world/15/9/6

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Quantum/casimir.html

 

Energy Indicators for Sustainable Development:

 

http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1222_web.pdf

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

David Dapice: Coal to Liquid Fuel:

 

http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/commentary/story/0,4386,262187,00.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://books.nap.edu/books/0309091632/html/R1.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.votersforsolarcalifornia.org/

 

2004 American Ethanol Industry:

 

http://www.ncga.com/ethanol/pdfs/EthanolEconomicContributionREV.pdf

 

http://www.agprofessional.com/show_story.php?id=25636

 

http://www.ncga.com/ethanol/pdfs/GasPriceReport.pdf

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Gold, Oil and a Major Terrorist Attack

 

http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_04/maund060504.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Describes a LARGE variety of projects being pursued

at many different sites."

http://www.ecotopia.com/

I'm also told that this site is done by the same "two

very well informed and well trained people" who do

http://oilcrisis.com/:  Ron Swenson and

Frank de Winter, who have Master's degrees in

mechanical engineering from Stanford.

Energy shortage bottle-necks Chinese economy

 

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200406/20/eng20040620_146907.html

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

June newsletter of the Association for the Study of

Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) -- choice of formats

 

pdf:    http://216.187.75.220/newsletter42.pdf

Word:   http://216.187.75.220/newsletter42.doc

 

Archived back issues: http://www.asponews.org/

 

August Newsletter

pdf: http://216.187.75.220/newsletter44.pdf

Word: http://216.187.75.220/newsletter44.doc

 

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Comments should be addressed to:

 

Jim Easton

mailto:jeaston@ucsd.edu

 

Home: http://www.homeenergysystemsinc.com/