Skip to comments.What's holding back energy innovation?
Posted on 10/12/2012 4:40:46 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
......MR. MUSK: The ideal thing to do would be to tax CO2. But taxes are difficult to implement. So, were doing an indirect thing, which is to subsidize electric cars to some degree, and other sort of renewables.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Obama funder gets insider deal at NASA "............Space X is one of three well-publicized Musk firms, the others being electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors and SolarCity Corp., a rooftop solar power panel manufacturer. Collectively, the three Musk firms have received more than $1.5 billion in government funding since President Obama took office in 2009.
Last year, Musk gave $5,000 to Obama for America and $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund, but he has also contributed heavily to Democratic and Republican congressional incumbents and challengers......."
Just a guess
The laws of physics are holding back energy innovation. Solar and and wind are simply not dense enough to harvest economically. They are niche sources at best and will never power a modern industrial society. You would have to cover an area the size of Massachusetts with solar panels to provide the energy to marginally power a city of 100,000. Obama and his EPA ideologues are by fiat and regulation implementing the Kyoto treaty and the Copenhagen accords without Congressional approval. This is contracting the American economy. If Obama was serious about lessening carbon emissions, he would have found a solution for the disposal of nuclear waste and then promoted nuclear energy. The reality is that the EPA ideologues are not real environmentalists but neo pagan earth worshipers who are doing their best to dismantle modern culture.
TANFL Rules! (There Ain’t No Free Lunch)
Actually, government regulations severely choke off innovation and implementation of those ideas which do work. Another factor is “jackpot litigation”.
Not QUITE correct. Solar is not dense enough to harvest economically on the Earth’s surface.
Even back in the 1970s, the concept of Solar Power Satellites showed you could generate electricity economically with a roughly 20-year payback on the initial investment, and once you build one, it’s pretty much just labor costs after that for more.
But if you think NUCLEAR drives the Lefties batty, imagine how they’d react to power beamed down via microwaves or infrared laser. . . . (math, of course, defeats the NIMBYs, but when did mere facts ever dissuade tree-hugging lefties. . .)
Many years ago, a friend of ours had a heat pump and the utility company HAD to buy any excess.
No matter what, utility companies are a monopoly. They sure don't want folks to start putting windmills into apartment complexes or commercial ventures.
We have something REALLY stupid here....a big great grant for a roof garden....The money is in the bank. But they can't find a roof that will support the load....AND IT HAS TO BE MAINTAINED. All to save 2 cents.
We have them. There are several. If you want to stick with once-through fuel cycle (inefficient, but the market price of nuclear fuel currently favors it), simply dump used fuel (used, not "spent") in geologically stable formations where it will decay away undisturbed for hundreds of millions of years. If you want more efficient use of the material, then go with reprocessing that includes both partitioning and actinide recycle. That recovers fissile material and reduces unusable waste volume by factors of thousands. The most efficient fuel cycle of all was dveloped right here at the Idaho National Lab in the 1990s. It is the IFR concept. There would have fresh fuel coming in the front door, a few tablet-sized waste pellets coming out the back door once a year, and thousands of GW-hrs going out over the power lines. But Clinton (Hillary) killed the IFR just as it was being readied for demo using the EBR-II as a test vehicle. Couldn't have anything beneficial to nuclear coming out during Clinton's term in office (the NIMTO syndrome).
So we have the solutions to the "waste" problem. We just have to have the will to make the decision to use them. That has always been the problem. Easier for the lazy politicians (I wonder who that could be?) to form a "Blue Ribbon Commission" to "study" the problem and come up with their own "solution", which is to kick the can down the road.
I agree with your general point. But I think this example may be a tad hyperbolic.
According to this site, it would take 2907 acres of panels.
I don't know that's right either, but I believe MA has a lot more acres than that.
If you have an actual number for the power consumed by this imaginary city of 100,000 we can do some calculations.
I am wondering how well those 2907 acres of solar panels would do powering the city of 100,000 during the night. My guess is...not very well.
Good luck with the whole roof garden thing.
It’s not just the load. If the roof isn’t properly designed and built from the beginning for such use, installing one is generally a disaster.
According to your numbers it would take ~14000 square miles to power the United States. A square of ~118 miles on each side.
I quite agree. Not to mention during cloudy weather, etc.
You’re right about that. Especially in MA or anywhere in the NE. It isn’t exactly the Mojave Desert up there.
Probably the weaponing issue with alternative energies.
We can see people make bombs with gas, but you can only throw solar panels at people, drop them on them or cause people to grow broke paying for it.
Can certain potential alternative energy sources for the general public be cheap and clean yet have the ability to make bad accessible weapons? That is probably one of the unspoken issues.
Stopped reading right there. Idiot.
In essence, we still PAY FOR his companies.
And the government leans on "carbon energy" companies.
And Musk contributes to politicians who help him keep the "green" subsides flowing.
Carter put the kibosh on that for US.
Romney should un-kibosh the technology.
Breeder reactors baby! If green energy folks want a realistic way to power a bunch of electric cars, then they're going to need cheaper electricity. It doesn't come from magic, folks.
For us non-green individuals, cheaper electricity is good anyway. :)
So many beat me to my snarky “physics and reality” answer to the headline’s question...