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September 07, 2007


Apparently, the Organization for Economic Development, or whatever, agrees with you on biofuels.


The only problem with your assesment on biofuels is that corn based ethanol may be weak, however other sources of ethanol are much more efficient, including the now nascent "treethanol" in which cellulose is broken to form ethanol which can use marginal land.

I am not, however promoting treethanol, but rather illustrating that alternative energies are nascent technologies and as such are in need of technological innovation in order to be efficient and attractive.

While oil is the best source, for now, oil has had a lot more time for the extraction technology to develop.

Alternative energies have a long way to go before the reach a point of efficiency in their methods.

Does this mean we should give up on alternative energies? NO! not at all! We need to develop their technologies.

Imagine if we applied your logic to medicine! We would have never progressed past the most basic chemotherapy in cancer treatment.

Experimental technologies are worth risking money on because they represent a possibility of something greater in the future.

A recent scientist at UPenn was able to separate the hydrogen and oxygen from water without using excessive energy through ultrasound. Hydrogen is a superior fuel source...

Still, I don't hold any answers for the future of our energy, only suggestions.

Closed, a great comment. I, too, am really interested in cellulose-derived ethanol, basically because it is NOT a foodstuff and is generated by what is currently waste. Clearly, you are correct that human ingenuity is an amazing force, and one to bet on.

I don't oppose alternative energy sources, or research into them. I think the massive investments in them by Silicon Valley of late holds great promise... much greater than federally funded programs, which have a relatively abyssmal record for cost/benefit, at least since the lunar program.

I DO, however, have a huge problem with efforts designed to whip the current workhorse, ie oil and gas, to death so that we are forced to make catastrophic change. That seems insane to me. Let the fruits of creativity grow where they may, lets not try to force the issue.

By the way, can you expand on the ultrasonic methods of braking chemical bonds?

The energy required to break bonds shouldn't change... "lower energy" usually means leveraging energy that is already in the system. Ultrasonics usually means leveraging resonance, but it would have to be incredibly short wavelengths to work on the atomic scale...

Physical equipment life of 20 years? When we wrote the spec, it was - oh dear, we signed an NDA.

Comissioned today, the windmill's MTBF will still expire well before Christmas. Then, two guys will have to fly there and work for at least a day, and the game starts again.

Very Interesting, ES...
Mean Time Between Failures is less than 3 months? Woof. Operating costs are underdetermined, then, in this analysis?

Open Choke,
Nice post !
Thank you for your very insightfull maths on windmills.

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