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1 socrets  Sep 17, 2014 8:04:29pm

GOP: Blah, blah, blah!! Can’t hear you! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!!

2 lostlakehiker  Sep 17, 2014 8:16:27pm

There’s some interesting percolation going on in business circles. Solar predicted to be huge by 2025This comes from Thomson-Reuters.

Excerpt from the article.

Thanks to improvements in photovoltaic technology, chemical bonding, photocatalysts and three-dimensional nanoscale heterojunctions, the use of the sun as the world’s primary source of energy is no longer for the environmentally-conscious select; it is for the masses.

The sun’s energy will be harvested much more efficiently. Its energy will be stored and used when needed. And the conversion of solar power will be much more efficient. Solar thermal and solar photovoltaic energy (from new dye-sensitized and thin-film materials) will heat buildings, water, and provide energy for devices in the home and office, as well as in retail buildings and manufacturing facilities.

The world isn’t going to ignore solar. It’s going to plunge, big time and massive, and build out a new energy infrastructure, and fairly soon. And American business wants a piece of that.

Every disruptive technology gets some pushback. But in the end, the iron horse wins over wagon trains.

3 KerFuFFler  Sep 18, 2014 6:53:30am
And the conversion of solar power will be much more efficient. Solar thermal and solar photovoltaic energy (from new dye-sensitized and thin-film materials) will heat buildings, water, and provide energy for devices in the home and office, as well as in retail buildings and manufacturing facilities.

Yup. My son is doing post doc work in chemistry and has some very encouraging results with projects making catalysts for improving efficiency in energy capture and release. All the minute improvements in this and related fields will yield enormous savings over the long haul. As a society we need to be optimistic when it comes to funding such research.

Sticking with carbon fuels and refusing to invest in new technology (because we just can’t afford it right now…..) is a self fulfilling act of pessimism. The future will be bleak indeed if we get hoodwinked by the Kochs and their ilk.

4 1Peter G1  Sep 18, 2014 7:34:18am

Not expensive so much as impossible. Never ask an economist to do an engineer’s work. Forty percent of the fossil hydrocarbons taken out of the ground are not even used for fuel. They are the raw materials we use to make everything that isn’t made out of metal, wood, animal or agricultural products. and what does ace economist propose we replace these ubiquitous raw materials with in their hundreds of millions of tons annually? He doesn’t say. Mostly because he is unaware that the problem even exists. He probably thinks we can endlessly recycle what we already have but this would just mean he hasn’t a clue about the laws of thermodynamics and that it requires more energy to recycle almost everything than it used to make it in the first place.

And what is is simple solution to the use of fossil hydrocarbons. The solar powered transport truck? The wind powered farm tractor? Exactly what existing technology does he suggest will handle these and so many other fossil fuel applications. Elon Musk can’t make anything better than a rich man’s grocery getter.

We have, in fact, a monstrously large problem before us that will require the development of literally hundreds of currently non existing technologies and alternative materials in quantities so vast the mind boggles. So when we engineers hear some economist tell us the problems we face have easy solutions what immediately springs to mind is, what an ignorant idiot.

5 1Peter G1  Sep 18, 2014 7:52:37am

re: #2 lostlakehiker

Will all this happy stuff happen according to the schedule for discovering completely unknown technologies? Just wondering.

6 1Peter G1  Sep 18, 2014 7:56:27am

re: #3 KerFuFFler

You are right. Catalyst technology is advancing incrementally. But mostly it is used to transform carbon based molecules into other carbon based molecules which are used as raw materials to make things and not fuel. The large exception of course would be cat crackers which are used to break down large molecules into useful things like gasoline.

7 Romantic Heretic  Sep 18, 2014 8:05:08am

It was never about economics but about power.

Fossil fuel companies and the people that own or run them are very powerful due to the wealth they possess. Like all human beings they are not going to give up that power without a fight.

8 1Peter G1  Sep 18, 2014 8:10:43am

re: #1 socrets

Socialist engineer (me) there are hundreds of physical reasons this will be extremely difficult.

9 1Peter G1  Sep 18, 2014 11:00:57am

re: #7 Romantic Heretic

That aside could you maybe give us some idea what you plan to use to make steel out of ore, aluminum, cement to make concrete, rubber, plastics, lubricants, dyes, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers,adhesives, paints. When you figure that out kindly let the processes engineers know. In the meantime there’s this: crooksandliars.com the title is very misleading as so many things at C&L are but the article is sound. It is damned hard for the left to maintain all the idiots are on the right when they themselves can’t be bothered to ascertain the facts. The transition away from fossil fuels will be the most difficult technical and economic transition humanity has ever undertaken. It is not at all easy and anybody who tells you otherwise may be safely considered an idiot.


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