Re: Government hinders solar power

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Thu Jan 18 2001 - 09:22:31 MST

There are various ways to generate power where there is the technology to extract
form this process electricity.

For example, there is hydroelectric power, nuclear power (fission and fusion),
chemical combustion power (gas, oil, coal), wind power, solar power, geothermal
power, etc.

Which of these is the most energy and cost efficient, where cost is measured in
capital and environmental terms? I would say nuclear power is probably the most

Here's an idea, put two big concrete pilings a mile or so part. in the ocean where
they are a quarter mile apart and hundreds of feet from the surface. Surround the
area around the two pilings with an electric chain fence to discourage alge growth
and fish swimming into the area. Between the two pilings, hang a set of louvers
that swing back and forth. As the ocean current flows through, which it regularly
will, then the kinetic energy could be converted to power. Perhaps better, have
an algae bank above it in a bubble growing methane and burning it there for power
to be retransformed into methane through alternate algae photosynthesis, which
could also start air repair.

Some people have states ideas of beaming power from space. The way this happens
is that power is generated on the lit side of the moon using solar cells. Then
this is beamed using high-power microwaves to those areas in the line of sight
where it is required. Drawback: misaligned microwave cooks area.

We're talking about electrical equipment, I wonder what the order is in terms of
consumption of these products: green pc, green monitor, iron, electric stovetop
range, electric furnace, stereo, large television, 100W light bulb, dishwasher,
microwave. These are some typical home products.

The price cap on power sounds kind of socialist or fascist. It could probably use
some reregulation.

I think if the use nuclear power were tripled or perhaps quadrupled in the United
States, and the rollout of superconductor in products and local links to increase
efficiency were done, then there would be a better situation.

Ross wrote:

> zeb haradon wrote:
> >
> > I realized something about the price controls on electricity, they severely
> > hinder the development of alternative energy sources.
> > Solar and wind power are more expensive then fossil fuels - would this still
> > be true if the price controls were removed from fossil fuels?
> Solar and wind power are already not more expensive than fossil fuels,
> if you happen to live way off the grid, and would have to pay for the
> connecting infrastructure all by yourself. Because fossil fuel prices
> only go up, and PV (and I guess aeolian) generators go down, the islands
> of profitability can only grow.
> Moreover, decentralized power generation (in extreme cases rolling your own)
> does have important synergies. Reliability goes up due to redundancy (in
> case a power grid island overloads, you can temporarily separate it from the
> grid, so only a small fraction of the grid blacks out), you don't have to
> transform up to high voltages (less hardware) to minimize transportation
> losses, you get cleaner power (a problem I noticed in the U.S.,
> lots of spikes and glitches), can use heat (less lossage due to short average
> distances), and couple consumers and producers much more tightly (which is
> a Good Thing).
> Makes sense, eh?
> Right now it should be quite profitable to use large (several 100 kW)
> high-temperature natural gas fuel cells for clusters of homes, but
> eventually, natural gas reformers and low-temperature hydrogen fuel
> cells should become available. Since they burn hydrogen, they
> interoperate with photovoltaics and water electrolysis very nicely --
> on the long run reducing dependancy on the fossil (though rather
> abundant and hydrogen-rich) fuel methane.
> > My power company has some plan where you can "sponsor" a windmill. You can't
> > just buy power from them which has been windmill generated (and which is the
> > simplest most effective way to support alternative energy supplies), because
> > it's illegal for them to sell it. They're required by law to offer only the
> > cheapest source of power.
> Amazing silliness.

Ross Andrew Finlayson
Finlayson Consulting
Ross at Tiki-Lounge:
"The best mathematician in the world is Maplev in Ontario."  - Pertti L.

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