-----Original Message-----
From: brin-l-boun...@mccmedia.com [mailto:brin-l-boun...@mccmedia.com] On
Behalf Of Kevin O'Brien
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 9:06 AM
To: brin-l@mccmedia.com
Subject: Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

On 11/27/2012 5:18 PM, Dan Minette wrote:
>> "Really cheap power if we bootstrap by building one power satellite 
>> and use
> it for propulsion
>> lasers to bring up parts for thousands. "
> With all due respect, Keith, I've been hearing arguments like this for 
> 50 years.  One thing would help you establish credibility.  Can you 
> point to a design of yours that is used worldwide on a massive scale 
> in a major industry? No hard feelings, but it sounds like its even 
> less likely than earth bound solar cells.
Speaking of solar cells, this article looks interesting:
>A trade war over cheap solar involving Europe and China. That opens up
several interesting topics. 
>First, this is arguably the most important technology of the 21st century
since it not only provides 
>energy security but also addresses global heating. Second, the U.S. does
not appear in this story. 

But, the technology is extremely expensive, even the cheap version.  That is
why Germany is building coal plants to replace the nuclear plants, while
solar represents only 0.3% of the total energy supply.  
China is subsidizing it's solar panels in an attempt to gain a monopoly in
selling solar panals.  It doesn't really use them....I couldn't get a number
just on Chinese solar panels, but there total renewable (excluding
hydroelectric and wood) is 0.2% of their energy consumption, and wind is
much cheaper, so maybe they have 0.01%-0.05% solar.

They have a natural advantage in that they can just dump the toxic byproduct
of making solar cells instead of processing them.  That cuts material costs
tremendously.  They used the low price tactic to drive out virtually all
other rare earth suppliers a bit over a decade ago, and are now in a
position where the startup costs are high for other countries, and any
country with pollution regulations would have a hard time competing.  So,
using this tactic, they could keep a monopoly, once they established it.
But, since solar power is a feel good luxury, and shows no sign of being an
important part of any ecconomy, they cannot use it as a political weapon.  A
country can do without solar power; it cannot do without rare earths.

Nuclear power and biofuels from synthetic biology and bioengineering are far
more likely to be used as green energy sources.  One advange each has is
that the development of efficient storage is not required for their use.  In
a real sense, solar needs two breakthroughs that we cannot see to be
effective.  Wind just needs one, effective storage.  The lack of it is why
wind power cannot be counted on as part of peak demand.  It only made sense
when natural gas was expensive.

Dan M.


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