Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Energy Boondogles

      The "greenies" continue to push the misconception that competitive forms of alternative "green" energy are just around the corner. It's just a matter of pouring money on them until volume makes them economically feasible. That is simply not true.  If a potential market existed, major energy companies, such as BP wouldn't be shutting down operations even after significant investment. Also consider reading The EU Green Hell.
      This hardly comes as a surprise to me because in 1980 when the first major push was initiated by industry into alternate energy, I was the chief technologist for General Electric's heating and cooling division and I spent most of my time shutting down bad technology investments in so-called promising endeavors. GE executives had similar perception as today's politicians that it was just a matter of time and enough money and these technologies could be made competitive.  That view derives from non-technology competent investors enthusiastically motivated self-serving researchers seeking funding.
      What most of this cadre choose to ignore is technology miracles do not happen overnight.  They result from an ongoing evolution.  The so-called break-through inventions have had decades of work by thousands of researchers.  Technology futures can usually be forecasted and "mapped" with remarkable accuracy.  It's just a matter of identifying the what's limiting a device from being competitive and mapping the life-cycle of work to eliminate that bottle-neck.  Old technologies far-down their life-cycles can not be made to perform like new technology with large infusions of cash.
     In the case of so-called "green" energy Leyland Consultants have done this examination and published, New Renewable Energy Technologies: a monstrous boondoggle?  They have concluded: 
1. New renewable energy technologies provide electricity that is expensive and intermittent and imposes many additional costs on the power system. Because they are intermittent, they can never play more than a bit part in electricity generation.
2. Nuclear power and fossil fuels can provide a reliable and economic supply of all the
electricity we need for the foreseeable future
3.There is increasing evidence that man-made carbon dioxide does not cause dangerous
global warming. This being the case, there is no need to promote expensive renewable
energy to reduce emissions of a harmless gas that promotes the growth of plants

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