4 months agoi know i suck at science, but isn%26#039;t sun solar? 25% 1 Vote
Most of the photovoltaic industry should also be at grid parity in a few years.
Don%26#039;t forget solar thermal power plants.
Situated in the deserts of our southwest, they could power the whole country at competitive rates.
Here are a few links with good ideas.
Scientific American A Solar Grand Plan
The same acre can produce 10 times as much energy from wind as it can from corn ethanol, 180,000 miles per acre per year. But both corn ethanol and wind power pale in comparison with solar photovoltaic, which can produce more than 2 million miles worth of transport per acre per year.%26quot; http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/1454...
Green Wombat is a good website for clean tech news, with several articles about solar thermal plants being built in California and other states in the southwest.
These are some of the companies involved
%26quot;Ausra%26#039;s power plants collect the sun%26#039;s energy as heat; Ausra is developing thermal energy storage systems which can store enough heat to run the power plant for up to 20 hours during dark or cloudy periods.%26quot;
%26quot;Solar thermal power plants such as Ausra%26#039;s generate electricity by driving steam turbines with sunshine. Ausra%26#039;s solar concentrators boil water with focused sunlight, and produce electricity at prices directly competitive with gas- and coal-fired electric power.%26quot;
%26quot;All of America%26#039;s needs for electric power – the entire US grid, night and day – can be generated with Ausra%26#039;s current technology using a square parcel of land 92 miles on a side. For comparison, this is less than 1% of America%26#039;s deserts, less land than currently in use in the U.S. for coal mines.%26quot;
%26quot;Solar energy is the great leveler (unlike oil, which has been the great divider) between the haves and the have nots). No one owns the sun. It can%26#039;t be drilled or mined or tied up in financial derivatives. It is the only energy source in the world that is primarily free at its source and universally available to consumers.%26quot;
See Here Comes the Sun, February 17, 2007, Commentary, Chipstocktrader.com)
actually wind is free too.
%26quot;There are areas in Denmark and Germany who use more than 40 percent of their electricity from wind. From what I have read, they are less concerned about the intermittency than we are in the United States even though we aren%26#039;t at 1 pecent yet. Why? Because we are told by the fossil fuel guys, hey, can%26#039;t use wind, can%26#039;t use solar, what about the intermittency. If wind gets up to 40 percent of the electricity we use and solar gets up to 40 of the electricity we use, the other percents of electricity we need can be made up from the fossil fuel plants that are still there. If they are run less at full power, they can last a long time. That can be your electricity `battery.%26#039;%26quot;
Wind costs about a third of what a nuclear plant cost, per kilowatt, to build.
Intermittency refers to the fact that solar and wind are not always producing power.
As you can see it is a poor excuse to not employ them. For one thing, wind is more reliable, in general, at night, while solar is obviously more reliable in the daytime, so they compliment each other.
Denmark gets 20% of their energy from the wind.
We can do better, with much more land for wind farms and solar plants in the desert.
%26quot;Wild Rose Dairy in Webster Township, WI is home to an innovative renewable energy facility powered by cow manure and other organic waste. The farm is home to 900 dairy cows, and an on-site anaerobic digester creates methane-rich biogas from their waste, which is used to generate 750 kilowatts of electricity per hour—enough to power 600 local homes 24/7.%26quot;
%26quot;Environmental Power’s Huckabay Ridge is the largest renewable natural gas plant in North America, if not the world. Huckabay Ridge generates methane-rich biogas from manure and other agricultural waste, conditions it to natural gas standards and distributes it through a commercial pipeline. The purified biogas,
called RNG®, is generated by Environmental Power’s subsidiary, Microgy, and is a branded, renewable, pipeline quality methane product.%26quot;
%26quot;The gas produced by Huckabay will be shipped via the Enterprise natural gas pipeline to the Lower Colorado River Authority, which has agreed to purchase the RNG® output of up to 2,000 mmbtu per day through September 2008, pursuant to a purchase agreement. Beginning October 2008, the plant output will be sold to Pacific Gas %26amp; Electric under a 10 year agreement.%26quot;
%26quot;Anaerobic digestion is a biochemical process in which microbes break down organic material in an
environment devoid of oxygen. Within a digestion tank, wastes decompose over time into a variety of products, including biogas rich in methane (i.e., natural gas). This renewable-source gas can then be used for numerous applications, including the direct sale of biogas or pipeline-grade methane, for thermal energy or for the generation of electricity. Other by-products from the digestion process, including fertilizer, bedding and mulches, can be sold into their respective local
from Environmental Power%26#039;s website
A Blueprint For U.S. Energy Security
I can%26#039;t help you much with geothermal, as I don%26#039;t know much about it. 25% 1 Vote