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RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

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  • Mike Ewert
    MessageGary, You wrote: PS: I disagree with the statement that A majority of the energy consumed in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar
    Message 1 of 18 , Dec 31, 2004
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      Gary,
       
      You wrote:
      "PS:  I disagree with the statement that 'A majority of the energy consumed in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'.  The numbers just don't support this (unless a back-to-the Future 'Mr. Fusion' starts getting sold at Kmart).  Conservation would have the biggest impact, but since that is out of vogue see a more comprehensive review of the real now and future energy numbers in a presentation done by Rice’s noble prize winner Richard Smalley - try this link:"
       
      I totally agree with you on the importance and value of conservation, which is of course changing behavior to use less energy.  But to that I would add "energy efficiency", which can allow us to do the same things while using less energy (throught better designed houses, machines, etc.).
       
      Also, I want to show that the statement "'A majority of the energy consumed in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'" is true!
       
      US energy use is about 100 quads (quadrillion BTU's) per year.
       
      I have not yet found a very good source for the US as a whole, but a nice study was done for Texas several years ago and here is some data from it:
      Renewable energy potential in Texas alone is
      12 quads/yr from wind
      13 quads/yr from biomass
      4300 quads/yr from solar
      Granted, we can only convert 10 - 70% of the sunlight into energy we can use (depending on application and technology) and we can't use all our land area for energy production, but do the math.  There is enough out there!
       
      Put another way, 700,000 acres would be needed to produce all the electricity that Texas needs - 1/3 the land area needed to produce it with gas (granted the gas is underground).
       
      For information on the global level, check out this recent report by the International Solar Energy Society.
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Gary Beck [mailto:eco@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 5:11 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

      Oh Politics!

       

      I think Roxanne is on the money with this advice to contact our officials and to try to influence them. Anyone know a website that lists all the best government "green", "renewable", "sustainable" energy buttons to push? (i.e. a list of names with fax machine #s and emails).

       

      Use this to take some action rather than simply "writing-off" renewable energy efforts for the next 4 years just because my guy W is president. That would be negligence on our part.  The oil PACs, related cronies, and general fossil side energy policy influencers are funded, positioned, very well organized and will always strongly influence whoever sits in that #1 seat.   

       

      For ‘renewable energy’ or ‘sustainable energy’ proponents to have any impact without a PAC budget, a guerilla style campaign may be one way to go.  Take the website link and send it with Roxanne’s message to every university, news link, and like minded group that HREG (inter)net-works with. 

       

      To make such a message harder to ignore, use it to create an “event” by telling everyone to send it at one time and on one date.  My suggestion is to pick a notable time like 10:56 pm EDT (the time of Armstrong’s 1st moon message) and a date like December 11th (Day of the last manned moon landing).  Besides getting the receivers attention, if everyone pushed their "SEND" button at that minute the network might sag and it would become international news.

       

      Gary Beck , P.E.  

      Eco-Holdings LLC 

       

      PS:  I disagree with the statement that 'A majority of the energy consumed in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'.  The numbers just don't support this (unless a back-to-the Future 'Mr. Fusion' starts getting sold at Kmart).  Conservation would have the biggest impact, but since that is out of vogue see a more comprehensive review of the real now and future energy numbers in a presentation done by Rice’s noble prize winner Richard Smalley - try this link:

      (http://smalley.rice.edu/emplibrary/columbia09232003.ppt#1)  or see all his group’s discussions at http://smalley.rice.edu/smalley.cfm?doc_id=4862

       

       -----Original Message-----
      From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
      Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2004 9:54 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

      I think there is a lot of pressure on our Government from both sides of the energy spectrum - the fossil fuel side and the renewable/sustainability side.  Sustainability support is growing and fossil fuel support is shrinking.  We must not give up pushing for sustainability because the other side is winning at the moment.  Sustainability will win eventually - the goal is to prevent a major catastophe from being the final push.  The concerned citizens of this nation must, and I believe will, require our government to make the initiative for sustainable energy and energy independence.  How do you contribute?  Here is an example of a letter you can send to the governor, your representatives, the president, members of DOE, members of DOD, and anyone else who might have an influence on our nation's energy direction. 

       

      To the Honorable [Name]:

       

      Please pass legislation that will transition the United States to a sustainable energy economy over the next ten years. 

       

      The consumption of fossil fuels is passing the sustainable limit as seen by:  1)   The investment cost for exploration and production of fossil fuels, particularly oil and gas, is rapidly increasing per unit produced, causing higher energy costs and realizing unsecured debt for industries relying on cheap energy.  2)     Emissions from burning fossil fuels have reached ecological limitations, threatening health and the standard of living.  3)      The atomic energy option is negative due to the high cost/risk of security and hazardous waste storage. 4)      The large fraction of energy imported contributes significantly to a trade deficit in the US, and in turn suppresses the economy.  5)      The lopsided dependence on resources from the Middle East is resulting in violent conflicts.

       

      The US needs to transition to a sustainable energy economy in order to relieve the problems listed above before they cause a major crisis.  A majority of the energy consumed in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar sources.  National investment in these areas will have a greater long-term return than any investment in fossil fuels.  Thank you for your efforts and I look forward to reading your reply.

       

      Sincerely,

       

      [Your Name]

       




    • Gary Beck
      Thanks Mike, Vacation is over so I am refreshed enough to contemplate some of these ‘higher’ renewable energy thoughts. Sorry, but we differ here. Saying
      Message 2 of 18 , Jan 2, 2005
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        Thanks Mike,

        Vacation is over so I am refreshed enough to contemplate some of these
        ‘higher’ renewable energy thoughts.

        Sorry, but we differ here. Saying "A majority of the energy consumed in the
        US can be provided through biomass, wind and solar sources" is just not
        realistic. This is due to the shear scale of our energy thirst, the limits
        of all available renewable technologies, the limits on transmission
        technologies, and the limits of any economy and to pay for dramatic energy
        system changes. Plus all renewables, even solar and wind, are not always
        environmentally cleaner or environmentally better solutions.

        I'll stick to the energy outlook and arguments by the guy with the Nobel
        Prize. See a clear energy presentation at
        (http://smalley.rice.edu/emplibrary/columbia09232003.ppt#1) and other
        similar discussions at their link at
        http://smalley.rice.edu/smalley.cfm?doc_id=4862). I accept the basic energy
        resources and energy timing predictions his group researched and quoted as
        better than most. (I don't agree with the idea that nano-energy technology
        will save us, any more than I thought fuel cells and hydrogen will save us.)
        Mechanical energy efficiency has been my area of work for half of my career,
        and most recently I have pushed and supported energy system optimization in
        different forms (check out www.wasteheat.com). And while I support different
        renewables for different reasons, I feel it is important to have a realistic
        view of their time, technology, and economic limitations. All good
        ideas/discussions, but economics unfortunately has proven repeatedly it will
        rule over all but the 'no brainer' energy arguments.

        Only conservation is immediate. All it takes is individual behavior change
        like a green product buying decision or a green design decision for a system
        that better supports energy conservation.

        Gary Beck. P.E.

        Eco-Holdings LLC
        Design Consulting
        USGBC-LEED(Accredited), BSE(Civil), TDI(Wind Storm - Structural)
        Texas P.E.(Mechanical), Authorized Service (Capstone Microturbines)

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Mike Ewert [mailto:mewert@...]
        Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 10:10 AM
        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for
        alternative energy and conservation

        Gary,
         
        You wrote:
        "PS:  I disagree with the statement that 'A majority of the energy consumed
        in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'.  The
        numbers just don't support this (unless a back-to-the Future 'Mr. Fusion'
        starts getting sold at Kmart).  Conservation would have the biggest impact,
        but since that is out of vogue see a more comprehensive review of the real
        now and future energy numbers in a presentation done by Rice’s noble prize
        winner Richard Smalley - try this link:"
         
        I totally agree with you on the importance and value of conservation, which
        is of course changing behavior to use less energy.  But to that I would add
        "energy efficiency", which can allow us to do the same things while using
        less energy (throught better designed houses, machines, etc.).
         
        Also, I want to show that the statement "'A majority of the energy consumed
        in the US can be provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'" is true!
         
        US energy use is about 100 quads (quadrillion BTU's) per year.
        Source: http://www.coltoncompany.com/shipbldg/statistics/energy.htm
         
        I have not yet found a very good source for the US as a whole, but a nice
        study was done for Texas several years ago and here is some data from it:
        Source: http://www.infinitepower.org/resoverview.htm
        Renewable energy potential in Texas alone is
        12 quads/yr from wind
        13 quads/yr from biomass
        4300 quads/yr from solar
        Granted, we can only convert 10 - 70% of the sunlight into energy we can use
        (depending on application and technology) and we can't use all our land area
        for energy production, but do the math.  There is enough out there!
         
        Put another way, 700,000 acres would be needed to produce all the
        electricity that Texas needs - 1/3 the land area needed to produce it with
        gas (granted the gas is underground).
        source: http://www.infinitepower.org/pdf/FactSheet-08.pdf%c2%a0
         
        For information on the global level, check out this recent report by the
        International Solar Energy Society.
        http://www.ises.org/shortcut.nsf/to/wp%c2%a0
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Gary Beck [mailto:eco@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 5:11 PM
        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative
        energy and conservation
        Oh Politics!
         
        I think Roxanne is on the money with this advice to contact our officials
        and to try to influence them. Anyone know a website that lists all the best
        government "green", "renewable", "sustainable" energy buttons to push?
        (i.e. a list of names with fax machine #s and emails).
         
        Use this to take some action rather than simply "writing-off" renewable
        energy efforts for the next 4 years just because my guy W is president. That
        would be negligence on our part.  The oil PACs, related cronies, and general
        fossil side energy policy influencers are funded, positioned, very well
        organized and will always strongly influence whoever sits in that #1
        seat.   
         
        For ‘renewable energy’ or ‘sustainable energy’ proponents to have any impact
        without a PAC budget, a guerilla style campaign may be one way to go.  Take
        the website link and send it with Roxanne’s message to every university,
        news link, and like minded group that HREG (inter)net-works with. 
         
        To make such a message harder to ignore, use it to create an “event”
        by telling everyone to send it at one time and on one date.  My suggestion
        is to pick a notable time like 10:56 pm EDT (the time of Armstrong’s 1st
        moon message) and a date like December 11th (Day of the last manned moon
        landing).  Besides getting the receivers attention, if everyone pushed their
        "SEND" button at that minute the network might sag and it would
        become international news.
         
        Gary Beck , P.E.  
        Eco-Holdings LLC 
         
        PS:  I disagree with the statement that 'A majority of the energy consumed
        in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'.  The
        numbers just don't support this (unless a back-to-the Future 'Mr. Fusion'
        starts getting sold at Kmart).  Conservation would have the biggest impact,
        but since that is out of vogue see a more comprehensive review of the real
        now and future energy numbers in a presentation done by Rice’s noble prize
        winner Richard Smalley - try this link:
        (http://smalley.rice.edu/emplibrary/columbia09232003.ppt#1)  or see all his
        group’s discussions at http://smalley.rice.edu/smalley.cfm?doc_id=4862
         
         -----Original Message-----
        From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
        Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2004 9:54 PM
        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and
        conservation
        I think there is a lot of pressure on our Government from both sides of the
        energy spectrum - the fossil fuel side and the renewable/sustainability
        side.  Sustainability support is growing and fossil fuel support is
        shrinking.  We must not give up pushing for sustainability because the other
        side is winning at the moment.  Sustainability will win eventually - the
        goal is to prevent a major catastophe from being the final push.  The
        concerned citizens of this nation must, and I believe will, require our
        government to make the initiative for sustainable energy and
        energy independence.  How do you contribute?  Here is an example of a letter
        you can send to the governor, your representatives, the president, members
        of DOE, members of DOD, and anyone else who might have an influence on our
        nation's energy direction. 
         
        To the Honorable [Name]:
         
        Please pass legislation that will transition the United States to a
        sustainable energy economy over the next ten years. 
         
        The consumption of fossil fuels is passing the sustainable limit as seen
        by:  1)   The investment cost for exploration and production of fossil
        fuels, particularly oil and gas, is rapidly increasing per unit produced,
        causing higher energy costs and realizing unsecured debt for industries
        relying on cheap energy.  2)     Emissions from burning fossil fuels have
        reached ecological limitations, threatening health and the standard of
        living.  3)      The atomic energy option is negative due to the high
        cost/risk of security and hazardous waste storage. 4)      The large
        fraction of energy imported contributes significantly to a trade deficit in
        the US, and in turn suppresses the economy.  5)      The lopsided dependence
        on resources from the Middle East is resulting in violent conflicts.
         
        The US needs to transition to a sustainable energy economy in order to
        relieve the problems listed above before they cause a major crisis.  A
        majority of the energy consumed in the US can by provided through biomass,
        wind and solar sources.  National investment in these areas will have a
        greater long-term return than any investment in fossil fuels.  Thank you for
        your efforts and I look forward to reading your reply.
         
        Sincerely,
         
        [Your Name]
         




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      • Roxanne Boyer
        Gary, I kind of agree with you that renewable energy can not economically provide our energy needs now. I also think it is realistic that renewable energy can
        Message 3 of 18 , Jan 3, 2005
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          Gary,
          I kind of agree with you that renewable energy can not economically provide our energy needs now.  I also think it is realistic that renewable energy can become a larger fraction of our energy supply as time goes on.  I have reviewed Smalley's presentations and I think he agrees.  It is quite realistic that renewable energy could dominate the electric market by 2050.  Current trends - technical and economical - point that direction.  Transportation and industrial energy remain a big question; but a question that must be answered by 2050.  The search for a solution starts today.  A nation that controls the solution will be the next world superpower.  Professionals that are part of the solution will be in the wealthy class.  I also think the answer will have multiple solutions.
           
          I have summarized my finding on the Renewable Energy Potential in the US in a paper.  It is too large to attach as e-mail here, so I'll hand it out at the next HREG meeting. 
          Regards,
          Chris
           
           
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Gary Beck
          Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2005 11:19 PM
          Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

          Thanks Mike,

          Vacation is over so I am refreshed enough to contemplate some of these
          ‘higher’ renewable energy thoughts.

          Sorry, but we differ here. Saying "A majority of the energy consumed in the
          US can be provided through biomass, wind and solar sources" is just not
          realistic. This is due to the shear scale of our energy thirst, the limits
          of all available renewable technologies, the limits on transmission
          technologies, and the limits of any economy and to pay for dramatic energy
          system changes. Plus all renewables, even solar and wind, are not always
          environmentally cleaner or environmentally better solutions.

          I'll stick to the energy outlook and arguments by the guy with the Nobel
          Prize. See a clear energy presentation at
          (http://smalley.rice.edu/emplibrary/columbia09232003.ppt#1) and other
          similar discussions at their link at
          http://smalley.rice.edu/smalley.cfm?doc_id=4862). I accept the basic energy
          resources and energy timing predictions his group researched and quoted as
          better than most. (I don't agree with the idea that nano-energy technology
          will save us, any more than I thought fuel cells and hydrogen will save us.)
          Mechanical energy efficiency has been my area of work for half of my career,
          and most recently I have pushed and supported energy system optimization in
          different forms (check out www.wasteheat.com). And while I support different
          renewables for different reasons, I feel it is important to have a realistic
          view of their time, technology, and economic limitations. All good
          ideas/discussions, but economics unfortunately has proven repeatedly it will
          rule over all but the 'no brainer' energy arguments.

          Only conservation is immediate. All it takes is individual behavior change
          like a green product buying decision or a green design decision for a system
          that better supports energy conservation.

          Gary Beck. P.E. 

          Eco-Holdings LLC
          Design Consulting
          USGBC-LEED(Accredited), BSE(Civil), TDI(Wind Storm - Structural)
          Texas P.E.(Mechanical), Authorized Service (Capstone Microturbines)     

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Mike Ewert [mailto:mewert@...]
          Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 10:10 AM
          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for
          alternative energy and conservation

          Gary,
           
          You wrote:
          "PS:  I disagree with the statement that 'A majority of the energy consumed
          in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'.  The
          numbers just don't support this (unless a back-to-the Future 'Mr. Fusion'
          starts getting sold at Kmart).  Conservation would have the biggest impact,
          but since that is out of vogue see a more comprehensive review of the real
          now and future energy numbers in a presentation done by Rice’s noble prize
          winner Richard Smalley - try this link:"
           
          I totally agree with you on the importance and value of conservation, which
          is of course changing behavior to use less energy.  But to that I would add
          "energy efficiency", which can allow us to do the same things while using
          less energy (throught better designed houses, machines, etc.).
           
          Also, I want to show that the statement "'A majority of the energy consumed
          in the US can be provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'" is true!
           
          US energy use is about 100 quads (quadrillion BTU's) per year.
          Source: http://www.coltoncompany.com/shipbldg/statistics/energy.htm
           
          I have not yet found a very good source for the US as a whole, but a nice
          study was done for Texas several years ago and here is some data from it:
          Source: http://www.infinitepower.org/resoverview.htm
          Renewable energy potential in Texas alone is
          12 quads/yr from wind
          13 quads/yr from biomass
          4300 quads/yr from solar
          Granted, we can only convert 10 - 70% of the sunlight into energy we can use
          (depending on application and technology) and we can't use all our land area
          for energy production, but do the math.  There is enough out there!
           
          Put another way, 700,000 acres would be needed to produce all the
          electricity that Texas needs - 1/3 the land area needed to produce it with
          gas (granted the gas is underground).
          source: http://www.infinitepower.org/pdf/FactSheet-08.pdf 
           
          For information on the global level, check out this recent report by the
          International Solar Energy Society.
          http://www.ises.org/shortcut.nsf/to/wp 
          -----Original Message-----
          From: Gary Beck [mailto:eco@...]
          Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 5:11 PM
          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative
          energy and conservation
          Oh Politics!
           
          I think Roxanne is on the money with this advice to contact our officials
          and to try to influence them. Anyone know a website that lists all the best
          government "green", "renewable", "sustainable" energy buttons to push?
          (i.e. a list of names with fax machine #s and emails).
           
          Use this to take some action rather than simply "writing-off" renewable
          energy efforts for the next 4 years just because my guy W is president. That
          would be negligence on our part.  The oil PACs, related cronies, and general
          fossil side energy policy influencers are funded, positioned, very well
          organized and will always strongly influence whoever sits in that #1
          seat.   
           
          For ‘renewable energy’ or ‘sustainable energy’ proponents to have any impact
          without a PAC budget, a guerilla style campaign may be one way to go.  Take
          the website link and send it with Roxanne’s message to every university,
          news link, and like minded group that HREG (inter)net-works with. 
           
          To make such a message harder to ignore, use it to create an “event”
          by telling everyone to send it at one time and on one date.  My suggestion
          is to pick a notable time like 10:56 pm EDT (the time of Armstrong’s 1st
          moon message) and a date like December 11th (Day of the last manned moon
          landing).  Besides getting the receivers attention, if everyone pushed their
          "SEND" button at that minute the network might sag and it would
          become international news.
           
          Gary Beck , P.E.  
          Eco-Holdings LLC 
           
          PS:  I disagree with the statement that 'A majority of the energy consumed
          in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'.  The
          numbers just don't support this (unless a back-to-the Future 'Mr. Fusion'
          starts getting sold at Kmart).  Conservation would have the biggest impact,
          but since that is out of vogue see a more comprehensive review of the real
          now and future energy numbers in a presentation done by Rice’s noble prize
          winner Richard Smalley - try this link:
          (http://smalley.rice.edu/emplibrary/columbia09232003.ppt#1)  or see all his
          group’s discussions at http://smalley.rice.edu/smalley.cfm?doc_id=4862
           
           -----Original Message-----
          From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
          Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2004 9:54 PM
          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and
          conservation
          I think there is a lot of pressure on our Government from both sides of the
          energy spectrum - the fossil fuel side and the renewable/sustainability
          side.  Sustainability support is growing and fossil fuel support is
          shrinking.  We must not give up pushing for sustainability because the other
          side is winning at the moment.  Sustainability will win eventually - the
          goal is to prevent a major catastophe from being the final push.  The
          concerned citizens of this nation must, and I believe will, require our
          government to make the initiative for sustainable energy and
          energy independence.  How do you contribute?  Here is an example of a letter
          you can send to the governor, your representatives, the president, members
          of DOE, members of DOD, and anyone else who might have an influence on our
          nation's energy direction. 
           
          To the Honorable [Name]:
           
          Please pass legislation that will transition the United States to a
          sustainable energy economy over the next ten years. 
           
          The consumption of fossil fuels is passing the sustainable limit as seen
          by:  1)   The investment cost for exploration and production of fossil
          fuels, particularly oil and gas, is rapidly increasing per unit produced,
          causing higher energy costs and realizing unsecured debt for industries
          relying on cheap energy.  2)     Emissions from burning fossil fuels have
          reached ecological limitations, threatening health and the standard of
          living.  3)      The atomic energy option is negative due to the high
          cost/risk of security and hazardous waste storage. 4)      The large
          fraction of energy imported contributes significantly to a trade deficit in
          the US, and in turn suppresses the economy.  5)      The lopsided dependence
          on resources from the Middle East is resulting in violent conflicts.
           
          The US needs to transition to a sustainable energy economy in order to
          relieve the problems listed above before they cause a major crisis.  A
          majority of the energy consumed in the US can by provided through biomass,
          wind and solar sources.  National investment in these areas will have a
          greater long-term return than any investment in fossil fuels.  Thank you for
          your efforts and I look forward to reading your reply.
           
          Sincerely,
           
          [Your Name]
           




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          ADVERTISEMENT





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        • Robert Johnston
          Gary, I agree that there is no short term renewable energy solution that can meet this nation s needs economically. However, one thing I had driven into me in
          Message 4 of 18 , Jan 3, 2005
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            Gary,

            I agree that there is no short term renewable energy solution that can
            meet this nation's needs economically. However, one thing I had driven
            into me in a previous e-mail debate with Charles Mauch was the extent to
            which we are subsidizing our hydrocarbon economy today. I hadn't
            thought about the full extent of it before that discussion, but I must
            confess that my scientific prejudices against the hype of the hydrogen
            economy etc. had blinded me to the full range of subsidies that
            undergird the low cost of fossil fuels today, and Charlie taught me a
            thing or two that round! :-)

            I think if we were to take Smalley's "nickel and dime" proposal and
            perhaps even expand it, i.e., to recover from consumers the full cost of
            subsidies such as war expenses, then we could put fossil fuels and
            renewables on a more even footing to "let the best technology win" from
            an economics standpoint. The "fuel tax" money could be plowed into R&D,
            conservation, etc. The R&D should be on both fossil fuels/nuclear as
            well as renewables--to hedge our bets and to keep the subsidization
            somewhat neutral, but heavily weighted towards renewables (and fusion?).
            I think that between increased R&D and higher fossil fuel costs we'd see
            a faster rate of conversion to renewables. That would drive further R&D
            and lower costs through economies of scale. We'd get there faster than
            we will at our present rate of expenditure and fossil fuel cost.

            That is my conjecture, at least. It would be interesting to see a
            careful analysis of this and see how various fossil fuel/renewable cost
            ratios affect the rate of conversion. Maybe someone has done this and
            one of you have a link you could post?

            As a polymer chemist, I'm all for preserving oil and natural gas for
            plastics! :-)

            Robert Johnston




            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Gary Beck [mailto:eco@...]
            > Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2005 11:20 PM
            > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for
            > alternative energy and conservation
            >
            >
            > Thanks Mike,
            >
            > Vacation is over so I am refreshed enough to contemplate some of these
            > ‘higher’ renewable energy thoughts.
            >
            > Sorry, but we differ here. Saying "A majority of the energy consumed
            in
            > the
            > US can be provided through biomass, wind and solar sources" is just
            not
            > realistic. This is due to the shear scale of our energy thirst, the
            limits
            > of all available renewable technologies, the limits on transmission
            > technologies, and the limits of any economy and to pay for dramatic
            energy
            > system changes. Plus all renewables, even solar and wind, are not
            always
            > environmentally cleaner or environmentally better solutions.
            >
            > I'll stick to the energy outlook and arguments by the guy with the
            Nobel
            > Prize. See a clear energy presentation at
            > (http://smalley.rice.edu/emplibrary/columbia09232003.ppt#1) and other
            > similar discussions at their link at
            > http://smalley.rice.edu/smalley.cfm?doc_id=4862). I accept the basic
            > energy
            > resources and energy timing predictions his group researched and
            quoted as
            > better than most. (I don't agree with the idea that nano-energy
            technology
            > will save us, any more than I thought fuel cells and hydrogen will
            save
            > us.)
            > Mechanical energy efficiency has been my area of work for half of my
            > career,
            > and most recently I have pushed and supported energy system
            optimization
            > in
            > different forms (check out www.wasteheat.com). And while I support
            > different
            > renewables for different reasons, I feel it is important to have a
            > realistic
            > view of their time, technology, and economic limitations. All good
            > ideas/discussions, but economics unfortunately has proven repeatedly
            it
            > will
            > rule over all but the 'no brainer' energy arguments.
            >
            > Only conservation is immediate. All it takes is individual behavior
            change
            > like a green product buying decision or a green design decision for a
            > system
            > that better supports energy conservation.
            >
            > Gary Beck. P.E.
            >
            > Eco-Holdings LLC
            > Design Consulting
            > USGBC-LEED(Accredited), BSE(Civil), TDI(Wind Storm - Structural)
            > Texas P.E.(Mechanical), Authorized Service (Capstone Microturbines)
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Mike Ewert [mailto:mewert@...]
            > Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 10:10 AM
            > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for
            > alternative energy and conservation
            >
            > Gary,
            >
            > You wrote:
            > "PS:  I disagree with the statement that 'A majority of
            > the energy consumed
            > in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'. 
            The
            > numbers just don't support this (unless a back-to-the Future 'Mr.
            Fusion'
            > starts getting sold at Kmart).  Conservation would have the biggest
            > impact,
            > but since that is out of vogue see a more comprehensive review of the
            real
            > now and future energy numbers in a presentation done by Rice’s noble
            prize
            > winner Richard Smalley - try this link:"
            >
            > I totally agree with you on the importance and value of conservation,
            > which
            > is of course changing behavior to use less energy.  But to that I
            would
            > add
            > "energy efficiency", which can allow us to do the same things while
            using
            > less energy (throught better designed houses, machines, etc.).
            >
            > Also, I want to show that the statement "'A majority of
            > the energy consumed
            > in the US can be provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'" is
            > true!
            >
            > US energy use is about 100 quads (quadrillion BTU's) per year.
            > Source: http://www.coltoncompany.com/shipbldg/statistics/energy.htm
            >
            > I have not yet found a very good source for the US as a whole, but a
            nice
            > study was done for Texas several years ago and here is some data from
            it:
            > Source: http://www.infinitepower.org/resoverview.htm
            > Renewable energy potential in Texas alone is
            > 12 quads/yr from wind
            > 13 quads/yr from biomass
            > 4300 quads/yr from solar
            > Granted, we can only convert 10 - 70% of the sunlight into energy we
            can
            > use
            > (depending on application and technology) and we can't use all our
            land
            > area
            > for energy production, but do the math.  There is enough out there!
            >
            > Put another way, 700,000 acres would be needed to produce all the
            > electricity that Texas needs - 1/3 the land area needed to produce it
            with
            > gas (granted the gas is underground).
            > source: http://www.infinitepower.org/pdf/FactSheet-08.pdf
            >
            > For information on the global level, check out this recent report by
            the
            > International Solar Energy Society.
            > http://www.ises.org/shortcut.nsf/to/wp
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Gary Beck [mailto:eco@...]
            > Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 5:11 PM
            > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for
            alternative
            > energy and conservation
            > Oh Politics!
            >
            > I think Roxanne is on the money with this advice to contact our
            officials
            > and to try to influence them. Anyone know a website that lists all the
            > best
            > government "green", "renewable", "sustainable" energy buttons to push?
            > (i.e. a list of names with fax machine #s and emails).
            >
            > Use this to take some action rather than simply "writing-off"
            renewable
            > energy efforts for the next 4 years just because my guy W is
            president.
            > That
            > would be negligence on our part.  The oil PACs, related cronies, and
            > general
            > fossil side energy policy influencers are funded, positioned, very
            well
            > organized and will always strongly influence whoever sits in that #1
            > seat.
            >
            > For ‘renewable energy’ or ‘sustainable energy’ proponents to have any
            > impact
            > without a PAC budget, a guerilla style campaign may be one way to go.
            >  Take
            > the website link and send it with Roxanne’s message to every
            university,
            > news link, and like minded group that HREG (inter)net-works with.
            >
            > To make such a message harder to ignore, use it to create an “event”
            > by telling everyone to send it at one time and on one date.  My
            suggestion
            > is to pick a notable time like 10:56 pm EDT (the time of Armstrong’s
            1st
            > moon message) and a date like December 11th (Day of the last manned
            moon
            > landing).  Besides getting the receivers attention, if everyone pushed
            > their
            > "SEND" button at that minute the network might sag and it would
            > become international news.
            >
            > Gary Beck , P.E.
            > Eco-Holdings LLC
            >
            > PS:  I disagree with the statement that 'A majority of
            the energy consumed
            > in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'. 
            The
            > numbers just don't support this (unless a back-to-the Future 'Mr.
            Fusion'
            > starts getting sold at Kmart).  Conservation would have the biggest
            > impact,
            > but since that is out of vogue see a more comprehensive review of the
            real
            > now and future energy numbers in a presentation done by Rice’s noble
            prize
            > winner Richard Smalley - try this link:
            > (http://smalley.rice.edu/emplibrary/columbia09232003.ppt#1)  or see
            all
            > his
            > group’s discussions at http://smalley.rice.edu/smalley.cfm?doc_id=4862
            >
            >  -----Original Message-----
            > From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
            > Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2004 9:54 PM
            > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy
            and
            > conservation
            > I think there is a lot of pressure on our Government from both sides
            of
            > the
            > energy spectrum - the fossil fuel side and the
            renewable/sustainability
            > side.  Sustainability support is growing and fossil fuel support is
            > shrinking.  We must not give up pushing for sustainability because the
            > other
            > side is winning at the moment.  Sustainability will win eventually -
            the
            > goal is to prevent a major catastophe from being the final push.  The
            > concerned citizens of this nation must, and I believe will, require
            our
            > government to make the initiative for sustainable energy and
            > energy independence.  How do you contribute?  Here is an example of a
            > letter
            > you can send to the governor, your representatives, the president,
            members
            > of DOE, members of DOD, and anyone else who might have an influence on
            our
            > nation's energy direction.
            >
            > To the Honorable [Name]:
            >
            > Please pass legislation that will transition the United States to a
            > sustainable energy economy over the next ten years.
            >
            > The consumption of fossil fuels is passing the sustainable limit as
            seen
            > by:  1)   The investment cost for exploration and production of fossil
            > fuels, particularly oil and gas, is rapidly increasing per unit
            produced,
            > causing higher energy costs and realizing unsecured debt for
            industries
            > relying on cheap energy.  2)     Emissions from burning fossil fuels
            have
            > reached ecological limitations, threatening health and the standard of
            > living.  3)      The atomic energy option is negative due to the high
            > cost/risk of security and hazardous waste storage. 4)      The large
            > fraction of energy imported contributes significantly to a trade
            deficit
            > in
            > the US, and in turn suppresses the economy.  5)      The lopsided
            > dependence
            > on resources from the Middle East is resulting in violent conflicts.
            >
            > The US needs to transition to a sustainable energy economy in order to
            > relieve the problems listed above before they cause a major crisis.  A
            > majority of the energy consumed in the US can by provided through
            biomass,
            > wind and solar sources.  National investment in these areas will have
            a
            > greater long-term return than any investment in fossil fuels.  Thank
            you
            > for
            > your efforts and I look forward to reading your reply.
            >
            > Sincerely,
            >
            > [Your Name]
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
            > ADVERTISEMENT
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > • To visit your group on the web, go to:
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hreg/
            >
            > • To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > hreg-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            > • Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • J. P. Malone
            All this discussion is interesting and heart felt. The following is not intended as a rant, but to put our problem in perspective. Our government, both
            Message 5 of 18 , Jan 3, 2005
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment

               

              All this discussion is interesting and heart felt.  The following is not intended as a rant, but to put our problem in perspective.

               

              Our government, both parties, is so tied to big oil money, anyone who really believes anything will change it our lifetimes is living in la-la land.

              It would take solar panels covering every square inch of the state of New Jersey just to equal the energy used in New Jersey.  So the size of the oil dependency is almost beyond our reason.

               

              A breakthrough, one not foreseeable by current science is most likely the only hope in the US.  Outside the US there may be some help because of the different mind set of the non US-Oil cartel.

               

              China is graduating more engineers & scientists each year than the US graduates all college students of all degree fields.  China has a massive energy problem.  They also have a growing economy that it partly controlled & partly free market.  As they inevitably pass the US number of educated citizens (check out our schools systems if you doubt this) and the controlling government forces capital & research in to alternative energy research because of their vast needs and lack of resources they may turn this thing around.

               

              I hope I live long enough to see the beginning.

              In the interim, conservation, voting, getting activity in politics may be the only drop in the bucket we have. I hope I’m wrong.

               

               

              J. Patrick Malone

               

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Robert Johnston [mailto:junk1@...]
              Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 7:36 PM
              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

               

              Gary,

              I agree that there is no short term renewable energy solution that can
              meet this nation's needs economically.  However, one thing I had driven
              into me in a previous e-mail debate with Charles Mauch was the extent to
              which we are subsidizing our hydrocarbon economy today.  I hadn't
              thought about the full extent of it before that discussion, but I must
              confess that my scientific prejudices against the hype of the hydrogen
              economy etc. had blinded me to the full range of subsidies that
              undergird the low cost of fossil fuels today, and Charlie taught me a
              thing or two that round!  :-)

              I think if we were to take Smalley's "nickel and dime" proposal and
              perhaps even expand it, i.e., to recover from consumers the full cost of
              subsidies such as war expenses, then we could put fossil fuels and
              renewables on a more even footing to "let the best technology win" from
              an economics standpoint.  The "fuel tax" money could be plowed into R&D,
              conservation, etc.  The R&D should be on both fossil fuels/nuclear as
              well as renewables--to hedge our bets and to keep the subsidization
              somewhat neutral, but heavily weighted towards renewables (and fusion?).
              I think that between increased R&D and higher fossil fuel costs we'd see
              a faster rate of conversion to renewables.  That would drive further R&D
              and lower costs through economies of scale.  We'd get there faster than
              we will at our present rate of expenditure and fossil fuel cost.

              That is my conjecture, at least.  It would be interesting to see a
              careful analysis of this and see how various fossil fuel/renewable cost
              ratios affect the rate of conversion.  Maybe someone has done this and
              one of you have a link you could post?

              As a polymer chemist, I'm all for preserving oil and natural gas for
              plastics!  :-)

              Robert Johnston




              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Gary Beck [mailto:eco@...]
              > Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2005 11:20 PM
              > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for
              > alternative energy and conservation
              >
              >
              > Thanks Mike,
              >
              > Vacation is over so I am refreshed enough to contemplate some of these
              > ‘higher’ renewable energy thoughts.
              >
              > Sorry, but we differ here. Saying "A majority of the energy consumed
              in
              > the
              > US can be provided through biomass, wind and solar sources" is just
              not
              > realistic. This is due to the shear scale of our energy thirst, the
              limits
              > of all available renewable technologies, the limits on transmission
              > technologies, and the limits of any economy and to pay for dramatic
              energy
              > system changes. Plus all renewables, even solar and wind, are not
              always
              > environmentally cleaner or environmentally better solutions.
              >
              > I'll stick to the energy outlook and arguments by the guy with the
              Nobel
              > Prize. See a clear energy presentation at
              > (http://smalley.rice.edu/emplibrary/columbia09232003.ppt#1) and other
              > similar discussions at their link at
              > http://smalley.rice.edu/smalley.cfm?doc_id=4862). I accept the basic
              > energy
              > resources and energy timing predictions his group researched and
              quoted as
              > better than most. (I don't agree with the idea that nano-energy
              technology
              > will save us, any more than I thought fuel cells and hydrogen will
              save
              > us.)
              > Mechanical energy efficiency has been my area of work for half of my
              > career,
              > and most recently I have pushed and supported energy system
              optimization
              > in
              > different forms (check out www.wasteheat.com). And while I support
              > different
              > renewables for different reasons, I feel it is important to have a
              > realistic
              > view of their time, technology, and economic limitations. All good
              > ideas/discussions, but economics unfortunately has proven repeatedly
              it
              > will
              > rule over all but the 'no brainer' energy arguments.
              >
              > Only conservation is immediate. All it takes is individual behavior
              change
              > like a green product buying decision or a green design decision for a
              > system
              > that better supports energy conservation.
              >
              > Gary Beck. P.E.
              >
              > Eco-Holdings LLC
              > Design Consulting
              > USGBC-LEED(Accredited), BSE(Civil), TDI(Wind Storm - Structural)
              > Texas P.E.(Mechanical), Authorized Service (Capstone Microturbines)
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Mike Ewert [mailto:mewert@...]
              > Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 10:10 AM
              > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for
              > alternative energy and conservation
              >
              > Gary,
              >
              > You wrote:
              > "PS:  I disagree with the statement that 'A majority of
              > the energy consumed
              > in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'. 
              The
              > numbers just don't support this (unless a back-to-the Future 'Mr.
              Fusion'
              > starts getting sold at Kmart).  Conservation would have the biggest
              > impact,
              > but since that is out of vogue see a more comprehensive review of the
              real
              > now and future energy numbers in a presentation done by Rice’s noble
              prize
              > winner Richard Smalley - try this link:"
              >
              > I totally agree with you on the importance and value of conservation,
              > which
              > is of course changing behavior to use less energy.  But to that I
              would
              > add
              > "energy efficiency", which can allow us to do the same things while
              using
              > less energy (throught better designed houses, machines, etc.).
              >
              > Also, I want to show that the statement "'A majority of
              > the energy consumed
              > in the US can be provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'" is
              > true!
              >
              > US energy use is about 100 quads (quadrillion BTU's) per year.
              > Source: http://www.coltoncompany.com/shipbldg/statistics/energy.htm
              >
              > I have not yet found a very good source for the US as a whole, but a
              nice
              > study was done for Texas several years ago and here is some data from
              it:
              > Source: http://www.infinitepower.org/resoverview.htm
              > Renewable energy potential in Texas alone is
              > 12 quads/yr from wind
              > 13 quads/yr from biomass
              > 4300 quads/yr from solar
              > Granted, we can only convert 10 - 70% of the sunlight into energy we
              can
              > use
              > (depending on application and technology) and we can't use all our
              land
              > area
              > for energy production, but do the math.  There is enough out there!
              >
              > Put another way, 700,000 acres would be needed to produce all the
              > electricity that Texas needs - 1/3 the land area needed to produce it
              with
              > gas (granted the gas is underground).
              > source: http://www.infinitepower.org/pdf/FactSheet-08.pdf
              >
              > For information on the global level, check out this recent report by
              the
              > International Solar Energy Society.
              > http://www.ises.org/shortcut.nsf/to/wp
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Gary Beck [mailto:eco@...]
              > Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 5:11 PM
              > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for
              alternative
              > energy and conservation
              > Oh Politics!
              >
              > I think Roxanne is on the money with this advice to contact our
              officials
              > and to try to influence them. Anyone know a website that lists all the
              > best
              > government "green", "renewable", "sustainable" energy buttons to push?
              > (i.e. a list of names with fax machine #s and emails).
              >
              > Use this to take some action rather than simply "writing-off"
              renewable
              > energy efforts for the next 4 years just because my guy W is
              president.
              > That
              > would be negligence on our part.  The oil PACs, related cronies, and
              > general
              > fossil side energy policy influencers are funded, positioned, very
              well
              > organized and will always strongly influence whoever sits in that #1
              > seat.
              >
              > For ‘renewable energy’ or ‘sustainable energy’ proponents to have any
              > impact
              > without a PAC budget, a guerilla style campaign may be one way to go.
              >  Take
              > the website link and send it with Roxanne’s message to every
              university,
              > news link, and like minded group that HREG (inter)net-works with.
              >
              > To make such a message harder to ignore, use it to create an “event”
              > by telling everyone to send it at one time and on one date.  My
              suggestion
              > is to pick a notable time like 10:56 pm EDT (the time of Armstrong’s
              1st
              > moon message) and a date like December 11th (Day of the last manned
              moon
              > landing).  Besides getting the receivers attention, if everyone pushed
              > their
              > "SEND" button at that minute the network might sag and it would
              > become international news.
              >
              > Gary Beck , P.E.
              > Eco-Holdings LLC
              >
              > PS:  I disagree with the statement that 'A majority of
              the energy consumed
              > in the US can by provided through biomass, wind and solar sources'. 
              The
              > numbers just don't support this (unless a back-to-the Future 'Mr.
              Fusion'
              > starts getting sold at Kmart).  Conservation would have the biggest
              > impact,
              > but since that is out of vogue see a more comprehensive review of the
              real
              > now and future energy numbers in a presentation done by Rice’s noble
              prize
              > winner Richard Smalley - try this link:
              > (http://smalley.rice.edu/emplibrary/columbia09232003.ppt#1)  or see
              all
              > his
              > group’s discussions at http://smalley.rice.edu/smalley.cfm?doc_id=4862
              >
              >  -----Original Message-----
              > From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
              > Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2004 9:54 PM
              > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: Re: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy
              and
              > conservation
              > I think there is a lot of pressure on our Government from both sides
              of
              > the
              > energy spectrum - the fossil fuel side and the
              renewable/sustainability
              > side.  Sustainability support is growing and fossil fuel support is
              > shrinking.  We must not give up pushing for sustainability because the
              > other
              > side is winning at the moment.  Sustainability will win eventually -
              the
              > goal is to prevent a major catastophe from being the final push.  The
              > concerned citizens of this nation must, and I believe will, require
              our
              > government to make the initiative for sustainable energy and
              > energy independence.  How do you contribute?  Here is an example of a
              > letter
              > you can send to the governor, your representatives, the president,
              members
              > of DOE, members of DOD, and anyone else who might have an influence on
              our
              > nation's energy direction.
              >
              > To the Honorable [Name]:
              >
              > Please pass legislation that will transition the United States to a
              > sustainable energy economy over the next ten years.
              >
              > The consumption of fossil fuels is passing the sustainable limit as
              seen
              > by:  1)   The investment cost for exploration and production of fossil
              > fuels, particularly oil and gas, is rapidly increasing per unit
              produced,
              > causing higher energy costs and realizing unsecured debt for
              industries
              > relying on cheap energy.  2)     Emissions from burning fossil fuels
              have
              > reached ecological limitations, threatening health and the standard of
              > living.  3)      The atomic energy option is negative due to the high
              > cost/risk of security and hazardous waste storage. 4)      The large
              > fraction of energy imported contributes significantly to a trade
              deficit
              > in
              > the US, and in turn suppresses the economy.  5)      The lopsided
              > dependence
              > on resources from the Middle East is resulting in violent conflicts.
              >
              > The US needs to transition to a sustainable energy economy in order to
              > relieve the problems listed above before they cause a major crisis.  A
              > majority of the energy consumed in the US can by provided through
              biomass,
              > wind and solar sources.  National investment in these areas will have
              a
              > greater long-term return than any investment in fossil fuels.  Thank
              you
              > for
              > your efforts and I look forward to reading your reply.
              >
              > Sincerely,
              >
              > [Your Name]
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
              > ADVERTISEMENT
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > • To visit your group on the web, go to:
              > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hreg/
              >
              > • To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > hreg-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              > • Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >




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            • Roxanne Boyer
              Mr. Malone, I quite dissagree with you on many of these issues, and so do most scientists. Read any of the articles today on energy in Scientific American,
              Message 6 of 18 , Jan 4, 2005
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                Mr. Malone,
                I quite dissagree with you on many of these issues, and so do most scientists.  Read any of the articles today on energy in Scientific American, Physics Today, Discovery, Science, .... and you will find that our current oil consumption trends can only be sustained to about 2050, plus or minus 20 years.  Renewable energy is growing exponencially.  Europe is aiming for 20% renewables by 2020.  I believe many of the US States already have similar goals and many more will join in as time goes on.  There will be a change within the next lifespan.
                 
                Even the "Oil" companies realize this and have published reports that say so.  They are starting to call themselves "Energy" companies and investing quite heavily in renewable energy.  See Shell Solar, Shell Wind, Shell Renewables, BP Solar, GE Solar, GE Wind, for example.  And if the oil companies don't lead, the electronics companies will.  Sharp is already the leading manufacturer of solar cells.
                 
                I don't know how you did your math about not enough solar energy in New Jersey (is that the state with the highest energy to land ratio and the least sunny state?).  But the math I have done shows that I can supply all of my Houston household electrical needs (averaged) by covering half of my roof with solar panels.  No breakthrough technology needed; it already exists.  If you trend retail electric prices and solar PV prices, you will see the cost cross in the year 2025 - then it will be more economical to buy PV than grid electricity!
                 
                If you read up on the technical progress of photoelectrics, you will see incredible breakthroughs in the last 10 years.  Right now, solar cells are expensive because production can not keep up with demand.  And new record breaking production facillities are being opened each year.
                 
                If you want a "heart felt" change, read the July-August issue of Renewable Energy World each year and see the growth of RE for yourself.  It is amazing.  Maybe we can discuss some of the facts at the next HREG meeting, Sunday, 2:00pm, Jan 30th at TSU.
                Sincerely,
                Chris
                 
                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 8:43 PM
                Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                 

                All this discussion is interesting and heart felt.  The following is not intended as a rant, but to put our problem in perspective.

                 

                Our government, both parties, is so tied to big oil money, .

                It would take solar panels covering every square inch of the state of New Jersey just to equal the energy used in New Jersey.  So the size of the oil dependency is almost beyond our reason.

                 

                A breakthrough, one not foreseeable by current science is most likely the only hope in the US.  Outside the US there may be some help because of the different mind set of the non US-Oil cartel.

                 

                China is graduating more engineers & scientists each year than the US graduates all college students of all degree fields.  China has a massive energy problem.  They also have a growing economy that it partly controlled & partly free market.  As they inevitably pass the US number of educated citizens (check out our schools systems if you doubt this) and the controlling government forces capital & research in to alternative energy research because of their vast needs and lack of resources they may turn this thing around.

                 

                I hope I live long enough to see the beginning.

                In the interim, conservation, voting, getting activity in politics may be the only drop in the bucket we have. I hope I’m wrong.

                 

                 

                J. Patrick Malone

                 

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Robert Johnston [mailto:junk1@...]
                Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 7:36 PM
                To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                 

                 

              • burner_22
                hi i wanted to attend this Sunday s meeting at TSU School of Technology and was wondering what room number do you have your meetings? thanks, David A.
                Message 7 of 18 , Jan 4, 2005
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                  hi

                  i wanted to attend this Sunday's meeting at TSU School of Technology
                  and was wondering what room number do you have your meetings?


                  thanks,
                  David A.



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                • Mike Ewert
                  The next HREG meeting will be Sunday January 30 from 2-4pm at TSU School of Technology room 225. We will send an agenda closer to the date. ... From:
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jan 5, 2005
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                    The next HREG meeting will be Sunday January 30 from 2-4pm at TSU School of
                    Technology room 225. We will send an agenda closer to the date.

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: burner_22 [mailto:burner_22@...]
                    Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 11:00 PM
                    To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [hreg] (unknown)



                    hi

                    i wanted to attend this Sunday's meeting at TSU School of Technology
                    and was wondering what room number do you have your meetings?


                    thanks,
                    David A.



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                    Yahoo! Mail - Helps protect you from nasty viruses.
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                  • Mike Ewert
                    2 points: Note the land area required for solar energy in Richard Smalley s presentation. http://smalley.rice.edu/emplibrary/columbia09232003.ppt#1 I like PV
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jan 6, 2005
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                      2 points:
                      Note the land area required for solar energy in Richard Smalley's presentation.
                       
                      I like PV too, but solar thermal is even farther along in terms of cost competitiveness (large scale).   It is one of the most cost-effective renewable power technologies, with present power generation costs of US¢12-20/kWh and long-term costs of US¢5-10/kWh. Source: Renewable Energy World
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
                      Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 10:20 PM
                      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                      Mr. Malone,
                      I quite dissagree with you on many of these issues, and so do most scientists.  Read any of the articles today on energy in Scientific American, Physics Today, Discovery, Science, .... and you will find that our current oil consumption trends can only be sustained to about 2050, plus or minus 20 years.  Renewable energy is growing exponencially.  Europe is aiming for 20% renewables by 2020.  I believe many of the US States already have similar goals and many more will join in as time goes on.  There will be a change within the next lifespan.
                       
                      Even the "Oil" companies realize this and have published reports that say so.  They are starting to call themselves "Energy" companies and investing quite heavily in renewable energy.  See Shell Solar, Shell Wind, Shell Renewables, BP Solar, GE Solar, GE Wind, for example.  And if the oil companies don't lead, the electronics companies will.  Sharp is already the leading manufacturer of solar cells.
                       
                      I don't know how you did your math about not enough solar energy in New Jersey (is that the state with the highest energy to land ratio and the least sunny state?).  But the math I have done shows that I can supply all of my Houston household electrical needs (averaged) by covering half of my roof with solar panels.  No breakthrough technology needed; it already exists.  If you trend retail electric prices and solar PV prices, you will see the cost cross in the year 2025 - then it will be more economical to buy PV than grid electricity!
                       
                      If you read up on the technical progress of photoelectrics, you will see incredible breakthroughs in the last 10 years.  Right now, solar cells are expensive because production can not keep up with demand.  And new record breaking production facillities are being opened each year.
                       
                      If you want a "heart felt" change, read the July-August issue of Renewable Energy World each year and see the growth of RE for yourself.  It is amazing.  Maybe we can discuss some of the facts at the next HREG meeting, Sunday, 2:00pm, Jan 30th at TSU.
                      Sincerely,
                      Chris
                       
                       
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 8:43 PM
                      Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                       

                      All this discussion is interesting and heart felt.  The following is not intended as a rant, but to put our problem in perspective.

                       

                      Our government, both parties, is so tied to big oil money, .

                      It would take solar panels covering every square inch of the state of New Jersey just to equal the energy used in New Jersey.  So the size of the oil dependency is almost beyond our reason.

                       

                      A breakthrough, one not foreseeable by current science is most likely the only hope in the US.  Outside the US there may be some help because of the different mind set of the non US-Oil cartel.

                       

                      China is graduating more engineers & scientists each year than the US graduates all college students of all degree fields.  China has a massive energy problem.  They also have a growing economy that it partly controlled & partly free market.  As they inevitably pass the US number of educated citizens (check out our schools systems if you doubt this) and the controlling government forces capital & research in to alternative energy research because of their vast needs and lack of resources they may turn this thing around.

                       

                      I hope I live long enough to see the beginning.

                      In the interim, conservation, voting, getting activity in politics may be the only drop in the bucket we have. I hope I’m wrong.

                       

                       

                      J. Patrick Malone

                       

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Robert Johnston [mailto:junk1@...]
                      Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 7:36 PM
                      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                       

                       

                    • Gary Beck
                      Incredible breakthoughs or not, one thing I have to point out is that solar cells should not be thought of as free or even renewable. The energy they capture
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jan 6, 2005
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                        Incredible breakthoughs or not, one thing I have to point out is that solar cells should not be thought of as free or even renewable. The energy they capture is not free. They make electricity by capturing energy that is otherwise reflected back into space. All this captured energy will be released as sensable heat. 
                         
                        The other point is that every solar cell I have ever seen is very dark color and that on a sunny day I assume you can fry and egg on them during operation.  And they would remain warm for a few extra hours each night.  Sounds like a hot city that has 1/2 of the area of every roof covered in in solar cells. 
                         
                        This vision of a 'solar roof on every house' is the opposite of significant eco design efforts to try to cool cities by adopting building specifications changing commercial roof colors to white and residential roofs to very light shingles (plus a cooler roof means cooler living working space). Or better yet like USGBC-LEED and other efforts that support 'green' garden roof on new commerical buildings. 
                         
                        What is the best approach to satisfy both concerns? Is there a light colored solar cell? Any one have a design for a solar cell garden roof?
                         
                        Gary Beck
                        Eco-Holdings LLC
                         
                        I read ocasionally Scientific American, Discovery, Science etc. - they are great for 'what if' and 'think about this' , but not very good predictors at all. What were they saying about fuel cells 10 or 20 years ago? My son get Popular Science - a recent article is called "Hydrogen's Bomb - Decoding the Hype".  My favorite recent new science release? The spinach plant that is designed to generate electricity (no joke) (here's a joke: It is a good thing since will require more candle lit dinners - cause after you finish your salad it's light out!) 
                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
                        Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 10:20 PM
                        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                        Mr. Malone,
                        I quite dissagree with you on many of these issues, and so do most scientists.  Read any of the articles today on energy in Scientific American, Physics Today, Discovery, Science, .... and you will find that our current oil consumption trends can only be sustained to about 2050, plus or minus 20 years.  Renewable energy is growing exponencially.  Europe is aiming for 20% renewables by 2020.  I believe many of the US States already have similar goals and many more will join in as time goes on.  There will be a change within the next lifespan.
                         
                        Even the "Oil" companies realize this and have published reports that say so.  They are starting to call themselves "Energy" companies and investing quite heavily in renewable energy.  See Shell Solar, Shell Wind, Shell Renewables, BP Solar, GE Solar, GE Wind, for example.  And if the oil companies don't lead, the electronics companies will.  Sharp is already the leading manufacturer of solar cells.
                         
                        I don't know how you did your math about not enough solar energy in New Jersey (is that the state with the highest energy to land ratio and the least sunny state?).  But the math I have done shows that I can supply all of my Houston household electrical needs (averaged) by covering half of my roof with solar panels.  No breakthrough technology needed; it already exists.  If you trend retail electric prices and solar PV prices, you will see the cost cross in the year 2025 - then it will be more economical to buy PV than grid electricity!
                         
                        If you read up on the technical progress of photoelectrics, you will see incredible breakthroughs in the last 10 years.  Right now, solar cells are expensive because production can not keep up with demand.  And new record breaking production facillities are being opened each year.
                         
                        If you want a "heart felt" change, read the July-August issue of Renewable Energy World each year and see the growth of RE for yourself.  It is amazing.  Maybe we can discuss some of the facts at the next HREG meeting, Sunday, 2:00pm, Jan 30th at TSU.
                        Sincerely,
                        Chris
                         
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 8:43 PM
                        Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                         

                        All this discussion is interesting and heart felt.  The following is not intended as a rant, but to put our problem in perspective.

                         

                        Our government, both parties, is so tied to big oil money, .

                        It would take solar panels covering every square inch of the state of New Jersey just to equal the energy used in New Jersey.  So the size of the oil dependency is almost beyond our reason.

                         

                        A breakthrough, one not foreseeable by current science is most likely the only hope in the US.  Outside the US there may be some help because of the different mind set of the non US-Oil cartel.

                         

                        China is graduating more engineers & scientists each year than the US graduates all college students of all degree fields.  China has a massive energy problem.  They also have a growing economy that it partly controlled & partly free market.  As they inevitably pass the US number of educated citizens (check out our schools systems if you doubt this) and the controlling government forces capital & research in to alternative energy research because of their vast needs and lack of resources they may turn this thing around.

                         

                        I hope I live long enough to see the beginning.

                        In the interim, conservation, voting, getting activity in politics may be the only drop in the bucket we have. I hope I’m wrong.

                         

                         

                        J. Patrick Malone

                         

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Robert Johnston [mailto:junk1@...]
                        Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 7:36 PM
                        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                         

                         

                      • Ooi, Han
                        Well, In my solar engineering textbook, it states that a solar cell will get hot IF the electricity generated by it is not used. This makes sense since energy
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jan 6, 2005
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                          Well,
                              In my solar engineering textbook, it states that a solar cell will get hot IF the electricity generated by it is not used.  This makes sense since energy can neither be created nor destroyed.  If the power doesn't take the form of electrical energy, then it will take to form of thermal energy.  So as solar cells get more and more efficient, they will run cooler and cooler.
                           
                          Han Ooi
                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Gary Beck [mailto:eco@...]
                          Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2005 9:55 AM
                          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                          Incredible breakthoughs or not, one thing I have to point out is that solar cells should not be thought of as free or even renewable. The energy they capture is not free. They make electricity by capturing energy that is otherwise reflected back into space. All this captured energy will be released as sensable heat. 
                           
                          The other point is that every solar cell I have ever seen is very dark color and that on a sunny day I assume you can fry and egg on them during operation.  And they would remain warm for a few extra hours each night.  Sounds like a hot city that has 1/2 of the area of every roof covered in in solar cells. 
                           
                          This vision of a 'solar roof on every house' is the opposite of significant eco design efforts to try to cool cities by adopting building specifications changing commercial roof colors to white and residential roofs to very light shingles (plus a cooler roof means cooler living working space). Or better yet like USGBC-LEED and other efforts that support 'green' garden roof on new commerical buildings. 
                           
                          What is the best approach to satisfy both concerns? Is there a light colored solar cell? Any one have a design for a solar cell garden roof?
                           
                          Gary Beck
                          Eco-Holdings LLC
                           
                          I read ocasionally Scientific American, Discovery, Science etc. - they are great for 'what if' and 'think about this' , but not very good predictors at all. What were they saying about fuel cells 10 or 20 years ago? My son get Popular Science - a recent article is called "Hydrogen's Bomb - Decoding the Hype".  My favorite recent new science release? The spinach plant that is designed to generate electricity (no joke) (here's a joke: It is a good thing since will require more candle lit dinners - cause after you finish your salad it's light out!) 
                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
                          Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 10:20 PM
                          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                          Mr. Malone,
                          I quite dissagree with you on many of these issues, and so do most scientists.  Read any of the articles today on energy in Scientific American, Physics Today, Discovery, Science, .... and you will find that our current oil consumption trends can only be sustained to about 2050, plus or minus 20 years.  Renewable energy is growing exponencially.  Europe is aiming for 20% renewables by 2020.  I believe many of the US States already have similar goals and many more will join in as time goes on.  There will be a change within the next lifespan.
                           
                          Even the "Oil" companies realize this and have published reports that say so.  They are starting to call themselves "Energy" companies and investing quite heavily in renewable energy.  See Shell Solar, Shell Wind, Shell Renewables, BP Solar, GE Solar, GE Wind, for example.  And if the oil companies don't lead, the electronics companies will.  Sharp is already the leading manufacturer of solar cells.
                           
                          I don't know how you did your math about not enough solar energy in New Jersey (is that the state with the highest energy to land ratio and the least sunny state?).  But the math I have done shows that I can supply all of my Houston household electrical needs (averaged) by covering half of my roof with solar panels.  No breakthrough technology needed; it already exists.  If you trend retail electric prices and solar PV prices, you will see the cost cross in the year 2025 - then it will be more economical to buy PV than grid electricity!
                           
                          If you read up on the technical progress of photoelectrics, you will see incredible breakthroughs in the last 10 years.  Right now, solar cells are expensive because production can not keep up with demand.  And new record breaking production facillities are being opened each year.
                           
                          If you want a "heart felt" change, read the July-August issue of Renewable Energy World each year and see the growth of RE for yourself.  It is amazing.  Maybe we can discuss some of the facts at the next HREG meeting, Sunday, 2:00pm, Jan 30th at TSU.
                          Sincerely,
                          Chris
                           
                           
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 8:43 PM
                          Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                           

                          All this discussion is interesting and heart felt.  The following is not intended as a rant, but to put our problem in perspective.

                           

                          Our government, both parties, is so tied to big oil money, .

                          It would take solar panels covering every square inch of the state of New Jersey just to equal the energy used in New Jersey.  So the size of the oil dependency is almost beyond our reason.

                           

                          A breakthrough, one not foreseeable by current science is most likely the only hope in the US.  Outside the US there may be some help because of the different mind set of the non US-Oil cartel.

                           

                          China is graduating more engineers & scientists each year than the US graduates all college students of all degree fields.  China has a massive energy problem.  They also have a growing economy that it partly controlled & partly free market.  As they inevitably pass the US number of educated citizens (check out our schools systems if you doubt this) and the controlling government forces capital & research in to alternative energy research because of their vast needs and lack of resources they may turn this thing around.

                           

                          I hope I live long enough to see the beginning.

                          In the interim, conservation, voting, getting activity in politics may be the only drop in the bucket we have. I hope I’m wrong.

                           

                           

                          J. Patrick Malone

                           

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Robert Johnston [mailto:junk1@...]
                          Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 7:36 PM
                          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                           

                           

                        • Jim & Janet
                          Message Gary Beck Eco-Holdings LLC Wrote: Is there a light colored solar cell? Well, the reason the cells surface is dark is to help it absorb as much light
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jan 6, 2005
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                            Gary Beck
                            Eco-Holdings LLC
                             
                            Wrote:    Is there a light colored solar cell?
                             
                            Well, the reason the cells surface is dark is to help it absorb as much light energy as possible. A light colored cell would reflect more photons reducing the cells output significantly. If you looked at the cell surface under magnification, you would see the surface is jagged and rough to increase the surface receiving sunlight. The heat is just an unwanted byproduct.
                            Possibly the quickest way to improve module efficiency by 1 to 2 % is to figure how to eliminate resistance at the interconnections between individual cells. No one has yet figured how to effectively 'solder' wires to silicon. This is why most PV manufacturers advertise the individual cell efficiency as slightly higher than the overall module efficiency. That's driving the industry away from silicon and toward other methods of electrical production; spinach for example.
                            Jim Duncan
                          • Robert Johnston
                            Am I missing something, or is this much to do about nothing? Sure, any radiant energy captured by a solar cell is not reflected back into space immediately.
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jan 7, 2005
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                              Am I missing something, or is this much to do about nothing?

                               

                              Sure, any radiant energy captured by a solar cell is not reflected back into space immediately.  But:  (a) even if you had a perfect mirror there instead, not all reflected light would make it back to space [light scattering, greenhouse effect, etc.]; (b) surely one can coat the cell with a reflective surface that transmits UV (or whatever wavelengths the solar cell optimally uses) and reflects others; (c) if the solar cell weren’t there, it is unlikely that the surface that would be there instead would reflect light back perfectly either.  It would absorb at least a portion of it and the radiant energy would be converted to heat.  Even biomass merely stores it as potential energy that is later released as heat by burning, digestion, etc.  And, (d) some of the absorbed radiation that is converted into heat will eventually be emitted back to space.  Ever notice how much the earth cools on a clear night with no cloud cover?  That is heat loss by a relatively cool substrate, e.g., the earth at 15-30°C.

                               

                              I don’t think we are talking about a big deal here.  Even if 1% of the U.S. land mass were covered with solar cells, that would not absorb as much radiant energy as our forests do today.

                               

                              Why not just do a radiant energy balance on the planet?  Smalley’s presentation says in 2003 we used 14 terawatts (TW) of energy per day.  This compares to 165,000 TW of sunlight striking the planet per day.  Even at the 50 TW he projects we’ll need in 2050, that is only 0.03% of the sun’s radiant energy being needed.  If we have perfectly absorbent solar cells that absorb all the solar spectrum, and if they operate at only 10% solar efficiency, that means that the solar cells necessary to supply our energy needs in 2050 (assuming we go 100% solar cells for energy needs) would absorb just 0.3% of the sun’s radiant flux on earth.  Do you think we’d even notice that?  Remember, a significant fraction of that 0.3% is already absorbed by whatever substrate is there today.  We’re talking about an extremely small effect here!

                               

                              There remains a debate about whether global warming is real or not.  But if we assume it is, I think most scientists would argue that the cause of global warming is not the heat we are emitting but rather the greenhouse effect, e.g., the heat we are trapping.  If we quit using fossil fuels and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, any additional heat absorbed by solar cells would be more than compensated for by the increased emission to space.  In other words, we can afford to convert more energy into sensable heat so long as we have less greenhouse effect.

                               

                              If you are concerned about localized effects, such as in cities, there would be ways to mitigate it.  For instance, you could make covered parking lots, with the cells on the roof; this would merely absorb what would have otherwise been absorbed by the asphalt.  There are indeed efforts to convert roofing membranes from black rubber sheeting or asphalt to white TPO roofing membranes.  However, as happened at MinuteMaid Park, mold and mildew can quickly stain a white roof to a dark color, so it is not a very robust approach today, and I’m not sure what the long term contribution to urban micro-climates is.  Personally, I’d prefer a dark roof since it is more UV stable and should last longer.  That makes sense from an economic and sustainability standpoint.  If I were a roofing membrane installer, though, I’d sure rather work on a white roof!  (At least in Houston in the summer)!

                               

                              Robert Johnston

                               

                               

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Gary Beck [mailto:eco@...]
                              Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2005 9:55 AM
                              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                               

                              Incredible breakthoughs or not, one thing I have to point out is that solar cells should not be thought of as free or even renewable. The energy they capture is not free. They make electricity by capturing energy that is otherwise reflected back into space. All this captured energy will be released as sensable heat. 

                               

                              The other point is that every solar cell I have ever seen is very dark color and that on a sunny day I assume you can fry and egg on them during operation.  And they would remain warm for a few extra hours each night.  Sounds like a hot city that has 1/2 of the area of every roof covered in in solar cells. 

                               

                              This vision of a 'solar roof on every house' is the opposite of significant eco design efforts to try to cool cities by adopting building specifications changing commercial roof colors to white and residential roofs to very light shingles (plus a cooler roof means cooler living working space). Or better yet like USGBC-LEED and other efforts that support 'green' garden roof on new commerical buildings. 

                               

                              What is the best approach to satisfy both concerns? Is there a light colored solar cell? Any one have a design for a solar cell garden roof?

                               

                              Gary Beck

                              Eco-Holdings LLC

                               

                              I read ocasionally Scientific American, Discovery, Science etc. - they are great for 'what if' and 'think about this' , but not very good predictors at all. What were they saying about fuel cells 10 or 20 years ago? My son get Popular Science - a recent article is called "Hydrogen's Bomb - Decoding the Hype".  My favorite recent new science release? The spinach plant that is designed to generate electricity (no joke) (here's a joke: It is a good thing since will require more candle lit dinners - cause after you finish your salad it's light out!) 

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
                              Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 10:20 PM
                              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                              Mr. Malone,

                              I quite dissagree with you on many of these issues, and so do most scientists.  Read any of the articles today on energy in Scientific American, Physics Today, Discovery, Science, .... and you will find that our current oil consumption trends can only be sustained to about 2050, plus or minus 20 years.  Renewable energy is growing exponencially.  Europe is aiming for 20% renewables by 2020.  I believe many of the US States already have similar goals and many more will join in as time goes on.  There will be a change within the next lifespan.

                               

                              Even the "Oil" companies realize this and have published reports that say so.  They are starting to call themselves "Energy" companies and investing quite heavily in renewable energy.  See Shell Solar, Shell Wind, Shell Renewables, BP Solar, GE Solar, GE Wind, for example.  And if the oil companies don't lead, the electronics companies will.  Sharp is already the leading manufacturer of solar cells.

                               

                              I don't know how you did your math about not enough solar energy in New Jersey (is that the state with the highest energy to land ratio and the least sunny state?).  But the math I have done shows that I can supply all of my Houston household electrical needs (averaged) by covering half of my roof with solar panels.  No breakthrough technology needed; it already exists.  If you trend retail electric prices and solar PV prices, you will see the cost cross in the year 2025 - then it will be more economical to buy PV than grid electricity!

                               

                              If you read up on the technical progress of photoelectrics, you will see incredible breakthroughs in the last 10 years.  Right now, solar cells are expensive because production can not keep up with demand.  And new record breaking production facillities are being opened each year.

                               

                              If you want a "heart felt" change, read the July-August issue of Renewable Energy World each year and see the growth of RE for yourself.  It is amazing.  Maybe we can discuss some of the facts at the next HREG meeting, Sunday, 2:00pm, Jan 30th at TSU.

                              Sincerely,

                              Chris

                               

                               

                              ----- Original Message -----

                              Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 8:43 PM

                              Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                               

                               

                              All this discussion is interesting and heart felt.  The following is not intended as a rant, but to put our problem in perspective.

                               

                              Our government, both parties, is so tied to big oil money, .

                              It would take solar panels covering every square inch of the state of New Jersey just to equal the energy used in New Jersey.  So the size of the oil dependency is almost beyond our reason.

                               

                              A breakthrough, one not foreseeable by current science is most likely the only hope in the US.  Outside the US there may be some help because of the different mind set of the non US-Oil cartel.

                               

                              China is graduating more engineers & scientists each year than the US graduates all college students of all degree fields.  China has a massive energy problem.  They also have a growing economy that it partly controlled & partly free market.  As they inevitably pass the US number of educated citizens (check out our schools systems if you doubt this) and the controlling government forces capital & research in to alternative energy research because of their vast needs and lack of resources they may turn this thing around.

                               

                              I hope I live long enough to see the beginning.

                              In the interim, conservation, voting, getting activity in politics may be the only drop in the bucket we have. I hope I’m wrong.

                               

                               

                              J. Patrick Malone

                               

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Robert Johnston [mailto:junk1@...]
                              Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 7:36 PM
                              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                               

                               

                            • Richard D. Kelley
                              Mountains out a molehill? Buy some panels a put that Texas cooker to work. ... From: Robert Johnston [SMTP:junk1@plastability.com] Sent: Friday, January 07,
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jan 7, 2005
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                              • 0 Attachment
                                Mountains out a molehill? Buy some panels a put that Texas cooker to work.


                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: Robert Johnston [SMTP:junk1@...]
                                Sent: Friday, January 07, 2005 4:57 PM
                                To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for alternative energy and conservation

                                << File: ATT00029.htm >> Am I missing something, or is this much to do about nothing?



                                Sure, any radiant energy captured by a solar cell is not reflected back
                                into space immediately. But: (a) even if you had a perfect mirror
                                there instead, not all reflected light would make it back to space
                                [light scattering, greenhouse effect, etc.]; (b) surely one can coat the
                                cell with a reflective surface that transmits UV (or whatever
                                wavelengths the solar cell optimally uses) and reflects others; (c) if
                                the solar cell weren't there, it is unlikely that the surface that would
                                be there instead would reflect light back perfectly either. It would
                                absorb at least a portion of it and the radiant energy would be
                                converted to heat. Even biomass merely stores it as potential energy
                                that is later released as heat by burning, digestion, etc. And, (d)
                                some of the absorbed radiation that is converted into heat will
                                eventually be emitted back to space. Ever notice how much the earth
                                cools on a clear night with no cloud cover? That is heat loss by a
                                relatively cool substrate, e.g., the earth at 15-30°C.



                                I don't think we are talking about a big deal here. Even if 1% of the
                                U.S. land mass were covered with solar cells, that would not absorb as
                                much radiant energy as our forests do today.



                                Why not just do a radiant energy balance on the planet? Smalley's
                                presentation says in 2003 we used 14 terawatts (TW) of energy per day.
                                This compares to 165,000 TW of sunlight striking the planet per day.
                                Even at the 50 TW he projects we'll need in 2050, that is only 0.03% of
                                the sun's radiant energy being needed. If we have perfectly absorbent
                                solar cells that absorb all the solar spectrum, and if they operate at
                                only 10% solar efficiency, that means that the solar cells necessary to
                                supply our energy needs in 2050 (assuming we go 100% solar cells for
                                energy needs) would absorb just 0.3% of the sun's radiant flux on earth.
                                Do you think we'd even notice that? Remember, a significant fraction of
                                that 0.3% is already absorbed by whatever substrate is there today.
                                We're talking about an extremely small effect here!



                                There remains a debate about whether global warming is real or not. But
                                if we assume it is, I think most scientists would argue that the cause
                                of global warming is not the heat we are emitting but rather the
                                greenhouse effect, e.g., the heat we are trapping. If we quit using
                                fossil fuels and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, any
                                additional heat absorbed by solar cells would be more than compensated
                                for by the increased emission to space. In other words, we can afford
                                to convert more energy into sensable heat so long as we have less
                                greenhouse effect.



                                If you are concerned about localized effects, such as in cities, there
                                would be ways to mitigate it. For instance, you could make covered
                                parking lots, with the cells on the roof; this would merely absorb what
                                would have otherwise been absorbed by the asphalt. There are indeed
                                efforts to convert roofing membranes from black rubber sheeting or
                                asphalt to white TPO roofing membranes. However, as happened at
                                MinuteMaid Park, mold and mildew can quickly stain a white roof to a
                                dark color, so it is not a very robust approach today, and I'm not sure
                                what the long term contribution to urban micro-climates is. Personally,
                                I'd prefer a dark roof since it is more UV stable and should last
                                longer. That makes sense from an economic and sustainability
                                standpoint. If I were a roofing membrane installer, though, I'd sure
                                rather work on a white roof! (At least in Houston in the summer)!



                                Robert Johnston





                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: Gary Beck [mailto:eco@...]
                                Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2005 9:55 AM
                                To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for
                                alternative energy and conservation



                                Incredible breakthoughs or not, one thing I have to point out is that
                                solar cells should not be thought of as free or even renewable. The
                                energy they capture is not free. They make electricity by capturing
                                energy that is otherwise reflected back into space. All this captured
                                energy will be released as sensable heat.



                                The other point is that every solar cell I have ever seen is very dark
                                color and that on a sunny day I assume you can fry and egg on them
                                during operation. And they would remain warm for a few extra hours each
                                night. Sounds like a hot city that has 1/2 of the area of every roof
                                covered in in solar cells.



                                This vision of a 'solar roof on every house' is the opposite of
                                significant eco design efforts to try to cool cities by adopting
                                building specifications changing commercial roof colors to white and
                                residential roofs to very light shingles (plus a cooler roof means
                                cooler living working space). Or better yet like USGBC-LEED and other
                                efforts that support 'green' garden roof on new commerical buildings.



                                What is the best approach to satisfy both concerns? Is there a light
                                colored solar cell? Any one have a design for a solar cell garden roof?



                                Gary Beck

                                Eco-Holdings LLC



                                I read ocasionally Scientific American, Discovery, Science etc. - they
                                are great for 'what if' and 'think about this' , but not very good
                                predictors at all. What were they saying about fuel cells 10 or 20 years
                                ago? My son get Popular Science - a recent article is called "Hydrogen's
                                Bomb - Decoding the Hype". My favorite recent new science release? The
                                spinach plant that is designed to generate electricity (no joke) (here's
                                a joke: It is a good thing since will require more candle lit dinners -
                                cause after you finish your salad it's light out!)

                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
                                Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 10:20 PM
                                To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: Re: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for
                                alternative energy and conservation

                                Mr. Malone,

                                I quite dissagree with you on many of these issues, and so do most
                                scientists. Read any of the articles today on energy in Scientific
                                American, Physics Today, Discovery, Science, .... and you will find that
                                our current oil consumption trends can only be sustained to about 2050,
                                plus or minus 20 years. Renewable energy is growing exponencially.
                                Europe is aiming for 20% renewables by 2020. I believe many of the US
                                States already have similar goals and many more will join in as time
                                goes on. There will be a change within the next lifespan.



                                Even the "Oil" companies realize this and have published reports that
                                say so. They are starting to call themselves "Energy" companies and
                                investing quite heavily in renewable energy. See Shell Solar, Shell
                                Wind, Shell Renewables, BP Solar, GE Solar, GE Wind, for example. And
                                if the oil companies don't lead, the electronics companies will. Sharp
                                is already the leading manufacturer of solar cells.



                                I don't know how you did your math about not enough solar energy in New
                                Jersey (is that the state with the highest energy to land ratio and the
                                least sunny state?). But the math I have done shows that I can supply
                                all of my Houston household electrical needs (averaged) by covering half
                                of my roof with solar panels. No breakthrough technology needed; it
                                already exists. If you trend retail electric prices and solar PV
                                prices, you will see the cost cross in the year 2025 - then it will be
                                more economical to buy PV than grid electricity!



                                If you read up on the technical progress of photoelectrics, you will see
                                incredible breakthroughs in the last 10 years. Right now, solar cells
                                are expensive because production can not keep up with demand. And new
                                record breaking production facillities are being opened each year.



                                If you want a "heart felt" change, read the July-August issue of
                                Renewable Energy World each year and see the growth of RE for yourself.
                                It is amazing. Maybe we can discuss some of the facts at the next HREG
                                meeting, Sunday, 2:00pm, Jan 30th at TSU.

                                Sincerely,

                                Chris





                                ----- Original Message -----

                                From: J. <mailto:JPMALONE@...> P. Malone

                                To: hreg@yahoogroups.com

                                Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 8:43 PM

                                Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for
                                alternative energy and conservation





                                All this discussion is interesting and heart felt. The following is not
                                intended as a rant, but to put our problem in perspective.



                                Our government, both parties, is so tied to big oil money, .

                                It would take solar panels covering every square inch of the state of
                                New Jersey just to equal the energy used in New Jersey. So the size of
                                the oil dependency is almost beyond our reason.



                                A breakthrough, one not foreseeable by current science is most likely
                                the only hope in the US. Outside the US there may be some help because
                                of the different mind set of the non US-Oil cartel.



                                China is graduating more engineers & scientists each year than the US
                                graduates all college students of all degree fields. China has a
                                massive energy problem. They also have a growing economy that it partly
                                controlled & partly free market. As they inevitably pass the US number
                                of educated citizens (check out our schools systems if you doubt this)
                                and the controlling government forces capital & research in to
                                alternative energy research because of their vast needs and lack of
                                resources they may turn this thing around.



                                I hope I live long enough to see the beginning.

                                In the interim, conservation, voting, getting activity in politics may
                                be the only drop in the bucket we have. I hope I'm wrong.





                                J. Patrick Malone



                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: Robert Johnston [mailto:junk1@...]
                                Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 7:36 PM
                                To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: RE: Oh Politics! RE: [hreg] crash science initiative for
                                alternative energy and conservation








                                _____


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