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First off, Hi Orange, Cookie, green girl, CSI, and all the rest of you who haven't heard from me in months, and apologies to all, but autumn is the busy time for heating and farms in the northeast, and I am involved in sustainability efforts in both fields.

       I have been lurking lately due to lack of time, but couldn't help but respond to some recent diaries on the subject of sustainable energy, and to save some of my own time, I am consolidating all my responses into a single diary, and hoping to keep the debate alive a little longer. On a personal note to all my friends, I will do a Farm$ diary as soon as I can, to let you all know what is happening on No Snivilin Farm.
      A disclaimer, I make my living in sustainable energy systems and farming. I am NOT a politician, or a genius, nor do I claim to have all the facts. My background is in biochemistry/biophysics, but I am extensively self taught in systems engineering, and have been employed in that capacity for some time.
      Prior to, and after the recent election, we have seen some debate on sustainable energy, (although not enough IMHO), but it seems that all of the debate centers around politico-economic solutions...probably not surprising considering that this is first and foremost a political site. The problem is that these solutions OFTEN ignore the realities of physics and chemistry. Sometimes they advocate for solutions that the writer would be dead set against, if they considered all of the ramifications of their solutions. Lets take an example...Orange please forgive me.
       We  have had numerous posts about the eventual possibility of using switchgrass for ethanol production. Nothing wrong with that on first pass....much lower C footprint, perrenial, sounds almost a panacea. Consider the whole system for turning switchgrass into ethanol...step one: breakdown the cellulose in the grass into sugars for fermentation into alcohol. This is presumably to be done using GMO's (at least in all the current literature this is the approach)....grow up a bunch of bugs which eat cellulose, and shit simple sugars. Don't get me wrong, I like the solution....I also don't think that there is a chance in hell that these little buggers, once developed, are going to stay confined to the lab or chem plant. I also strongly suspect that those who are advocating for switchgrass ethanol are not aware of this subplot, and would have trouble supporting it.
       Another frequent posting thread, is the “my solution is the only one” thread. These threads are interesting, in that the usually propose or advocate a useful project, but incorrect scale it, and apply it, and assume that it will work everywhere, if we “put enough resources into it”...Solar PV leaps immediately to mind. PV is a wonderful stechnology, but as currently implemented, is being used in areas where we are seeing a 5 or 10% net energy gain, over the life of the cell. And lets not talk about ROI (remember, I don't understand economics), but for the interested, it's around 20 years at current prices.
      Now I don't mean to be a naysayer, and all of the approaches advocated here (except possibly hydrogen) have some degree of merit to them, but (again, IMHO) what we need to recognize is the geographic and energetic diversity of the US with regard to the potential avenues for sustainable energy development. What I believe we need are regional solutions, taking advantage of the strength of each area or region of the US. I don't know what each of these are, but that is really up to the people of that region to understand, and bring to fruition, and none of this changes the fact that we must make a true commitment as a society and as individuals to make fundamental changes in the way we live, and how we participate in our communities...currently nimby attitudes run amok in our society, and it so very easy to outlaw a problem rather than fix it, the former requiring only emotional pandering, while the latter involves actual work, science, technology, and time.

Originally posted to farmerchuck on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 07:15 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Hiya, farmerchuck! Welcome Back! (3+ / 0-)

      Good diary -- particularly the bit of sanity re: regional strengths for sustainability.

      Thanks.  :)

      Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
        Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
      Tempest even in reason's seat.

      by GreyHawk on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 05:53:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey Hawk.. meta... help... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cookiebear, farmerchuck, GreyHawk

        Can I borrow you for a sec... I was thinking about setting up a paypal acct for MB for a birthday present... didn't you say some time ago that you knew how to do so? If so, can you come over to the diary on the rec list and give some advice, or, you could reply here as well...

        •  I see the diary -- like the idea, but don't know (3+ / 0-)

          PayPal that well.

          ...that said, I'd be happy to research it.  Also -- in lieu of $$, which Kos might feel a tad odd about, how 'bout seeing if folks can somehow donate miles from frequent flier programs?  That could secure a ticket without involving $$ and perhaps end up establishing a dKos travel account; miles added to it could be used to send Kossacks hither and thither in the future in the name of advancing a progressive agenda (lots of potential, perhaps, to help defray travel costs?).

          Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
            Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
          Tempest even in reason's seat.

          by GreyHawk on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 06:29:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  wonderful diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      farmerchuck, A Siegel

      wish I saw it sooner. I think every point you bring up is absolutely right on.

      I'd like to see places with deep pockets use more solar power... businesses, government buildings in sunny areas, etc. Places like that can deal with a 20-yr wait to make their money back much more than families can.

      Recipe For America - A people-powered movement to take back our food system

      by OrangeClouds115 on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:11:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Switchgrass? (8+ / 0-)

    And I was hoping that we could get rid of the kudzu and water hyacinths first.:)

    Thanks for the diary.  Good point.

    •  until that switchgrass system works (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, cookiebear, CSI Bentonville

      I hope we stop these insane corn-based ethanol conversion plants.

      Recently I went to a local zoning hearing for a proposed 100 million gallon plant.

      What a disaster.  With, at best, a 30% gain in EROI, we will get a low grade fuel (ethanol) in exchange for high grade fuels like diesel and natural gas, we encourage intensive farming of row crops with all the soil erosion, and the water needs are incredible.  By the time we heard about the noise, dust, and destruction of a rural community, I was sick.

      Only a fool could think corn-based ethanol is a good idea.  Yet we have made it into the latest corporate-welfare project.

      Nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool

      by techno on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 10:58:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  good diary, good suggestions (10+ / 0-)

    & I really truly believe conservation has to top everybody's list, whatever their ultimate regional fix ends up being. If the inhabitants of this country merely trimmed the waste a little we'd have a lot more resources available to implement the fixes.

  •  Photovoltaics will get cheaper soon (5+ / 0-)

    Solar cells are gonna get cheaper. Applied Materials, the company that leads the industry in semiconductor manufacturing equipment has announced its intent to jump into the PV market. This is a good match because their expertise is making electronic stuff out of silicon wafers on a mass scale. Currently, PVcells are typically made on silicon plates. To my way of thinking, this is the company that will set up the production lines of the mass manufacture of PV cells (i.e. more supply makes prices drop which makes ROI a better deal which increases demand).

    Newest GOP slogan: Keeping Voter Turnout Low So That the Corporate Criminal's Grandchildren Never Have to Work.

    by bobinson on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 07:42:12 PM PST

    •  lowered cost (7+ / 0-)

      doesn't change the net energy gain over the life of the cell, which determines the true carbon footprint of the cells (the carbon starting capital if you will)...only increased efficency can do that.

      the time has come the walrus said, to speak of many things....

      by farmerchuck on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 07:44:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  lowered cost makes for more cells (4+ / 0-)

        If it costs $20k to install PV for a residence, not many poeple will do it (guy next door just did). If it costs $5k to PV a house more people will turn to solar which will in turn decrease the need for fossil fuel powered electrical generation thus decreasing that household's carbon footprint.

        If we could set up a (pie in the sky) 100 mile by 100 mile PV panel in the Mojave Desert, we would eliminate the need to burn fossil fuels to generate electricity. I'm not sure but I think the equasion allows for everyone switching to electric cars too.

        Of course we would have to replace it in 20 years.

        Newest GOP slogan: Keeping Voter Turnout Low So That the Corporate Criminal's Grandchildren Never Have to Work.

        by bobinson on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 08:07:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Solar vs Biomass Alchemy (6+ / 0-)

      Each of us is fed by 1-2 acres of farmland. Using biomass for energy will mostly tap into the same farmland. So you can have biofuels OR food. All the technological razzle dazzle makes people think there is some alchemy that will multiply biomass energy yield, when yield has been optimized through centuries of effort.

      The key is to increase acreage. Switchgrass and weedlike plants can grown in marginal areas, but this will only help slightly.

      America has lots of nonagricultural land that can be used for other types of renewables. Wind farms are usually on rocky ridges. And solar can be on right-of-ways, old army bases, and rooftops. Ultimately what will save us from complete ruin will be our deserts.

      •  Ultimately what will save us from (9+ / 0-)

        complete ruin (if indeed anything does), is reducing the amount of energy we use (including both food energy and the stuff we use to power our machines).  It makes me a little crazy to imagine every little spot of land in the U.S. being used for some type of energy production or other.

        That said, though I'd love to save some rocky ridges, I'm all for filling in the freaking lawns.

        •  Amount of land for solar energy is small (5+ / 0-)

          Something on the order of a dozen western counties. But think of that in terms of rooftops and highway right of ways, and it's less scarey. Roughly the same surface area now occupied by megachurches.

          •  One figure I've heard ... (4+ / 0-)

            is roughly 2% of US land for solar at 10% efficiency to meet 100% of energy requirements -- roughly the % covered by blacktop & buildings ...

            •  Yeah, and just think (5+ / 0-)

              if we replaced all that blacktop and those buildings, we'd have so much less need for energy!

              •  How about ... (3+ / 0-)

                well, if we covered some of them?  

                Now, I'm not a believer in silver bullet solutions, but if we were at 2 millions solar roofs/year (how about 50 percent electric and 50 percent HW) along with perhaps 500-1000 megawatts of solar in large scale solar in the desert each year ... now that would start to make a nice dent in the electricity demands (especially as this would be mainly peak power) and aid in creating continuity of operations / resiliency in the US electrical system through distributed power.

                •  just that stop gap (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cookiebear, CSI Bentonville

                  would involve increasing production world-wide about 5-10,000 fold, and redirecting all production to the US (just off the cuff numbers, but close)...it would also mean diversion of a number of strategic metals to the US, including copper. I don't think it is possible.

                  the time has come the walrus said, to speak of many things....

                  by farmerchuck on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 07:12:27 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not necessarily stop gap ... (0+ / 0-)

                    And your production figures are far off ...

                    For example, 2005 US alone grid connected solar accounted for 80 megawatts, or 80,000 kilowatts.  As each rooftop installation is roughly 2.5 kwh right now, that would place this at the equivalent of perhaps 30,000 rooftop installations (and, this is leaving out that a good percentage of solar is off grid -- but lets leave that out -- but this also includes major installations (commercial rooftops, solar power plants, etc).  Thus, my 1 million per year is incredibly ambitious, but it is perhaps a 30-40 times increase over currently levels of solar.

                    Solar KwH has been expanding at over 20% per annum for a decade (along with wind's double digit growth).  With tax benefits/assistance increasing and all the additional plants coming on line, the industry is straining at the bits and expecting continued 20+% growth for at least the next five years.

                    At 25 percent per year, we're talking doubling roughly every 2.5 years in terms of production/installation. Very simplistic analysis of this:

                    1.  80 megawatts
                    1.  100
                    1.  125
                    1.  156
                    1.  195

                    etc ...

                    1.  931 megawatts

                    931 megawatts installed would equate to 350,000+ solar rooftops by the 2.5 kwh standard, or 1/3rd my suggested goal.

                    And, while incredibly optimistic, at the same time there are reasons to think that this could be pessimistic.

                    Nano Solar has some pretty aggressive claims and targets. There was a very interesting analysis of Nanosolar potential at The Cost of Energy which, taking NanoSolar claims at face value, quantified out just this technology as being able to produce over 220 gigawatts (yes, 220,000+ megawatts) of solar cells per year within a decade of a concerted effort to replicate the original plant and seed it around the world.

                    Above, of course, only deals with solar electric production.  Chinese solar hot water system production is skyrocketing ... and starting to hit the US market. Solar HW, other than the 'minor' copper problem, is easier to expand than solar PV.

                    RE Solar Hot water, there are many issues here ...

                •  Solar Panels over asphalt (0+ / 0-)
                  A parking lot at Cal Expo in Sacramento (and I believe they are adding one at the LA Zoo if it is not yet complete) is shaded by solar panels. It provides power for the Expo (home of the California State Fair) and also shade and a more pleasant environment for the cars. Truly a win-win.

                  Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                  by elfling on Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 10:42:30 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  I've been keeping an eye on this (11+ / 0-)

    Marine Current Turbines

    Check out their site

    Marine Current Turbines ™ Ltd was set up to pioneer the technical and commercial development of tidal stream turbines. The company works with the support of strategic partner companies and has received significant financial support from the UK government through the DTI, and from the European Commission.

    The basic requirements for cost-effective power generation from tidal streams using MCT's technology are a mean spring peak velocity exceeding about 2.25 to 2.5m/s (4.5 to 5 knots) with a depth of water of 20 to 30m - the red spots on the map (right) show some of the locations meeting these criteria around the UK and northern France.

    Our technology represents a novel method for generating electricity from a huge energy resource in the sea. It is rare enough for an entirely new energy resource to be developed but even rarer if the technology, as in this case:-

       *

         produces no pollution and has negligible environmental impact
       *

         delivers energy to a predictable timetable
       *

         has the potential to make a major contribution to future energy needs

    Although the relentless energy of marine currents has been obvious from the earliest days of seafaring, it is only now that the development of modern offshore engineering capabilities coinciding with the need to find large new renewable energy resources makes this a technically feasible and economically viable possibility.

    The rationale for developing this business is based on several robust arguments:

       *

         In the face of Climate Change and Peak Oil, the world urgently needs to acquire different energy resources with ability to deliver clean renewable energy in line with the Kyoto Protocol (most governments world-wide are committed to this) and Marine Current Turbines can deliver a major and uniquely new contribution to this need.
       *

         The scope for meeting future energy requirements solely from land-based resources will be constrained by conflicts over land-use; so large renewable energy projects will need to move away from crowded land areas, preferably out to sea. Fortunately, many potentially energetic marine current sites are not far from large electricity markets.
       *

         Marine Current Turbines Ltd has a competitive lead in its field, together with the most efficient technology and uniquely practical methods for servicing it. Commercial viability is in sight and MCT owns proprietary concepts which are patent protected and should give significant competitive advantage in addition to having "first mover" advantage.
       *

         Environmental impact is becoming a key issue in gaining consents for energy projects; MCT's technology is believed to have minimal environmental impact in that the physical footprint is very small, and rotor speeds are low enough to enable marine wild life to avoid being harmed by it.

    In short we believe our technology meets a huge new need, and can deliver energy in future, as predictably as the tides that drive it and with minimal risk to the local environment.
    copyright

    Someone once asked me if I had learned anything from going to war so many times. My reply: Yes, I learned how to cry.
    Joe Galloway

    by BOHICA on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 07:43:02 PM PST

  •  I saw my first solar house in 1970. (5+ / 0-)

    It was completely off-the-grid. It's 'way past time! Now I'm dreaming of a small solar cabin. I hadn't thought about regionalization, but it's obviously most sensible. Thanks for the interesting diary.

    Recommended.

  •  Check this out (6+ / 0-)

    Farmerchuck, would you look at my plan and tell me what you think?

    The gist of it is using market forces to put a price on environmental impact of various energy conversion technologies.

    "Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity; and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom." - George Bernard Shaw

    by RealityBias on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 07:44:01 PM PST

    •  the biggest change (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cookiebear, gmb, GreyHawk, CSI Bentonville

      I would suggest is a coupling of efficency/cleanliness to the fossil carbon footprint. this would have the same effect as what you propose, but would add a stimulous to the use of sustainable rather than fossil sources.

      the time has come the walrus said, to speak of many things....

      by farmerchuck on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 07:48:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's implicit (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cookiebear, GreyHawk, CSI Bentonville

        Because the 'pollution efficiency' of a device would be based directly on it's output of all 'pollutants', including co2.

        Fossil fuels consuming devices would by definition have a worse rating than, say solar, for that reason.

        "Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity; and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom." - George Bernard Shaw

        by RealityBias on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 07:52:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  what about biomass? (4+ / 0-)

          the time has come the walrus said, to speak of many things....

          by farmerchuck on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 07:58:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My plan is fuel agnostic (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cookiebear, GreyHawk, CSI Bentonville

            My plan is all about the cost of the energy conversion device.

            So let's say you buy a car with an engine which spews out 2 units of pollution while doing 4 units of 'work' (in the physics sense).  Somebody else buys a car with an engine that spews out 4 units of pollution and does the same amount of work.  Let's say the average is 3 units of pollution per 4 units of work.

            So let's say you get 1 credit (or it's value on the open market) for buying the cleaner engine, while the other guy buying the dirtier engine must deliver one credit (or it's cash value on the open market).

            The plan is agnostic with respect to type of fuel used.

            "Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity; and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom." - George Bernard Shaw

            by RealityBias on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 08:11:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  More specifically... (5+ / 0-)

      Every device would be measured on it's pollution output versus it's useful energy output.  The best rated gets some kind of credit certificate, while the worst must deliver some, in proportion to how much better or worse than average they are.  the credits have a market determined value.

      Totally technology and fuel agnostic.  Can apply to every device from car to a home heater to a city power plant.  Voluminous regulations could be collapsed into a relatively simple framework.

      And, this isn't obvious, but by factoring out the otherwise valueless 'pollution efficiency', energy efficiency can actually take care of itself in the marketplace!

      "Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity; and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom." - George Bernard Shaw

      by RealityBias on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 07:50:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We need intelligent tax policy (6+ / 0-)

    I don't think that there is one "Big Idea" out there - yet.  But there are a lot of micro solutions that combined could make a real dent in the problem.  Along with tax breaks, low interest loans should be available to promote necessary capital investments such as conversion of farm waste to methane and fertilizer.  (Which, of course, you know a lot more about than me.) Same thing can be done for most municipal waste.  The important thing is to make conservation and production of renewable energy national priorities.  Throw in a serious R&D effort provided over by serious scientists and energy independance becomes an approachable goal.

  •  i knew there was a reason ... (4+ / 0-)

    ... i got up from dozing in front of the cartoons

    farmerchuck, i've missed you!

    unfortunately i'm falling asleep. i don't know how you nightowls do it!

    so i'll comment in the morning, but will say now i hope to see a lot more input from you on this in the future

    Cornbread is square, but pi are round.

    by cookiebear on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 07:51:11 PM PST

  •  Great Diary (rec'd) (7+ / 0-)

    However, does It say something about our society that there are so few comments here (and in the broader public)? I am so afraid of the world my grandkids will live in. I'm 67 years old so I won't see it but peak oil has had me losing sleep for some time now. I agree that sea changes in the structure of Western society is not only necessary - I don't think there is any choice. We either start making changes now, voluntarily, or we will be forced by circumstances to make them later. Something you wrote above started me thinking

    PV is a wonderful stechnology, but as currently implemented, is being used in areas where we are seeing a 5 or 10% net energy gain, over the life of the cell. And lets not talk about ROI (remember, I don't understand economics), but for the interested, it's around 20 years at current prices.

    I'm not an expert by any stretch but the Catch-22 I see is that just about every renewable energy solution seems to require more of existing fossil fuels to develop. And what if there were a sudden disruption of the world oil supply. Would we still look at ROI and net energy gains in the same way? Probably not. We probably wouldn't look at anything the same way.

    Watch the BBC Mini-Series "The Power of Nightmares" - Then tell all your friends.

    by danno50 on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 07:58:33 PM PST

  •  Thanks farmerchuck! (5+ / 0-)

    Echotips archive mentions two small home based windmills.

    Someone here recently linked to the award winning little "swift", a  windmill that would suit me quite well.  Echotips article also mentions Windsave, another small windmill company.

    Are you involved with any of this type of small roof-mounted mill?

    I've been whining "Decentralization!" for decades.
    Perhaps I need to stop that, and start whining "Regionalization"?

  •  regional solutions! (4+ / 0-)

    thanks again farmer chuck - i esp like your putting fwd the idea of regional solutions. two reasons: each area of the world has perhaps its own ideal solution based on need and geography; and second, regional solutions involve the people the energy grid will serve, in choice as well as training.

    in an earlier diary, a pro-nuclear one, i'd grumbled that huge corporations own the means of energy production and i think that works out badly for the populace. i advocated regional solutions. the response was that the technology--maintenance and training--is so much easier when it's all centrally organized. i disagreed: while we need a broad consensus that the change needs to happen, it seems to me we need LOCAL control of how this vital part of our lives is implemented.  

    in any case: you rock.

  •  Farmerchuck what systems do you use? (4+ / 0-)

    You mention that you

    make my living in sustainable energy systems

    what are those systems and which regions are they good for?

    I am Dyslexic, it is a battle (which I often lose) to write without error. Thanks in advance for putting up with my mistakes

    by jmorton on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 08:41:35 PM PST

    •  currently I use (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cookiebear, GreyHawk, CSI Bentonville

      on my farm a Central Boiler 7260 (2 houses, dairy, creamery, chicken coop)
      I currently sell central boiler(Wood, Corn, Pellet), tarm(Wood), Stiebel-eltron (solar thermal), evergreen (PV). and through Co-op power Omni (vegetable oil)....My current projects include a eoltec wind turbine (engineering and installation).
      Future plans include smoke abatement devices for Outdoor furnaces (if the nimby's give me time), and aqueous thermal decomposition of ag wastes for gaseous and liquid fuels (if I find the capital).

      the time has come the walrus said, to speak of many things....

      by farmerchuck on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 08:53:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  finding capital (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cookiebear, GreyHawk, CSI Bentonville

        aqueous thermal decomposition of ag wastes for gaseous and liquid fuels (if I find the capital).

        first what is this? and good links you could send me to learn more. 2nd how much capital is required - what is the ROI (oops bad question for you) or projected output of the system.

        I am Dyslexic, it is a battle (which I often lose) to write without error. Thanks in advance for putting up with my mistakes

        by jmorton on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 09:18:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Tell me more about the solar-thermal boiler (0+ / 0-)
        I live in Northern California, and usually if it's REALLY cold it's also sunny (the clouds provide insulation). In summer though we get a lot of sun, so upgrading the house to take advantage of solar in winter without turning it into an oven in summer is a challenge.

        I would love to have radiant heat provided in part with solar hot water (obviously augmented with another method). I've got plenty of south facing roof. People tell me it's impractical money-wise... but I feel the sun outside while I'm freezing inside quite frequently.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 11:51:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  energy use is like water use (4+ / 0-)

    if you had to carry, in your arms, all the water you use, you would quickly find out how little water you can get by on. Likewise, if you make your own energy, by whatever means, with all the attenant inconvenience of that, you will also find you need much less.

    If we are going to be sustainable either on a local level or a national one, our use of energy has to drop dramatically.

    -8.0, -7.03 don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 08:42:43 PM PST

  •  Vinod Khosla is on it. Big time. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiebear, GreyHawk

    He has a fantastic presentation on Biofuels on Google Video.  Current big investment is Kergy, they have an anaerobic conversion machine that makes ethanol from practically any carbon-based input.  

    •  so does mine (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cookiebear, GreyHawk, CSI Bentonville

      so does CWT's...this technology's been around for years...no one ever invests in it long enough to produce a commercial or license free product.

      the time has come the walrus said, to speak of many things....

      by farmerchuck on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 10:04:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  look here (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cookiebear, GreyHawk, CSI Bentonville

      the time has come the walrus said, to speak of many things....

      by farmerchuck on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 10:06:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Got it. But I have a bit of faith that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cookiebear, GreyHawk, CSI Bentonville

        once the gods of Silicon Valley buy into it, the market valuations and "earnings be damned" attitude will kick in.

        I am not only an architect/engineer/green buildings guru, I participated in the telecom boom from 1993-2001. Companies I helped start in "the day" raised and quickly spent hundreds of millions of dollars in anticipation of demand, which I kept telling them would reveal itself over a 10-year track, not 2-years.  But when the cash flowed in from investors, the fiber networks got built.  And the ISPs happened. And your Internet became free on WiFi at the local airport and coffee shop.  

        Energy and environmental consciousness will, in my estimation, become the defining success of this decade - much as the Internet defined the 1990s.  Remember, the later years of a decade ultimately define it.  

        I am currently working on a demand-side reduction project, check out my comments to see what it is - I got slammed recently for pimping my project.

  •  Awww... Only read the first sentence... so far (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    farmerchuck

    But it's all that matters. I'm absolutely honored! Better than being in TC. I've missed you and wondered and worried about you and was thrilled to see you on my hotlist this morning.

    Saw a comment yesterday from someone asking if anyone knew about sustainable rural issues and thought of you but of course it's lost to me at the moment or I'd hook you two up.

    Hope you and your lady are doing well. I'd drop you a line if I was corresponding with anyone but I'm not (for some reason I can't manage emails lately -- I think I overdosed in a previous life).

    ~~~~

    Now, off to read the rest.

    Mais, la souris est en dessous la table, le chat est sur la chaise et le singe est... est... le singe est disparu! -- Eddie Izzard

    by CSI Bentonville on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 07:29:27 AM PST

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