one of the most promissing alt. fuel ideas

Discussion in 'Economics' started by trade4succes, Jul 20, 2006.


    There are a lot of people who make biodiesel in there own garage, most of them use old oil from fryers though.
    #21     Jul 24, 2006
  2. That makes about as much sense as planting additional trees to suck up the additional CO2 constantly being exhausted into the atmosphere. Oh wait, we have already been doing that, where do you think paper comes from. It's called tree farms which keep growing to account for the growing demand for paper, cardboard & lumber. And plankton (as well as seaweed, vegetable, herb) farms have been around for a bit also, yet somehow I fail to see the beneficial effect.
    Actually, the plant world naturally adjusts to the growing CO2, if you remember from middle or high school, an overabundance of CO2 stimulates plant life. Unfortunately, what flourishes the most is the parasitic plants such as weeds, since they are naturally more resistant to the dangers of life. And there we come into even more fun problems.

    Considering this plankton oil as one of the most promising renewable energy sources is equivalent to praising US's corn ethanol movement for being a revolutionary beneficial solution.

    That is pure nonsense, solar is probably the second or third best source out there, with wind or geothermal being the first. Those panels have an expected lifespan of 40-50 years, there is even upcoming research showing that that they may last 100 years or more. When evaluating a solar farm as a utility or even any source of energy as a business venture, you look at the return over 20+ years. Why do you think electric utilities are so highly leveraged, it is almost guaranteed revenue & growth (little but still growth) as long as civilization is not going back to the stone age.
    With the trend of electric rates, as well as environmental derivatives, Solar is showing promise to become the most profitable source of energy, at least in certain key parts of the country (which also happen to be the ones requiring the most demand). I have excel sheets and models showing payback of solar at wholesale & retail electricity rates, it's a no brainer. For a small system for your home, you can see payback in less than 10 years, depending on where you live and other factors. And that's only assuming 5% inflation. Some in NJ have already seen profit after 4 years.

    Yes there are govnt subsidies and incentives, both fed & state, but with the good comes the bad, such as bureaucracy, time delays, etc. State rebates in the Northeast, while accounting for 50% of the installation cost (all inclusive) also caused the price of Solar panels to more than double in the last 3-4 years. Without any gov subsidies, solar makes sense, because let's not forget, the government has been regulating electricity prices for a long time (as well as subsidizing oil) and now that regulation is being lifted.

    The key problem with solar farms is the downtime during the nighttime and interruption of electric flow to the grid. Also shading, clouds, but all of that is minute and has many easy & practical solutions.

    Before you ask, "well if it's so good why have not the big boys done it already", the answer is because they simply have not. Now they are slowly getting into it, but I'm questioning their real motives. The gov bureaucracy is stepping it up as well which makes me question the magical forces behind the scenes. It's rarely about what is the most efficient logical choice, it's always about power, ego & money. Some people/institutions just do not want to let go of their old strangleholds & adapt, even if the future of humanity is at stake. Sh*t, if we are talking about a critical problem such as global warming, what should it even matter what the cost is.
    #22     Jul 24, 2006
  3. The future is solar.

    Current technologies are achieving 30% cell efficiency, however recent discoveries have proven that 70-80% cell efficiencies are theoretically possible by extracting more energy from the full spectrum. They will also be much cheaper to produce. We're talking a 10 year time frame.

    #23     Jul 24, 2006