Since the world is ending before the 2016 Olympics, everyone is in a big rush to avoid fossil fuel energy sources and working towards these “renewable” energy sources. We’ve discussed this before – the real bottom line in energy production is the economics. Fossil fuels provide the best energy production per monetary unit (cents) at roughly $0.02 per kWh. Replacement sources need to meet or beat that to gain widespread adoption — unless the government steps in and mandates change.
So, wind power (around $0.015 per kWh) is stalling because no one wants the big towers near them and there are limited land areas where it can be employed. Now, solar power ($0.13 to $0.23 per kWh) is running into another roadblock: water. Everyone probably thinks that solar is easy – prop up a bunch of collector panels or mirrors and abracadabra, instant power. Well, not really. There are two types of solar power collection stations: solar thermal plants that use “wet” cooling and a solar collection station with fans and heat exchangers that use “dry” cooling. The former works much like a steam engine or turbine – water in pipes is heated to steam, a turbine is driven by the steam, condensed steam is reused. In both types, water is needed to wash the solar panels periodically as well. Estimates of water consumption for some solar plants in the west/southwest United States are closing in on over 1 billion gallons of water per year. The real concern here is that these plants will deplete or severely reduce the available water in areas that are threatened by forest fires and already have a scarcity of water.
Water in some way is a key component to almost all forms of power generation. Largely it is used as a means of cooling, cleaning or energy transfer. However, as pointed out in a recent email from avid follower, Eric C.: “the key to building a non-polluting hydrogen technology is cheap electrical power from nuclear plants. Also solves the desalinization problem and allows the inexpensive reclamation of polluted water.” He is spot on. Nuclear power can unlock additional capabilities like the generation and fueling of hydrogen cells.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.