Plenty of clean base electrical power can be had…

A pair of MIT trained nuclear scientists founded Transatomic Power.  They have developed a molten salt reactor that uses the nuclear waste produced by fresh water reactors for fuel.

Instead of wasting all that potential energy, we could being using to power these inherently safer reactors that don’t produce weapons grade nuclear material as a by product.

As Dr. Pournelle said, “…with what we spent in Iraq we could build nuclear power plants and space solar power satellites and tell the Arabs to drink their oil.”

The plants developed by Transatomic Power could deliver a steady supply of carbon free electricity that could power our industrial base, expanded use of electric cars, and provide light and heat to millions of Americans cheaply, reliably, and safely.

 

First new Nuclear Reactor in the US in 10 years is on track.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is bringing a new Nuclear Reactor on line, on schedule and on budget, in order to provide clean, “carbon free”, electricity in useful quanties, to their customers.

Clean and safe nuclear power is supported as the “green option” by serious leaders of the environmental movement, including Gaia theorist James Lovelock, Greenpeace cofounder Patrick Moore, and Britain’s Bishop Hugh Montefiore, a longtime board member of Friends of the Earth.

Of course, there are uneducated watermelon groups opposing this step toward clean, American engergy indepence, including the obviously confused “Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.”

PG&E to get electricity from space!

Pacific Gas & Electric is seeking approval from state regulators for an agreement to purchase power over a 15-year period from Solaren Corp., an 8-year-old company based in Manhattan Beach, CA. Their goal is start beaming down power in 2016.

Solaren Corp. wants to build big solar panels in orbit and then beam the energy down to the surface.  This isn’t new technology. The concept is decades old.  Science Fiction author Larry Niven mentioned it in his 1990 short story, The Return of William Proximire

One of the common objections against this clear source of electrical energy has been from environmental groups who claim the area the energy is received (typically in the microwave frequency range) would not be optimal for animal life.

A Nuclear Power comeback

Some good news from USA Today, utilities are starting the process to build twentysix new Nuclear Power plants here in the United States.

A recent Gallup Poll shows a record 59% of Americans favor nuclear energy.

Dr. Pournelle nailed the truth of Nuclear Engergy:

I have to say it again: cheap energy will cause a boom. The only cheap energy I know of is nuclear. Three Hundred Billion bucks in nuclear power will do wonders for the economy. We build 100 1000 MegaWatt nuclear power plants — they will cost no more than 2 billion each and my guess is that the average cost will be closer to 1 billion each (that is the first one costs about 20 billion and the 100th costs about 800 million). The rest of the money goes to prizes and X projects to convert electricity into mobility.

Expanded Nuclear Power is the only practical way to supply the level of electrical power needed to support wide spread use of electric and plug in hybrid electric cars.

Also posted at the Urbin Report.

Biofuel from Coffee grounds

Amazing stuff coffee. In addtion to it’s other amazing properties, including being good for the roses, the grounds can be used to produce biofuel.

The estimates are the coffee ground biodiesel industry could generate as much as $8,000,000 in profits annually using waste from Starbucks stores here in the United States  alone.  Ok, probably less given falling crude oil prices, but I’m still a big fan of any domestic fuel souces. 

To add to the overall awesomeness of coffee, at the end of the biodiesel extraction and conversion process, the leftover grounds can be turned into fuel pellets for wood stoves and boilers.

Not only does coffee keep you moving, it can keep your car moving and heats your home!

Green Crude

Sapphire Energy, a San Diego based startup, has a process they claim can produce 91octane gasoline from “algae microorganisms, salt water, carbon dioxide and the power of the sun.”

The interesting twist to their technology is that method doesn’t use a plant that people typically use for food (like corn, sugarcane or sugar beats).  So not only doesn’t this solution use food products, it doesn’t require actual farm land (i.e. land used to grow food) to produce the fuel. 

Sapphire claims that they can set up a production facility in the desert.  The steady sunlight is an important factor in their production, and the salt water can be shipped in.

Their stated goal is to product 10,000 barrels a day, which in the national economy isn’t that much.  It is however, 10,000 barrels a day that isn’t pumped out of the ground, and will be produced domestically.

Solar electric power has officially “arrived.”

Electical solar power at the individual homeowner level is no longer the exclusive realm of the uber-ecowarrior or the Heinlein inspired individualist determined to live “off the grid.”

It’s mainstream now.  The concrete proof of this has arrived.  Solar Power Panel Rustlers!

Police departments in California — the biggest market for solar power, with more than 33,000 installations — are seeing a rash of such burglaries, though nobody compiles overall statistics.

Investigators do not believe the thieves are acting out of concern for their carbon footprints.