Digital delivery is here and we’re going to need 10x the broadband capacity in a couple of years.  Now he has the right-of-ways for all the fiber we need.

And what about that new electrical grid?  Is it feasible to lay towers over tracks?  I don’t know, but I do know that he now has a path to take all the new electrons from solar and wind farms in the Southwest and the Texas Panhandle to Southern Cal and the Midwest.

One thing’s for sure: No one ever accused him of thinking short-term.

You heard about the Arizona state senator talking about earth being 6000 years old?  Yeah, but did you catch this?

The irony, of course — and there’s always irony when creationism is involved — is that she’s talking about uranium mining, and it’s through the radioactive decay of uranium that we know the Earth is billions of years old. And she also praises technological achievements!

via Andrew

Some perspective, from Joseph Romm, via Andrew:

It is worth noting that the original Clean Air Act — first passed in 1963 — also didn’t do enough and was subsequently strengthened many times. Similarly, the 1987 Montréal protocol would not have stopped concentrations of ozone depleting substances from rising and would not have saved the ozone layer. But it began a process and established a framework that, like the CAA, could be strengthened over time as the science warranted. The painful reality of climate change is going to become increasingly obvious in the coming years, and strengthening is inevitable.

Just add water

March 27, 2009

Next week MIT will announce a new electrolyzer that is cheap, efficient, and works at room temperature.  So just by using a little water, electricity can be stored as Hydrogen, to be converted back as needed using a fuel-cell.

This could make it radically simpler and cheaper to store electricity than it is now with batteries.

The missing piece of the puzzle then is a much cheaper fuel-cell.

Georgia Tech researchers can treat the surface to create microscopic pyramids which repel water and dust (to maintain full eficiency), and help capture more light and reflect less.

Currently in solar cells one photon excites one electron and the rest of the energy is dissipated as heat, but using ‘quantum dots’ that trap the photon longer more electrons can be affected.

This kind of thing is why I think solar efficiencies won’t come gradually but rather in a series of major breakthroughs.

Germany is installing 6 Multibrid M5000 turbines offshore from French company Areva.

Each produces 5MW (about 5,000 homes).  Blade diameter is 120M.  Carbon fiber is used throughout to make them lighter and stronger.  They are mostly assembled onshore, so a lot easier to install.