Saturday, May 03, 2008

Evil oil companies conspire to block Gore's simple solar plan

From this post:
Gore mentioned a few statistics that drove home the notion that we actually have the capability to be oil free with existing technology. If, he said, we were to build on a 90 mile x 90 mile tract of land in the Southwest a field of solar panels, we would have enough electricity to power the entire United States. So, why don't we build it? What is stopping us?

Well, he gave one possible answer - the oil companies. Apparently, according to Gore, the oil companies drive up prices reducing supply and then depress them in a telling pattern. As soon as the political will swells to a light boil, the companies reduce prices/increase supply. And we, really the pols that be, fall for it all the time and the political will it is vanquished.


Larry Sheldon said...

Interesting idea. (I missed this one some how--where was it announced?)

How big will the conductors be at the exit from the plant?

What will the EMF freaks have to say about that?

So, what's the plan--the whole US lives on whatever the time is in Arizona?

Won't that take more power than now, since the east coast will be running the dark for much of the "day" much of the year.

I guess that will pretty much clear up the Social Security, Medicare, and health care problems, since we won't be able to run the hospitals when it is dark in Arizona. That will cause some heart-break for a while, but I guess we will get over it--I've had a pretty good 70 years.

I guess it doesn't happen often enough to be a problem, but it does get cloudy in the southwest--there were Winter Weather (usually means snow) advisories up for that area yesterday.

Good plan, I guess.

Wait--what will be the voltage and current be in those wires? Will local heating be a problem? ("ve already noted that the EMF folks are going to freakout, but, well, life has its collateral damage, I guess.

Layer Seven said...

A much better idea, Al Gore, would be to build a few nuclear power plants. The nukes will cost far less; they will generate power at night; and they will generate power under clouds which happen more often when there are no sunspots.

A typical Al Gore idea is to put all the solar panels in the same place, so they all get obscured from the Sun by clouds at the same time. Dumb!

The nukes also won't make the Preeble Jumping Field Mouse extinct.

schlotz said...

Larry: Energy can be stored. The East Coast need not rely on the day/night patterns of Arizona.

Layer Seven: Gore wasn't stating the grid need be a 90x90 mile fixed piece. Rather he was pushing the point that we have the existing technology and what we need is the political will to bring it that technology to fruition. The panels may very well be spread out over the u.s. - these details, however, are the least of our worries.

Larry Sheldon said...

"Gore wasn't stating the grid need be a 90x90 mile fixed piece."

I have no idea what he meant. I have enough trouble keeping up with what he says.

What is the system efficiency for that kind of storage? (Include real estate needed. Show work. Compare with nuclear or other high-efficiency plant for the same amount of power.)

What will Maine do during the winter months? Store a year's worth?

Anonymous said...

I thought the original notion of the desert solar source envisioned a huge array of mirrors to concentrate sunlight on boilers. Steam would then power turbines to generate electricity, and so on. I assume this scheme is similarly unworkable, but wonder if serious confirmation has been published.