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Re: [atheists-27] Bioenergy

From: Chad
Sent on: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 8:36 AM
I wish i had your more optimistic view. My gloom is compounded by the limited availability of lands to support crops for both food and energy. Continually clearing more lands for a human food and energy requires more water from an already taxed and finite fresh water supply. Also, corn and other such products, as they grow, do not absorb the carbon from the atmosphere as efficiently as the vegetation they replaced. Everything that seems like great idea also seems unstainable. Human advancements and unparalleled success as a species do not bode well for long term survival. Basically, we are screwed if we cannot get our populations down , develop truly alternative ways to heat and cool our homes, feed ourselves, and power our vehicles.

Don Wharton <[address removed]> wrote:

I am not as pessimistic as you are about the prior investments made in bioenergy. Yes the use of corn to make ethanol is not a great energy winner. However, the ethanol is very high octane and it is much better than the lead based octane boosting chemicals used in the past. Moreover, there are a whole range of companies that are working on using wood pulp, switchgrass or corn stover instead of corn itself. For some of them the result is a sugar that can be used to make ethanol from the existing corn to ethanol infrastructure.
Biofuels Digest is quite optimistic on a couple of companies:
“Adding the CAPEX and OPEX together, we show (based on a 20 year amortization of the plant’s construction cost) Mascoma in the $2.24 per gallon range for its 40 Mgy capacity, compared to POET’s $2.35 per gallon.”
The Mascoma plant will be using wood pulp. The Poet plant will be using “will use corncobs, leaves, husk, and some stalk.”
From: Chad <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Sunday, March 24,[masked]:43 PM
Subject: Re: [atheists-27] Solar Energy

I'll touch on the question of solar energy and the cost.
Perhaps taking the advancement of wind and solar technology out of the private sector would be a great first step. Some things should be for the good of mankind and the planet and not for-profit. In time solar energy technology could be cheap enough that the grid would draw significantly from it use. Wind turbines, at this time, are far more appealing to me. Good ones are still crazy expensive ($25k +) but they do not depend on sunny skies for optimal output. You mentioned Germany in your post. Admittedly, I am not yet well read

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