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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change 605

Posted by timothy
from the mined-all-mined dept.
_Sharp'r_ writes Two Stanford PhDs, Ross Koningstein and David Fork, worked for Google on the RE<C project to figure out how to make renewables cheaper than coal and solve climate change. After four years of study they gave up, determining "Renewable energy technologies simply won't work; we need a fundamentally different approach." As a result, is nuclear going to be acknowledged as the future of energy production?

Comment: Re:Where do you fill up? (Score 1) 280

It is an edge bet against a future where petrofuels are too expensive. With declining oil prices electric cars and hydrogen cars are going to start becoming less attractive just like what happened in the 90s last time this was attempted. Tesla might still sell with their angle on performance. These guys will probably not sell well at all. Plus cost effective ways to produce hydrogen without using petrofuels or natural gas have never actually materialized. One way is high temperature nuclear power plants using thermoelectric water separation but given the current investment into nuclear technologies it is not going to happen. Another way was concentrated solar thermoelectric but that is not cost effective with current methods.

Comment: Re:He's not just speculating (Score 1) 96

The USAF wanted to launch heavier satellites to higher orbits than the Shuttle could do. After the Challenger disaster and the cancellation of the Shuttle-Centaur the USAF and NRO had no other choice but to use the Titan rocket, which was really expensive, to launch these payloads. Things like reconnaissance satellites and things like that.

Comment: Re:Wait a second, this is very interesting. (Score 1) 109

by cheesybagel (#48416991) Attached to: Nokia's N1 Android Tablet Is Actually a Foxconn Tablet

I think Microsoft bought it because they thought they would get the cellphone market share of Nokia with the deal plus any patents Nokia had. The patents were the main deal here. The problem is Nokia market share collapsed after Elop and his burning platforms memo. No one wanted Windows in their cellphone.

Comment: Re:Ok but that's electricity, not energy (Score 1) 488

by cheesybagel (#48370051) Attached to: Denmark Faces a Tricky Transition To 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Doesn't work in places that are too cold without a decent hot reservoir like a geothermal source. Those cannot be found just anywhere. Theoretically you could use hydraulic fracturing to get geothermal basically anywhere but it seems to induce earthquakes.

Comment: Improve the building insulation first (Score 1) 250

If your building does not have them already get double-glazed windows and insulate the roof. Use centralized heating. Either heat-pump based or a propane or diesel boiler. I say propane or diesel because it is denser and easier to transport and most of it in Europe comes from petrofuels of the Middle East rather than Russian natural gas reserves. Burning wood or coal is nice if you live in the middle of nowhere but if everyone started doing this in cities atmospheric pollution would get worse just like it was in the XIXth century. Check where your electricity comes from if it is natural gas or coal. You might not actually have a problem at all. Get an UPS for your PC and surge protection for every major appliance because I think it is more likely you will have rolling blackouts than actual total grid failure.

Comment: Re:What's the name of the drug? (Score 1) 140

Prevented my ass. It can be delayed at best. I have several people with Type-2 in my family and most of them never were fat to begin with and did a lot of physical exercise. Also it is possible to get diabetic from viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic induced diseases which cause pancreatitis.

Comment: Re:Efficiency (Score 2) 78

by cheesybagel (#48325443) Attached to: Enzymes Make Electricity From Jet Fuel Without Ignition

H2O and CO2. Which is the same output as a perfect combustion engine. Of course in practice such a thing as a perfect combustion engine does not exist. You use air instead of O2 in the oxidizer and you get NOx. Even if you used only pure O2 as the oxidizer you would probably still get CO, benzene and crap like that in the exhaust. So you remove the CO, benzene and other crap with a platinum catalyst to turn that crap into CO2 and H2O. Which is what we use right now.

nohup rm -fr /&

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