Posts filed under “Energy”

Solar Freaking Roadways!

We at Washington’s Blog are big proponents of decentralized energy production and storage, because it is key to protecting against terrorism, fascism and destruction of our health, environment and economy.

We noted in 2011 that a Dutch team figured out a way to make roads into solar generators.

The concept is interesting:

And a pilot project was actually launched in the Netherlands:

American engineer Scott Brusaw has taken the concept much further.

Brusaw is not a spaced-out granola-eating hippie.  He has numerous hardware and software patents, is a former Marine Corps sergeant and Sunday school teacher, and he worked in the oil exploration business in Nevada, Louisiana, Texas, and Illinois.

After winning a U.S. Federal Highway Administration grant to develop a prototype, they’ve built prototypes, and have recently raised $1.7 million in Indiegogo donations to get the project off the ground.

His concept has won awards and nominations from General Electric, the World Technology Award, Google and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology).

Brusaw claims that solar roads can turn a profit, generate electricity for electric cars, keep roads snow and ice-free, warn of upcoming road hazards, reduce water pollution from surface runoff, improve wireless access, and create a lot of jobs:

Yup … solar freaking roadways:

On the other hand, critics say that the concept is cost prohibitive. For example, Huffington Post notes:

Extremetech.com said the concept is “verging on utopian.”

“On paper, it really does sound like one of the greatest inventions ever. In reality, though, where, you know, real-world factors come into play, it will probably never make the jump from drawing board to large-scale deployment.”

The site points out that asphalt costs between US$3 and $15 per square foot, whereas the cost per solar panel could amount to about $70 per square foot based on 2010 calculations by the company.

One estimate pegs the total cost to repave every road in the U.S. with panels at $56 trillion, or about four times the country’s national debt. That’s according to Aaron Saenz,writing for the site Singularity hub.

Who’s right … proponents or critics of solar roadways? We believe that a credible cost-benefit analysis by neutral, third-party experts with the right expertise needs to be carried out before we know the answer.

For another inspirational alternative energy idea, watch this:

Source: Washington’s Blog

Category: Energy, Science

Why the federal gas tax is too low

Source: WonkBlog

Category: Energy, Taxes and Policy

Enron 2.0: Energy Prices Manipulated

Wall Street Manipulates Energy Prices … and Every Other Market The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says that JP Morgan has massively manipulated energy markets in  California and the Midwest, obtaining tens of millions of dollars in overpayments from grid operators between September 2010 and June 2011. Pulitzer prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston notes today…Read More

Category: Energy, Legal, Think Tank

Space-based Solar Power Transmission

  click for ginormous interactive graphic Source: Visual.ly

Category: Digital Media, Energy

Gasoline Tax, Unchanged Since 1993, is Due for an Increase

Roads are crumbling, bridges are collapsing, and what was once considered one of the greatest achievements of any government anywhere has fallen into embarrassing disrepair. I am of course discussing our nation’s infrastructure. Last year, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the U.S. infrastructure a D+. When it comes to the most basic functions…Read More

Category: Energy, Really, really bad calls, Taxes and Policy

United Kingdom Housing Energy Fact File 2013

Category: Digital Media, Energy, Think Tank

4th Anniversary of Gulf Oil Spill

BP and the Government Decided to Temporarily Hide the Oil by Sinking It with Toxic Chemicals … The Gulf Ecosystem Is Now Paying the Price   As we noted at the time, and on the first (and here), second and third anniversaries of BP’s Gulf oil spill, BP and the government made the spill much…Read More

Category: Energy, Really, really bad calls, Think Tank

Wind, Solar and Hydro Could Power All 50 States

It’s a MYTH that We Need Fossil Fuel Or Nuclear The big oil, gas, coal and nuclear companies claim that we need those energy sources in order to power America. Good news: it’s a myth. Mark Diesendorf – Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Institute of Environmental Studies, UNSW at the University of New South Wales…Read More

Category: Energy, Think Tank

Fracking Regulation

Source: Oil Buyer’s Guide, Bloomberg Brief

Category: Energy, Regulation

Tanker Tracker

Source: Oil Buyer’s Guide, Bloomberg Brief

Category: Digital Media, Energy, Transports