Monday, March 23, 2009

To US BioEnergy, Humans Must Be Smarter

The Earth has the biological potential to produce far more energy than humans can ever use, as well as far more food than humans could ever eat. But humans need to be smarter to utilise bioenergy. Right now the most efficient forms of energy are coal, oil, and gas. We need to change that to make bioenergy the most efficient, along with solar and enhanced geothermal.
An unbiased 2008 market analysis by the University of Georgia's Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development estimates that there may be more than 13 million tons of biomass in Georgia that could be converted to electricity each year. If the entire mass were used, the center estimates it would meet 8.6 percent of the state's annual electricity consumption.

...When the industry takes off, Bransby says, "This technology will beat petroleum down to $12 a barrel." _Bioenergy
The bioenergy revolution is just beginning. Given the destructive effect that government generally exerts upon the productive economy, I expect to see a great deal of "energy bootlegging" taking place across large parts of the US and the world. That is, bioenergy production in spite of government rather than because of government. Gasification (IGCC with CHP), pyrolysis, torrefaction, pelletisation, co-firing with coal, liquid fuels, cellulosic electricity, etc. Forget CO2 sequestration! -- energy is the thing. A biological planet can take all the CO2 that humans can produce and much more.

In the US, basic lighting takes up 20% of electrical output. Breakthroughs in new energy efficient lighting can cut that load by over half.

While perfecting improvements in bioenergy, solar, geothermal, electrical storage, and electrical efficiency and conversion, we will need all the oil, gas, coal, oil shale, oil sands, and nuclear energy we have. Interestingly, nanotechnology offers several ways to meet our energy needs. Here is one -- processing nuclear fuels.

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