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Health & Lifestyle
on Fri, 07/24/2009 - 9:35pm.
Just take a look at the four old Florida Progress plants that are owned by Progress and operate in the red continually. You simply cannot discount logistics, and reliable, consistent, cheap fuel input is a BIG part of running any business that consumes energy. While biomass can play a niche role, we have no infrastructure in place to get the fuel (produced all over the state) to any planned large, regional plant. However, CSX and Norfolk Southern can bring in all the cheap coal you need...usually, right to the plant's front door. While biomass may provide some minor contribution, solar is still the highest cost per Watt of any generation source. The prospects are not good for that to change anytime soon. Lots of people are doing lots of great research, but so far no Earth-shaking breakthroughs have occurred. I personally like Pinnacle West's "solar kettle" but even that takes up far too much land for the amount of energy produced. It proves the theory, but is completely impractical to put on line in widespread application for commercial generation. Fixed plant fuel cells show great promise at the end-consumer and as the number of fuel cells in use at hospitals, schools, and factories increases, overall system demand will drop....in those parts of the country that lend themselves to fuel cells, because they usually rely upon solar energy to produce the hydrogen. They also need to increase their service life. Wind turbines can provide a large portion of our electricity, but first you have to quell the enviroloons who despise them for everything from killing birds and bats to visual blight. The bottom line is that coal and nuclear power are going to be our primary sources of electricity for many, many years to come. Obama may not LIKE that, but even he can't repeal the laws of physics or alter reality.
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