[ExI] [Bulk] Re: Thoughts on Space based solar power (alternatives)

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Wed Nov 26 14:45:56 UTC 2008

On Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 2:29 PM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think you are wrong in at least three different ways.  :)

I might well be, otherwise I would not be a bet... :-)

> 1) Timescale.
> Fusion power and space-based solar energy  are unlikely in our
> lifetime. Well, maybe the young lads might live to see it. Geothermal
> is being done in Iceland, but deep geothermal for use in all countries
> is another very longterm project.

Two replies to that:
- I would not assume that the pace of their development is not
independent from the investments, which brings us to point two.
- Who said that we should be only concerned with short-term patches to
what are civilisational problems? :-)

> 2) Cost.
> All your suggestions are expensive large-scale projects requiring
> nation-level investments.

Sure. ITER, which is considered a "megaproject" by today's standards,
cost a bare 10 billion USD, and yet required the support of the
government of a dozen countries to get on its feet. Still, the US
alone managed to invest 600+ billion USD in a very dubious military
campaign which is may itself be considered as a rather short-sighted
energy project...

> 3) Exponential power increases are not required. Future devices will
> be more efficient and use less power.

Nothing wrong in that, but what about having instead your pie and eat
it? I'd rather go for more efficient devices *and* more energy.

Stefano Vaj

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