[ExI] Written for another list

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Mon Jul 30 16:45:32 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 7:36 AM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
> That's acceptable for powering
> lasers, but I can't see much of a market for multiple GW at 20 times
> the cost of electricity from nuclear plants.

Nope.  If the cost of electricity is higher than what you get
off the grid, then it's not acceptable for powering lasers,
since you could just get it off the grid instead.

> I can send you the spreadsheet for the financial model if you want to
> try making money on conventional propulsion.

I might be interested in taking a look *if* your spreadsheet
includes the costs of the intermediate conventional
propulsion stage.  If it does not, then you need to add that
before it is a complete, realistic model.

(I could assume nanosanta for a nanotech project, and
handwave the costs of developing nanosanta.  That wouldn't
be a current real world business model either.)

> Perhaps.  I freely admit the model may have errors in assumptions or
> formula.  Though saying that without looking at the model seems a bit
> over the top.

No, it's basic business theory.  If you can make a profit with
practice X after it's developed, and a lesser profit with
practice Y that does not take significant development, then
you can compare the efficiency of developing X and then
making more money over time versus just using Y.

> I have no  present intention of showing this project to investors.
> For one thing, I am assured that there is only one, the Chinese
> government.  That is already underway.

Nope.  If you really did have a case, there are private investors
in the US.  There are, in fact, already startups actively
pursuing this - maybe you should apply for a job so you can
actually help make this future?

http://www.solarenspace.com/ (though information about their
post-2009 status is hard to find)

> I am mainly interested in making a case that there *is* a way out of
> the energy/carbon problems without an 80% die off.

The theoretical case has long been made.  The challenge now
is the litmus test: actually doing it.

> The cost of power at current $10,000/kg is dominated by the lift cost
> of ~50,000/kW.  Cost of power at that transport rate is ~$2/kWh.
> For zero lift cost, the cost would be around 1.4 cents per kWh.  The
> derivation of this is in the paper.

It sounds like you have bigger concerns than the lift cost, if
that is not a majority of the cost.

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