Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Highway to the Danger Zone

I don't understand why people are so goddamned thick headed when it comes to using biomass as an industrial fuel. We should all be able to agree that biomass should play a limited role in fueling us. Some wood pellets here. Some recycled oil there.

Our fuel should come from the sun more directly. We should do what works. Electrify trains and power them with wind/solar/hydro. Hybridize vehicles and work on increasing the percentage of miles traveled with electricity. Remove heating fuels by replacing them with heat pumps, electric stoves and better insulation. These paths work... Jatropra oil? Not so much. Algae? Give me a fucking break.

The average solar panel sold today converts about 15% of the sunshine it sees into electricity. Biomass on the other hand is less than 1% efficient at converting sunshine into chemical energy. This alone does not disqualify the resource as an industrial fuel.

Here's what does:
Why the fuck would you want to support a technology that does all these despicable things? So you can brag about the Carbon Footprint of your Prius? Seriously? Go look up some pictures of deforestation in the tropics. You can see the disaster from space. That's how big the footprint is.

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