Just a collection of links concerning "alternative energy"
Microbial (dang it, I closed the tab before catching the link)
The microbial energy solution for biofuels and solar power The Biodesign team, in their Nature Review Microbiology perspective article, outlines the prospects for bioenergy. They believe the future of microbial bioenergy is brightened by recent advancements in genome technologies and other molecular-biology techniques. One species of bacteria, the human gut bacterium E. coli, has become the workhorse of the multi-trillion dollar global biotech industry.
LiveFuels uses open ponds to grow algae that are indigenous to the local environment, hoping that this will avoid the invasion problem. Since algae need nutrients to grow, including nitrogen and phosphorous, the company plans to feed agricultural runoff water - polluted with nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers - into its ponds, combining energy production with water treatment.
Another company, Bionavitas, of Redmond, Washington, also grows native algae, but in deep, narrow canals, with a special optical system to bring light to the algae beneath the surface. It too hopes to harness nutrients from polluted wastewater; and because intense carbon dioxide inputs can speed growth, it envisages setting up sites next to a factory that could funnel smokestack emissions directly into its canals. Michael Weaver, the chief executive, said that Bionavitas aimed to use "the whole algae" to produce biodiesel, ethanol, nutriceuticals and products currently derived from petroleum.
Use "bad stuff" to grow "good stuff"...
In the post immediately below, Senator John Cornyn talks about the need to get serious about solving our energy problems by developing our own domestic resources. One good example is shale oil, of which the U.S. has more than any other country. In fact, Rocky Mountain shale is believed to contain the equivalent of 2 trillion barrels of oil. Is that a lot? The entire world has used around 1 trillion barrels since oil was discovered in Pennsylvania in 1859.
Not exactly "alternative", except in the "it's an alternative to importing our oil" sort of way. Lots of oil, hard to get and we need more refining capability.
Studies from around the world show that the Great Plains states are home to the greatest wind energy potential in the world — by far.
The Department of Energy reports that 20% of America's electricity can come from wind. North Dakota alone has the potential to provide power for more than a quarter of the country.
Okay...bit start up cost. If we deal with that, what are the long term benefits?
Or, we could just hook the generators up to the chambers of congress...
On a link from Picken's site: A car that runs on natural gas (which we have quite a bit of).
But wait! We don't have very many fuel stations for natural gas...but wait! I heat my house with natural gas - and there are ways to add a fuel station right at my house.
There are drawbacks, of course...let's work them out.