I seem to be missing something how does using a solar and catalyst to burn the carbon out of the methane without applying the chemical energy to generate heat to convert to mechanical energy to convert to electricity. Is it just a better way to generate hydrogen for a fuel cell? I think using catalytic burners and Stirling Cycle engines would use the methane more efficiently.
I wonder who pays for the 3,000 solar dishes. No I don't. While we tilt at windmills (sorry) France leads the world in cheap clean electricity production at under a nickel (Euro) per Kwh. They generate so much electricity that they don't use it all and make $3 Billion a year selling it to other countries. And, (drum roll) they use American technology to do it. We are stupid to re-elect politicians who continue to make us pay high prices for energy while they waste our money buying votes to keep themselves in office. More ethanol please!
Uh now there's a real fact checker. France "leads" and has "cheap clean" What a pile. Go to France and check how the discussion about the fuel cycle with reprocessing and plutonium and also waste management is going. Don't wanna know about problems our kids will have? Oh. I see.
And while you are "real" at it, go and check the Department of Homeland Security's pile of white papers on unintended uses of nuclear fuel cycle byproducts by people with bad intentions. You probably don't wanna hear it.
More ethanol? You never heard of any problems in the global food supply caused by us burning what could be food in our over-sized fatcars? I guess not.
The unpleasant truth about energy is that if we want to use lots, we should at least have the decency to come up with a real smart way of supplying ourselves with that energy, without doing it at someone elses expense.
There are ways. There's plenty of energy, everywhere. We just have to figure out how to use it. Stop being so pathetically scared, please. Parroting what you are told on Fox News ain't gonna help.
James Barbour
Actually, Im optimistic on this one...if you can take solar energy to eventually run vehicles, thats a win. How ironic (short-sighted?) it is that America uses a combustible fossil fuel like natural gas to make electricity instead of powering vehicles. Stragtegically, natural gas and oil (gasoline/diesel) should power vehicles while nuclear and coal should be used to generate electricicity.
realfactchecker You better check your facts, France is now considering phasing out nuclear and racing Germany toward a future powered by Solar (of all flavors)...
Also France imported German solar generated energy last year during periods when the temperature got really cold which affected the water supplies to the nuclear power plants in France!
Storing nuclear "waste" is just stupid. The high energy stuff is fuel, the gamma emitters is fuel (wrap it in tungsten and power Stirling engines.) subject the remaining material to neutron bombardment until all you have left is short half-life decay to stable like tritium or iodine 131. It is the "Greens" that make nuclear energy unsafe.
Michael Mantion
Spent nuclear fuel should be reprocessed. Its not waste its a valuable asset. That said Carter made it all but impossible to reprocess the fuel and Clinton destroyed our entire faster breeder reactor program that was a decade ahead of everyone else. Faster breeder reactors seem to be the best source of energy. The liquid sodium reactors that clinton destroyed were incredibly safe.
Joe Acerbic
This seems profoundly stupid. If you already have solar concentrators and gas, why waste the gas burning it all the time instead of using basic solar thermal with gas as backup when it's cloudy?
Charles Barnard
"... an inherent disadvantage of not working when the sun isn't shining..."
Geez. What century are you living in? Some old ethnic joke?
Free yourself from your planetary-centric world-view!
The Sun ALWAYS shines!!
If you leave the planetary surface, you can collect solar power 100% of the time, and with much better efficiency.
We've known how to do this, how to transmit it to the surface of the Earth, and how to do it economically for over 35 years!
re; Charles Barnard
Have you looked at the cost of putting stuff into orbit? $1000 per pound is a bargain.