The energy revolution...

Fascinating blog. Leads me to think something as radical as the green revolution is going to happen to cars and energy in the next decade or so. Fasten your seat belts, and maybe buy some shares of Tesla.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.

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Buy some shares of Tesla? Wish you would have said that a year ago...

On the other hand, if you said that a year ago, I would have been like "who's Tesla?" Never mind.

Thank you for your interest in my site and pointing it out to those following your blog.  Here are a couple that may be more interesting than my most recent ones:

Good one on Tesla: http://wp.me/p14Y5F-je

Good one on how to mainstream renewable energy: http://wp.me/p14Y5F-ee

I work for one of the largest residential solar companies in California.  We are working to make it accesible to virtually everyone in the next few years.  The media has oversimplified solar energy, especially in its negative spin.  For example, Solyndra was a "thin film" R&D that didn't even have a workable product.  Those of us in the industry actually installing crystalline new Solyndra would fail from day one.  I firmly believe that Solar, one way or another, is going to bring positive benefit to the average consumer and change the way we think about electricity.

*Sorry those of us installing crystalline solar panels knew Solyndra would fail*

Yes, Tesla "only" had 3 fires last year. But there are only about 13,000 of them on the road, about 0.02%. Yes, there have been 200,000 fires of other cars but there are 254 million of these, about 0.08%. The Tesla is armored to supposedly prevent such incidents. Other passenger vehicles, some VERY superannuated- not so much. So what's the point of bringing it up? Shouldn't the number of fires in a vehicle designed to prevent this kind of damage be far less than 25% of unarmored and supposedly far more dangerous vehicles?

Do we forget that fossil fuel is required to charge these batteries? Someone has surely crunched the numbers. I would doubt that it is as beneficial as one would think if you start from the beginning with the mining of the elements, manufacturing, etc..

Also, if I understand correctly, these batteries are hazardous waste and will require special disposal.

Solar has been a pipe dream for a long time. There seem to have been small improvements, but solar technology will need a quantum leap to be viable. Without the massive government subsidies, it would not even be able to survive in the market (just like wind).

I hope, Colin, that smart people like you can make the quantum leap. The same God who gave us fossil fuels is the same God who gave us the sun. How wonderful a gift it would be for men to figure out how to steward this resource as they have fossil fuels. Think what this would mean to poor, undeveloped countries - having a cheap source of energy; refrigeration, water, light, and all the other benefits which we enjoy.

Dear "Camp Director,"

The two fires were just media hype. Tesla automobiles catch fire at the rate of one fire per 6,333 vehicles versus gas cars catching fire at the rate of one fire per 1,350 vehicles. But even that is not the story since fires in gas cars are explosive and lethal. Many hundreds of injuries and deaths per year versus Tesla fires being a bit boring. "Look, a fire, honey! Wanna warm your hands until the police get here to do their accident report?"

Something about gasoline.

Musk has said Tesla will soon have the least costly insurance premiums, and that's going to silence many Calamity Janes.

Yours truly,

>>solar technology will need a quantum leap to be viable

Actually, not. That quantum leap you are looking for has been happening each year for some time now, and has led to massive solar installations around the world, many of which have no subsidy crutches to lean on.

Check out this graph demonstrating the Swanson Effect.

You are correct, people has studied the energy efficiency of electric cars and the numbers are quite favorable.  Here is a link to a blog post which includes links to the studies. 

The solar power industry definitely needs better marketing strategies that push out quality products and information that push this industry in a better light. However, I am optimistic about its future and hope that the innovators of the field continue to explore ways to make this option more applicable to a wider consumer range.

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