And even though the so called stimulus bill doesn't have a massive high speed rail project or some other truly bold move towards real change, it's appropriate for us to appreciate what is in the bill.
Thanks to the Huffington Post, here's the executive summary section on renewables and science:
"Clean, Efficient, American Energy:
To put people back to work today and reduce our dependence on foreign oil tomorrow, we will strengthen efforts directed at doubling renewable energy production and renovate public buildings to make them more energy efficient.
· $32 billion to transform the nation's energy transmission, distribution, and production systems by allowing for a smarter and better grid and focusing investment in renewable technology.
· $16 billion to repair public housing and make key energy efficiency retrofits.
· $6 billion to weatherize modest-income homes.
Transform our Economy with Science and Technology:
We need to put scientists to work looking for the next great discovery, creating jobs in cutting-edge-technologies, and making smart investments that will help businesses in every community succeed in a global economy. For every dollar invested in broadband the economy sees a ten-fold return on that investment.
· $10 billion for science facilities, research, and instrumentation.
· $6 billion to expand broadband internet access so businesses in rural and other underserved areas can link up to the global economy." more
In my judgment, That "next great discovery" needs to be really inexpensive photon to electron inks and processes, and a really good supercapacitor. Fortunately, these kind of cutting edge technologies are way beyond discovery, they are in development.
Here's one from the AP last week:
Piloting Silicon-Ink Solar Cell Production
January 23, 2009
HOHENSTEIN-ERNSTTHAL, GERMANY - The installation of a 10 MW silicon-ink based solar cell pilot production line has been completed by Roth & Rau AG and Innovalight.
The pilot line combines the qualities and cost benefits of crystal silicon wafer technology with silicon-ink processing technology to produce low cost, high performance solar cells.
“The potential to lower costs by combining Innovalight’s silicon-ink platform and conventional silicon solar cell technology is very impressive”, says Dr. Dietmar Roth, Chief Executive Officer at Roth & Rau AG. “Combining the strength of Roth & Rau’s manufacturing expertise and Innovalight’s silicon nanotechnology has enormous potential in the marketplace.” more
And here's a continuation of MIT's work on nanotube supercapacitor storage from Technology Review:
Dense films of carbon nanotubes store large amounts of energy.
By Katherine Bourzac
Researchers at MIT have made pure, dense, thin films of carbon nanotubes that show promise as electrodes for higher-capacity batteries and supercapacitors. Dispensing with the additives previously used to hold such films together improved their electrical properties, including the ability to carry and store a large amount of charge.
Carbon nanotubes can carry and store more charge than other forms of carbon, in part because their nanoscale structure gives them a very large surface area. But conventional methods for making them into films leave significant gaps between individual nanotubes or require binding materials to hold them together. Both approaches reduce the films' conductivity--the ability to convey charge--and capacitance--the ability to store it.
The MIT group, led by chemical-engineering professor Paula Hammond and mechanical-engineering professor Yang Shao-Horn, made the new nanotube films using a technique called layer-by-layer assembly. " more
Like the President said yesterday, We can solve these problems, because we created them. But as Einstein said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
That goes for our problems with the economy, with our energy supplies, with climate change, and in our need to foster world community and peace.
Each step we take towards a Unified Global Photonic Energy Web with large scale capacitance leads us all to that giant leap of humankind that we must make.
For we cannot make it across this precipice in tiny steps.
Like a Rocketman
We must learn to fly.
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Labels: advanced tech