Thursday, July 06, 2006

You do the Math

Here is an announcement from last week.

Bush Admin to Offer US$170 Million for Solar Energy

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration said on Wednesday it would offer US $170 million to public and private partnerships to make solar energy more competitive with conventional electricity sources by 2015.

The funding would be for three years, beginning in fiscal-year 2007. It would require industry-led teams to match each dollar the government gives them toward the project, which could generate an additional US$170 million.

The US Energy Department said projects would need to focus on improving so-called photovoltaic cell technology which produces energy when exposed to light. "We will be asking the winning partnerships to focus their work on new manufacturing techniques as well as new component designs that will allow us to bring down the cost of producing photovoltaic fuel cells as quickly as possible," said US Energy Secretary Sam Bodman.

US Energy Department said the projects are part of the administration's Solar America Initiative which seeks in part to reduce photovoltaic costs from 13-22 cents per kilowatt to 9-18 cents per kilowatt by 2010.

The US $170 million contribution by the administration is subject to funding from Congress."

Pretty impressive huh?

One hundred and seventy fat million dollars to reduce the cost of PV down to under a dime per Kwh.

We are talking serious money here.


First, this is for three years, and second, Congress has not appropriated the money. But most importantly, 175 million dollars is about 14 hours of war in Iraq.

Fourteen f*(king hours!

If we spent 300 million a day on windpower, we would be installing roughly 300 MWs of power a day. Taking a little time off on Sundays, that would be 100,000 MW a year. In the three years of war, that would be 300,000 MWs. At a reasonable capacity factor, these wind turbines would be creating One Billion MWhs a year of energy. (a trillion Kwhs)

Since an electric drive car can get about 4 miles to the Kwh, you could say that each Kwh is equal to about one fifth of a gallon at 20 Mpg averages.

So divide one trillion by 5 and you get 200 billion gallons of gasoline.

Divide that by 42 (gallons in a barrel) and you get something in the area of 5 billion barrels.

We use about 22 million barrels of oil a day, or about 8 billion a year.

About 5 billion of that is imported.

You do the math.

And see the priorities.

Meanwhile the oceans are turning acidic.

Criminal neglect?

You do the math.


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art courtesy of Martin O Neil


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Keep the truth flowing.


10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More people need to figure out how to apply this math.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good job putting it into perspective!

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it when you put these big numbers in perspective. very useful. thanks

1:32 PM  

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