Energy Game Wild Cards
By Max Edwards
There are some breakthroughs being touted that are getting a lot of interest. Cold Fusion is getting attention again, along with solar concentrator arrays and EEStor capacitor technology. Israel is prominently mentioned in terms of contribution to the first two, Kleiner Perkins is believed to be invested in the later two. Who knows when EEStor "permitivity" will translate into a tested product that can be produced and that can economically be taken to market.
These are beyond the realm of making near term projections or allocating major government resources, but at the same time they have potentially huge ramifications:
1) clean energy technology at near market rates
2) energy storage with quick in and out capabilities, high reliability, long cycle life and great economics overall
There have been dozens of brilliant teams who thought they were making a glimmer of progress on cold fusion, then the subject went, er,
"cold". Now a few of the faithful have stirred developments and there appears to be a follow on ripple of progress in the cold fusion topic, stay tuned.
The solar concentrator arrays are showing they can make large centralized energy production in a model the utilities are fairly comfortable with close to economic progress. More work and results to be realized here but if it comes forward, utilities can buy this model.
Then EEStor, well with all the promise their technology would hold in the defense sector, not to even say the energy/transportation sector they are a game changer if real. The ridiculous blog coverage of EEStor which guesses at things they certainly haven't publicly proven get way out there. Their technology could mean rail guns, drones that fly endlessly, silent robots on the battlefield that cover lots of territory, satellites with plenty of power. Since they are secretive it is hard to know what to think, experts pan them and certainly their buzz building technique could use some help.
But if some combination of just these three moved forward then progress on so many energy dependence and economic and environmental considerations would be just zoom forward. Stranger things happen, think of computers on a chip, fiber optics, nuclear power, and laser technology. There are some good teams with some very good brains working on the issues, and though none is mainstream, all have their proponents.
So you can call these the dark horses, you can call them the wild cards, you can call them the outside shots, but the world moves in mysterious ways.
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