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Old 06-28-2008, 12:19 PM   #61
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We had several out in my part of the swamp in the 70's - one guy tryed it three times/two different propeller styles before he conceeded 'it's not nice to fool with Mother Nature.'

Of course this time it's different. Smarter brand of engineer's this generation.

?Evolution not revolution?

heh heh heh - Progress. .
Yep, the do-it-yourself crowd often fails to realize that the energy driving the blades increases with the CUBE of the wind speed.

Design one to capture a good amount of energy at 15mph wind, and it will have 8x the forces applied when the wind doubles to 30mph (2 cubed = 8 ). Another 8x for doubling from 30mph to 60mp, and it has 64x the forces to handle.

Tough to engineer something to take a 90mph gust, and work at more typical 15mph breezes ( a 216x increase! ).

-ERD50
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:23 PM   #62
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I asked my brother, who is one of NASA's few remaining Apollo era scientists, about space solar, and he said: " Initially developing space solar would be quite expensive, but the $$$ spent on the war in Iraq would be a start."
I agree with this assertion about the invention and commercialization of breakthrough technologies.

If you look at the history of microelectronics, integrated circuits were invented in the 1950s. Their initial applications were in military and space equipment and mainframe computers because these types of products needed the smaller size and less electrical energy consumption that integrated circuits provided. But integrated circuits were not cost effective against vacuum tubes in general-purpose industrial and consumer electronics.

That all changed in the early 1970s when integrated circuits became inexpensive enough to be used in consumer electronics. Digital watches and handheld electronic calculators were the products made possible by this cost-of-production breakthrough. Microelectronics then took on a commercial life of its own, attracting capital to fund startups and further breakthroughs and new product categories (e.g., the personal computer).

Once alternative energy technologies become inexpensive enough to manufacture without needing government subsidies to be competitive against oil, you will see alternative energy take off commercially and become pervasive throughout society. It's just a matter of time, with global peak oil driving up the price of oil-based products and R&D driving down the cost of alternative energy.
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:49 PM   #63
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Just be mindful of Mr Buffett's admontion on auto's and airplanes - great technologies but lousy(for shareholders) business models - remember how many auto and plane co.'s came and went?

heh heh heh -
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:58 PM   #64
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Just be mindful of Mr Buffett's admontion on auto's and airplanes - great technologies but lousy(for shareholders) business models - remember how many auto and plane co.'s came and went?

heh heh heh -
I've run into several people that have become very wealthy building airports and roads.
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Old 06-28-2008, 04:40 PM   #65
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I've run into several people that have become very wealthy building airports and roads.
Sooo - maybe we will see wind farm REITs in future - ala selling shovels and blue jeans to miners er or airports and roads to planes and cars.



heh heh heh -
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:51 PM   #66
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I too think that future energy will be primarily electric generated by a diversity of processes. Solar and wind will be substantial contributors. Those of us who live near the sea may find that tidal energy can be harnessed.

Vehicles need a way to store energy... that will be a major technical challenge. We also need to make vehicles smart users of energy (getting my husband out of the driver's seat might be a first step ).

Heavy trucks ... big industry change.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:05 PM   #67
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maybe we will see wind farm REITs in future
Dreamers build castles in the sky, optimists live in them, and realists collect the rent.

If those castles are securitized in the form of a REIT, it must pay out at least 90% of its net income to its investors. If the resulting dividend stream is steady and growing, it could turn out to be a good investment.

A wind farm REIT might offer good diversification if it turns out to be negatively correlated with the general economy (since the S&P 500 tends to decline when the price of energy increases).

There is a REIT for server farms (Digital Realty Trust, ticker: DLR) and a REIT for movie theaters and amusement parks (Entertainment Properties Trust, ticker: EPR), so you never know what might become available next in the "specialty REIT" category.
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