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Old 11-27-2007, 01:25 PM
5,703 posts, read 10,687,555 times
Reputation: 4871


Originally Posted by tallrick View Post
I have been helping my parents battle the local zoning department (Team Metro) to try and get a permit for solar PV panels. The Government also made it difficult for dad's BioDiesel experiment. I can imagine the hassles that I would get if I start to run my own car on wood again. I agree that Government should be there to help level the playing field, but as of now all they see to do is destroy it.
ahhh, I follow you now.

You are correct. I do see a fair amount of that around here (Dallas, Texas area). Around here it is not exactly government per se, but homeowners in decent parts of town have to battle the Home Owner's Assoications (HOA) that are sort of quasi-corporate-government bodies. They tend to fight solar and windmills are out of the question.

I have come to consider the HOA areas as "fly-over" or dead zones for RE type stuff. Supposed to be driven by a concern for property values. I tell the folks in the battles to put a For Sale in their yard with a "Warning: Bad HOA" as part of the sign. See what that does to the HOAs concerns for property values.

We live in a post-industrial warehouse area that is zoned Industrial Research, so I am pretty much off the leash with anything we want to try, but yes you are correct, many suburbs are future energy wastelands. I suppose it gives fair warning to get out while folks can.

As far as the bio-fuels, I play a little in that, as well. Not a brewer/distiller myself -- not yet at least -- just doing design work for those that are. I have some mixed feelings on govt. regs for that domain. Folks not doing safe and contained methods can cause some really BAD unintended consequences for themselves and anyone in the blast radius. That is a bunch of what the inspections are about, so that part is a good thing. Also the ATF and IRS do track the tax issues, but rebate small producers. I know plenty of folks who do brew and distill, as well as bio-diesel, so from my perspective it can be done safely and within govt. compliance.

My current personal next project will probably be an electric vehicle. Already have some, but nothing yet for the highway. That domain seems under-regulated at this point without even any highway taxes (yet?).
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:53 PM
5,703 posts, read 10,687,555 times
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Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post

. . . .

Our corporate leaders have the money, influence, and distribution system to make it happen. The problem is nobody is going to step until there is enough discomfort with the current offerings. Corporations are in business to make money and laying out large amounts of cash in R&D for alternative energy production doesn't fly when your competition is showing better results with the cheaper, currently available form.

. . . .
You might have called that right. Is this the type stuff you had in mind?

Google Press Center: Press Release


Google's Goal: Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal

Creates renewable energy R&D group and supports breakthrough technologies

Mountain View, Calif. (November 27, 2007) – Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced a new strategic initiative to develop electricity from renewable energy sources that will be cheaper than electricity produced from coal.

Moderator cut: do not repost copyrighted material

Media Contact:
Jacquelline Fuller

Last edited by Yac; 12-17-2007 at 03:58 AM..
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:01 PM
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,878 posts, read 5,841,521 times
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Philip T,

Thanks for the information. Yes, this is exactly the type of initiative that needs to take place. Companies like Google definitely "get it." I also was hoping to see more from Dean Kamen and his team. I know that they have been doing a lot outside of the US lately.

I am an educator and one of the reasons that I left private industry was to try and generate the interest in these types of challenges in the students I teach. It's a hard thing to do as many of the students are not seeing the connection due to overemphasis on assessment and not enough variety in exploratory learning. The message from the media doesn't place much importance on mathematics, science or problem solving either. Many kids are more mesmerized by fame, fortune, and conspicuous evidences of wealth.

Despite the odds I'll keep spreading the message. There is definitely money to be made for those who bring inexpenive alternative energy to the market.
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