Marianne Lavelle has written a very good overview in USNews titled “Power Revolution” that gives a look at the investments and some results of what Vinod Khosla and others have accomplished in finding and developing new energy and fuel sources.

Khosla is pretty well known as an innovator and investor in new forms of energy and fuel. Marianne gives him abundant credit and notices others that are involved. The article starts off with a look at Mr. Khosla, the big goals and the money involved.

The first section covers concentrated solar. With a quick look at the efficiency of thermal solar vs. photovoltaic Marianne describes some of the projects in construction and planning.

Second is a discussion of deep geothermal. Here she shows the parallels between oil drilling and deep geothermal reservoir drilling and some of the study information that is used for considering development. She notes that a few problems exist and offers that geothermal is a huge resource just now ripening for exploration and development. It’s enough to turn the heads of the oil barons looking for another way to sell energy and make the coal folks real, real nervous.

Next is ethanol that gets a fairly even handed look. With ethanol having a wide range of contestable attributes Marianne gives the industry and the direction it’s going a good look. Importantly she includes the Fischer-Tropsch process that opens up a lot of possibilities beyond simple ethanol.

Marianne closes up with a look into conservation and covers the major issues with aplomb. Conservation is an issue rife with some 280 million viewpoints in America with little in the way of consensus, especially when we look at what choices people make when buying transportation devices.

Over all this article is a quality piece of work that helps anyone curious get a good start in feeling out what to think about without a lesson on what to think. I recommend it, as it reads fast, covers a lot of ground and may be just what you need to turn on the disinterested to be thinking about what might be coming with out hard realities of peak oil, credit crises and other inputs that will come to follow. Ok it’s a little light, but its mainstream press and as these things go Marianne and USNews have done everyone a good service.


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