What Is Your Alternative Energy IQ? This May Appear to Be a Trick Question
The other day, I was reading an interesting article which had a title something to the effect of; “What Is Your Solar Energy IQ?” Well, being somewhat intrigued, I looked over the series of questions, and I knew most of the answers, so I didn’t bother to check the results which were on the next page upside down, you know how they do that in the newspaper. None of the questions had anything to do with what solar panels are made out of, where they come from, how they are manufactured, or the current efficiency levels available to the public. Okay so let’s talk about this shall we?
The reason I am bringing this topic up is I’d like to ask you another question; “What Is Your Alternative Energy IQ?” Consider this a trick question because what I’d really like to ask you is if you truly understand how much energy is packed into those fossil fuels. You see, many people don’t understand that coal, natural gas, oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel have quite a bit of BTUs and energy packed in a very small area. It’s very hard to compete with that. What people don’t understand is that solar energy technologies are already 50% inefficient before they start, simply because the sun does not shine at night.
When you hear someone say that today’s solar panels have 18% efficiency, remember that since the sun does not shine at night that’s really only 9%. Therefore it takes quite a bit of area and coverage to get the energy you might need to run something like an air conditioner, your computers, your TV, and your refrigerator, not to mention other high usage items such as microwaves, washers and dryers, or charging up an electric car. Likewise, wind energy sounds pretty brilliant, but generally speaking the wind does not blow all the time, and when the wind is blowing less than 12 miles per hour these wind turbines aren’t making a whole lot of energy at all (most configurations).
It’s not that I want to burst anyone’s bubble because I realize that global warming has become somewhat of a religion, and the alternative energy sector is supposedly the answer, and everyone has bought into this need without realizing the reality of the energy component. You cannot dismiss physics, no matter how much you believe in hope or change, or moving forward and progressing. Some things just work better than others. That’s the reality of our universe and physics. You can’t dismiss centripetal force when you’re driving your car, nor can you dismiss gravity when you get up on a ladder to change that light bulb in your home.
Speaking of which, if you really have a high alternative energy IQ you wouldn’t be sticking that $28 ultra-efficient light bulb up your butt because it might break off inside and cause you some real pain. Tell you what, why don’t you go and learn a little bit about energy and physics before spouting all of your alternative energy ignorance online. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.