Both alternative energy companies declared bankruptcy this year after receiving millions in federal job stimulus dollars. It’s just what the United States does not need right now, says nuclear scientist Michael T. Gamble. Michael is an alternative energy researcher and also an investment-banking analyst.
The Bankruptcy of Solyndra Solar and Decreasing Prices
This year, after receiving millions in federal job stimulus dollars, both companies in the alternative energy sector declared bankruptcy. Nuclear scientist Michael T. Gamble, an alternative energy researcher and investment-banking analyst, declared that this is the last thing the United States currently needs.
The negative reaction to squandering taxpayers’ money could damage an essential, growing sector – one that is essential to generate jobs in the United States of America going forward.
Michael T Gamble
Gamble, ex-scientist of the Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico and writer of the novel Zeroscape (www.zeroscape-thebook.com), a high-tech thriller, has commented that “low priced energy would give smaller Silicon Valley companies the potential to make great things since they are not restricted by the elevated costs of conducting business”. He further noted that “working with certain technologies such as high-energy lasers requires big quantities of energy. A miniature photonics business could potentially be the next Apple”.
In September 2010, Apple had a third more full-time employees than in the year prior, totaling 46,600. This indicates job growth during a time of economic downturn.
According to Gamble, the view of the renewable energy sector as a good use of taxpayer resources might be damaged. Especially by the business failures brought on by the decline in cost of photovoltaic-grade silicon. It is also possible that these were not the right choices. Most importantly, for the Department of Energy’s loan guarantees.
He states that Solyndra was far from being able to make cost-efficient, marketable solar panels. Especially with their prices ranging from $3 to $6 per watt.
Gamble highlights the potential gain from investing in certain businesses and government research.
Nanosolar, from San Jose, CA, is an impressive photovoltaic company. One that is nearly reaching competitive pricing. Its thin-film, printable solar cells employ copper, indium, gallium, selenium and nanoparticle inks, which is a more cost-effective strategy than the popular silicon panels. Considering the savings from little installation labor, Nanosolar’s panels are expected to be able to generate energy at 60 cents per watt and have comparable production efficiency to silicon panels in the upcoming years.
Wind energy is a prime source of renewable energy that can be harvested in many places. In 2010, China overtook the United States as the global leader in this department, establishing 16.5 gigawatts of wind energy – comparable to the maximum electricity generated by 16 nuclear power plants. This is 2 gigawatts more than the United States. The U.S. was left behind partly due to the ending of the Obama administration’s Recovery Act, which provided a tax incentive for the use of renewable energy.
Taking advantage of the freely available sun and wind energy sources is not always enough and the most advanced energy source, nuclear fusion, is often sought after. Unlike nuclear fission, which is used by nuclear reactors, this kind of power is much more eco-friendly and carries much less risk for humans. It also produces a lot of energy and its only by-product is helium. The Lawrence Livermore National Lab near San Francisco has developed the National Ignition Facility (NIF) which has the capacity to deliver 500 terawatts to a BB-size target and release clean energy.
The website www.zeroscape-thebook.com offers readers a captivating story about a world in which mankind has been wiped out. It is a tale of a world without human beings, and the consequences of such a scenario. It is an exploration of what a world without humanity would be like and the implications this would have.