In the next several weeks, I'm going to be doing some research into alternative energy sources. I once worked in this field, and I continue to find it intriguing. I'm not a 'green' advocate, but I like good engineering. Good engineering and design always seems to have as one of its attributes an attention to the by-products of the engineered system.
I'm an engineer by training, though I've used my engineering degree as a model for problem-solving more so than in some specific field of engineering.
I hope to provide a bit of insight into various types of energy research and development. Included will be:
- fuel cells
- resource recovery and incineration technology
- wind technologies
- modern battery technology
- turbines and small generators
- active and passive solar alternatives
- ...and others
In my recent trips to east Tennessee, I spent a bit of time in Oak Ridge. Yes, security is dramatically beefed up there. But, the mountains in the surrounding area are full of companies doing interesting things with alternative energy sources that will provide serious benefits.
Here's where I draw the line. Short of a dire national emergency, I don't advocate government subsidies, investment or development of alternative energy. I believe the needs and wants of people coupled with the price of traditional energy will drive development.
When a Duracell battery can run my laptop for as long as I need it to run on batteries, laptop manufacturers will switch. When ethanol can truly power a class of motors that we need, ethanol will become popular regardless of BigOil or BigCarCo lobbying.
So, this won't be a place for griping and grousing about what the government did or didn't do or what some BigCo did or didn't do to stifle or promote a given form of alternative energy. Rather, this will be about the engineering and (potential) investment opportunities that might begin to come into their own in the coming years.
THIS WILL NOT BE A PLACE TO HYPE COMPANIES FOR INVESTMENT!!!