Sustainable Energy

There was an article in Sunday's Arizona Daily Sun [my local paper] wondering "where are all the green energy jobs?" The article said that renewable energy was hit hard by the recession, but that business was sure to pick up in year.

Right. The reason there are no renewable energy jobs is because it is all vaporware. There are a couple of websites I visit occasionally that have nothing but articles about the latest and greatest revolutionary technology that promises cheap, renewable energy. I call bullshit on that.

Renewable energy is hard, and the details matter. A lot. The reason you don't see more renewable energy projects is that they cost too much and don't deliver enough power.

If you really want to know how it all works, consult the website, Without Hot Air, by David McKay, a physics professor at Cambridge. You can download his book of the same name for free. I browsed though it today, and it is really quite good. There is a more general section that covers all the issues of renewable energy, and more technical appendicies for those who really want to know how it all works. McKay breaks it all down and takes a hard look at how much energy you can really get out of renewable sources, and then looks again at how much you can politically make given that you typically need lots and lots of land for most of them. Highly recommended.