Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fusion and Solar

This graph, from this article I found interesting.

It is more interesting when looked at side by side with:

Some environmentalists complain nuclear fission gets so much more money. This complaint seems silly to me, the ratio of subsidies to production is far better for nuclear. A dollar the government spends on nuclear power produces a lot of energy, a dollar spent on solar hardly anything.

The questionable allocation of resources gets really bad when comparing wind/geothermal/water/biomass with solar. We have spent as much on solar research as all of those combined! Yet the second graph clearly shows those three all producing at least ten times as much electricity. Talk about a misallocation of resources. I am not necessarily saying the solar budget needs cut as it, along with fusion, are possibly the best long term solutions, but if geothermal and wind have proven themselves to be so much more capable with so much less money, than shouldn't we be throwing more money at them to see what they can do? This is particularly true of geothermal which has got almost no government funding yet manages to consistently outproduce solar.

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