Ted Turner and Ray Lane Address Solar Energy

Katie Fehrenbacher at Earth2Tech provides some quotes from the Solar Power 2007 convention on Sep 24, 2007. Ted Turner and venture capitalist Ray Lane spoke about solar energy. Excerpts below.

Link: The Mouth Of The South Turner And Kleiner’s Lane Go Solar « Earth2Tech.

Lane … said solar “is probably the single best opportunity for entrepreneurs to invent a way out of this problem [climate change].” He also called energy opportunities “the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century.”

Not to be outdone (his speech followed Lane’s), Turner called the business opportunity of energy the greatest “in the history of humanity.” “The entire world is going to have to redo its energy regime and solar is going to be a very big part of it,” he said.

The most compelling part of the two entrepreneurs’ speeches was their pleas for the industry to move quickly to invest in companies and innovate in clean energy. “We have to move at warp speed to stop using fossil fuels,” said Turner. Lane, channeling Kleiner Perkin’s Eugene Kleiner, said, “Panic, a lot of times, does produce.” And, we might add, earn a lot of returns.

Beautiful Image: Cache La Poudre River

Photo of Cache La Poudre River by Outdoorsie on Flickr

Along the Big South trail, a few miles north of the headwaters in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Northern Colorado. June 2007.

This photo is for Matt Steinmann on his birthday. We spent many hours kayaking whitewater rivers in GA, NC, and TN in my younger days. Kayaking big whitewater was big fun (I’ve got some great memories and some scar tissue as reminders).

Economic Development and Energy

John Michael Greer writes about the future of societies in relation to the abundance and concentration of energy resources to which it has access. This is especially pertinent as the realization that Peak Oil may be real dawns on the American public. In the debate over switching our energy sources from petroleum to sustainable energy, the influence of big oil companies on many policy makers guarantees a short-term outlook and possible economic decline for countries who are dependent on an increasingly scarce resouce available mainly from unstable governments.

Link: The Archdruid Report

White’s law holds that the level of economic development in a society is measured by the energy per capita it produces and uses. Since the energy per capita of any society is determined by its access to concentrated energy resources – and this holds true whether we are talking about wild foods, agricultural products, fossil fuels, or anything else – it’s worth postulating that the maximum level of economic development possible for a society is measured by the abundance and concentration of energy resources to which it has access.

…a society’s maximum level of economic development will be reached, on average, at the peak of a bell-shaped curve with a height determined by the relative renewability of the society’s energy resources. A society wholly dependent on resources that renew themselves over the short term may trace a “bell-shaped curve” in which the difference between peak and trough is so small it approximates a straight line; a society dependent on resources renewable over a longer timescale may cycle up and down as its resource base depletes and recovers; a society dependent on nonrenewable resources can be expected to trace a ballistic curve in which the height of ascent is matched, or more than matched, by the depth of the following decline.