So any minute now I’m going to stop posting extreme dorking posts and write something that sounds awesome. In the meantime I’m just going to admit that I’ve always liked science. Damn, that was a big step for me. You don’t even know.
So. Steven Chu. If you don’t know who this guy is that’s fine. All you need to know is that he’s now the Barackbama of the science world cause Mr. president-elect is about to officially select him as the Energy Secretary to the United States. Taking this “don’t worry, I got this.” thing into the realm of grass-based ethanol and nano-solar panels.
This will put a dampener on Sarah Palin’s bid to be referred to as an “energy expert”.
But seriously. Chu is talking about improving the electrical grid to allow for renewable energy to be more easily delivered to population centers.
You can watch this video and I’ll just give you my side of it. Renewable energy is easily produced in areas that are sunny and areas that are windy (wind being cheaper with current technology). The first problem is that people don’t actually live in most of these areas in the US. The second problem, imho, is that we use Alternating Current (AC) in the US. It’s got a lot of benefits when it comes to transforming and transmission but moving it long distances is tough. AC power is more attracted to the ground than Direct Current (DC). So when you see the tall power lines with the big metal towers that look like giants’ skeletons (oh is that just me?) it’s because you have to keep AC as high off the ground as possible so you don’t lose the energy.
DC on the other hand doesn’t require the big towers to be moved long distances. It would also lose less energy over long distance transmission (AC only goes about 1000 miles these days). As usually I’ve totally over simplified things. But, this is one of many steps, giant steps, that can be taken on our way to removing carbon fuel from our lives.
So, Professor Chu, welcome to the new position. I’m not going to worry … cause you got this.