Renewable energy, advanced technology?
To the Editor:
We need solar energy initiatives in Maine. Wind technology is old and inefficient with few job opportunities for Maine residents. Thomas Edison tried to lead the way 100 years ago.
"We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using nature's inexhaustible sources of energy-sun, wind and tide. I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that." Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931).
For some reason, the Baldacci administration and Angus King decided to put most of their renewable energy eggs in one basket. The "wind basket" is currently under siege by well-intentioned and informed activists. It’s unclear why our state officials have not researched and developed strategies and plans to introduce programs, which would develop the next generation solar energy panels and storage systems.
I believe the field is a wide-open scientific challenge. Usually, advances in technology focus attention on new materials. The rapid development of computer miniaturization and the advent of hand-held telecommunication devices (smart phones, etc.) have come to exist with the scientific development of new material combinations.
Solar panels, as they currently exist, are crying out for scientists to challenge themselves to provide cost effective amplification of the electric energy from the sun and from the very existence of “light” without sun exposure.
I believe Maine should introduce a new advanced technology laboratory, as a separate institute to leverage focused advanced experimentations and applied science to develop and scale up any new technologies to production levels. Jobs would be available to scientists and engineers in Maine or outside Maine.
Production of high tech solar energy components and systems could bring thousands of good paying jobs to Maine.
Solar energy improvements and deployed new technology could/would lower the cost of electricity. Wind energy will most likely increase the cost of electricity. Tom Edison was a wise man!