Energy Resources

Energy Source Cost Comparison

This table's bottom line, Cost/TW (the cost per trillion watts or Terawatts) should help in making priorities much clearer for people concerned about energy alternatives.

Comparison of Alternative Energy Sources
  Wind Solar Tidal Geothrm Polywell NFPR Coal Biofuel
Unit Size 2 mW 175 W 1 mW 4.5 mW 100 mW 1000 mW 300 mW indef
To Replace 2.15 TW 2.15 TW 1.0 TW 2.0 TW 6.45 TW 6.45 TW 6.45 TW indef
Efficiency 0.16 0.16 0.35 0.9 0.6 0.9 0.9 indef
Units Req 6.75 million 77.1 billion 1 million 444.4 thousand 107.5 thousand 7.2 thousand 23.9 thousand indef
Cost/Unit $3.5 million $520 dollars 2.27 million $22.5 million $200 million $6.0 billion $1.2 billion indef
Total Cost $23.5 trillion $40.0 trillion $6.5 trillion $11.1 trillion $21.5 trillion 0 0 Infinite*
Cost/TW $10.9 trillion $18.6 trillion $6.5 trillion $5.6 trillion $3.33 trillion $6.66 trillion $4.44 trillion Infinite*

>Total Cost for Polywell is the cost of completely replacing 6.45 TW.
>Total Cost for Wind and Solar is the cost of replacing only 2.15 TW.
>Total Cost for Tidal is the cost of replacing only 1.0 TW and,
>Total Cost for Geothermal is the cost of replacing only 2.0 TW.

>Total Cost and Cost/TW for Wind, Solar, and Tidal does not include the cost of batteries, or the cost of some other method, for storing energy from when these intermittent sources ARE working, so their energy can be used when they are NOT.

*Total Cost and Cost/TW for Biofuel is infinite because replacing carbon-based fuel with biofuel would require covering the entire surface of the planet with biofuel plants, which would require the destruction of nearly all plant and animal species on the planet, and would require humanity to completely abandon everything beautiful, everything we hold dear, and every last shred of self-respect, integrity, common decency, common sense - and life itself. Now that I think about it, the total cost for the coal should be infinite as well -for pretty much the same reasons (except for the part about covering the entire surface of the planet with biofuel plants). But even if we discount the intangibles, the total cost for both coal and the NFPR should be MUCH higher: the coal because it really should reflect the additional cost of capturing and storing the CO2 that is produced, and the NFPR because it really should reflect the additional cost of reprocessing and storing the radioactive waste that is created.

Proposed Alternative Mix: 2025

Neither Biofuel nor the NFPR should be seriously considered in any responsible plans to replace carbon-based fuels. Solar's shocking $40 Trillion cost should rule out that alternative as well. Thus it would seem that the following might constitute one reasonable mix of alternatives for the ultimate replacement of carbon-based fuels:

Polywell: 6.5 TW, $21.5 Trillion.

Tidal plus Smart Grid: 2.4 TW, $7.5 Trillion

Geothermal: 2.0 TW, $11.1 Trillion

Wind: 2.15 TW, $23.5 Trillion

Total estimated cost for carbon-based fuel replacement: $63.6 Trillion

Of course, considerable savings could be realized by replacing Wind ($23.5 Trillion/2.15TW) with additional Polywells (7.17 Trillion/2.15TW) - which would save $16.3 Trillion, and drop the total to $47.3 Trillion.

Energy Flow: Source to User

The flow chart below can help to explain where the energy of 2008 came from and where it went: