Why don't we do it then?Inertia. We're all used to the current way of things, and rethinking everything from how your car works to looking at a landscape where power windmills go from rare to the norm involves a big effort--a "large scale transformation" on a global scale. Governments are notoriously slow-footed when it comes to this sort of change, and the Stanford plan involves so many innovations and international cooperation that the complexity is almost beyond imagination.I am not certain this makes sense. If this is all so cost effective (as is stated in another section), why isn't for-profit business doing this already? When the solution is so simple, usually the math is short an expensive item or three.I follow energy developments closely. One recent news items that caught my eye was an investment group that wanted to take Hawaii Electric private and sell off its savings bank. The investment group claimed in their press statement that they wanted to accelerate HE's alternative energy initiatives. I have owned HE twice. Both times I thought they would exploit Hawaii's obvious wind and solar advantages. Both times, the efforts failed and I moved on. One such effort, a Boeing project for wind, failed because Boeing couldn't deliver reliable product in the 1970's.Why doesn't Hawaii become center stage for AE? The simple answer is it is too small for most efforts. Most electricity in Hawaii is oil generated. Oil! All oil is imported. You would think that projects to convert plants to liquid fuel would be a high priority so the islands could become self-sufficient. While government and industry does studies (and Maui Land even higher a senior executive to look into joint ventures in this area), the bottom line is always, "We'll wait and let someone else go first." The place with a 365-day growing season has only one technology being developed with big money -- algae for fuel. But, even that project started after the key for-profit parents nurtured the efforts elsewhere.The holy grail of energy dreamers is cold fusion. If you have not seen the latest from Italy, here is my post on this front:http://boards.fool.com/problem-for-amsc-29062125.aspxCold fusion, if it worked, could make the economics of electricity very inviting. Electric generation could be moved close to the primary users (e.g., NYC) because it would not openly burn fuel or require cooling towers and other ugly industrial complex. The current Italian claims say power would cost $.01 KWH. Most people in the US are paying $.11 or higher. If cold fusion was real, which it is probably not at this time, it would make wind and solar uneconomical regardless of health benefits.While I appreciate the thoughts in this article, just the solar economic claims alone tell me the math is not strong. Plus, I have yet to read about major health benefits being achieved in Germany or Spain where the governments have been aggressively installing alternative energy (Germany solar; Spain wind).Call me skeptical about the cost benefit although I fully support any effort to get solar and wind installed for purely security reasons.W.D.
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