|The biofuels panel faced questions on lifecycle costs and food prices. The Senate recently voted to end ethanol subsidies.|
|Senator Udall touts the benefits of the DOD Energy Security Act (DODESA)|
* ROI. Knowing how resistant consumers and politicians are to typically higher up-front costs of these technologies, panelists liked to state the point at which folks earn their investment back. Most seemed to be in the 1-3 year range.
* Systems and Lifecycles. The importance of accounting for the energy spent in all stages of the production process. Engineering better grids, electrical systems and water facilities. Not too sexy, but oh so important.
* China. "China's doing this, China's doing that. Why aren't we?" The biofuels panel pushed this.
* Retrofitting. You don't need to build brand new to implement this stuff.
* Department of Defense. The military is an enormous energy suck. DOD's recently begun implementing some measures to address that, by both congressional and internal mandates. Renewables stand to benefit. There's some circular irony in using oil to fuel wars for oil which a Quaker lady sitting next to me pointed out.
My favorite quote (and seemingly, the audience's) was from Eric Huffman, Sales Manager for a daylighting company: "There's nothing more efficient than 'off'". The LED guy who followed him quipped that LED was next best to "off". CFLs already seem old-school.
|Is this where the real discussions take place?|