Energy Debate Topic: Alternative Energy and Energy Economics

2008-2009 NFL Debate Topic

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States.

gray is the new green

"Working against electricity production from waste heat is the fact that most states still have utility-friendly laws that prohibit nonutilities from selling power directly to others without going through the grid. Bilateral agreements to buy and sell power can be done across the grid, but producers such as RED must surrender roughly a third of the selling price to a utility for transmission fees, even if it's just across the street." Link to Forbes article

Gray is the new Green

"Massachusetts Institute of Technology said EGs could open up an additional 100 gigawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. by 2050, up from 3 today. (A gigawatt is the output of a large nuclear plant.) The study's authors speculate that EGs could produce juice at a cost of 15 cents a kilowatt-hour to start, falling to 5 cents with experience. Those costs figure in construction, land leasing and so on, but don't include any government subsidies that may be available." Link to Forbes article.

Our Electric Future

Intel's Andy Grove outlines move to electric cars. (From The American, July/Aug. 2008)

Home Brew

Brew your own biodiesel, but be careful not to blow out the front of your house. There's also the flourishing underground of brewers. From neighbors running reactors in garages, like Jules Dervaes and Hans Huth, to a Piedmont, North Carolina, cooperative that has grown to 500 members in four years and made a million gallons last year, home brewing is well-established.

... While there have been few problems with home brewing, last month a garage biodiesel experiment ended when a chemical blast blew the front off a home in Surprise, Arizona. After the explosion, the assistant fire chief worried aloud that home brewing might mean more explosions. Link to full article on Wired, Sept. 15, 2008

Nifty Nuke

Nifty Transporable Nukes ready by 2013

"Small, factory-sealed, mass-produced, transportable nuclear power module that is uniquely safe and proliferation-resistant. After 5 years, each reactor would have a softball size amount of waste. The uranium hydride reactor can burn up to 50% of the uranium or about ten times more than current reactors....Three factories, spread across the globe are planned by the company to produce and ship the approximately 4,000 units of the first design. (4,000 small units would generate more nuclear power than the 104 nuclear reactors currently used in the United States. 108 GW for 4000 HPG uranium hydride reactors versus 98GW in the US now). Inherently safe and proliferation-resistant, the HPM utilizes the energy of low-enriched uranium fuel. Each unit produces 70 megawatts of thermal energy, or 27 megawatts of electricity when connected to a steam turbine. That amount is enough to provide electricity for 20,000 average-size American-style homes or the industrial equivalent." Link to Hyperion web page.

US Energy Policy

Renewable Energy



Resources and Research

Mercatus Center ( - Government regulations, subsidies and oil industry


Energy: The Master Resource, by Robert L. Bradley, Jr.