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NASA has used thermoelectric energy, or the conversion of waste heat to electricity, for decades to power spacecraft and the Mars Science Laboratory Rover. However, thermoelectric energy has attracted minimal attention in the alternative-energy world due to its limited commercial viability, until recently. Last year, Michigan State University (MSU) with the support of the Lawrence Berkley National Lab developed a new class of thermoelectrics using a compound called tetrahedrite that is believed to be more cost-effective and has the potential for everyday use. One start-up finding success building on the findings from MSU is Alphabet Energy. They have developed a stand-alone… [more]View Discussion
[Note: The statements below are intended solely to stimulate discussion among the Expert community, and do not represent the position of OurEnergyPolicy.org. Text in italics indicates clarification or expansion.] US electricity generation should be based on the following sources: Hydroelectric — part of the stable supply base — not expected to grow. Large hydro capacity may shrink due to reservoir siltation, water shortages, and dam removal. Coal — part of the stable supply base — is domestically abundant. Currently, the cheapest but most carbon intensive solution. Growth rate depends on friendlier GHG technologies (like IGCC and CCS). The main… [more]View Discussion