Driving Renewable Energy

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bob Walsh, president of LS9, talks about their new renewable energy technology that involves bugs producing crude oil. Beyond bugs, Joseph White, senior editor at the Wall Street Journal, and Joseph Romm, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former director of the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the 1990's, discuss alternatives to oil and the future of renewables.


Joseph Romm, Bob Walsh and Joseph White

Comments [18]

tractor guy from Hackensack, NJ


Internal combustion engines are extremely inefficient at making energy. You’re constantly burning fuel, even when you’re sitting at the stop light. Electricity, no matter how it’s made, can be stored and only needs to be used when the car needs to start, speed up and maintain speed. That being said, the electric motor is superior in efficiency over an internal combustion engine. As for braking, electric cars do create and store energy while braking. as for making energy from spinning tires, you’ll never produce more energy then it takes to spin the tires. That would be a perpetual motion machine. If that existed, all our energy problems would be solved over night. As for solar, it’s just way to costly and inefficient to be used in cars. Plus what do you do at night or on a cloudy day?

Jun. 24 2008 12:27 PM
tractor guy from Hackensack, NJ


3 words, much stricter emissions.

As for hydrogen cars, infrastructure for hydrogen is almost impossible to build. Plus currently it takes more energy to create hydrogen then the end product produces.

Solar is not nearly up so speed for cars unless you want to drive around in a 3 wheel pancake looking car that is barely big enough to hold a driver let alone bag of groceries.

Electric cars (not hybrid) are the most efficient. You only use stored energy from the battery when you need it. Plus it’s even more efficient use of carbon energy if you plug in on non peak hours like night time.

Diesel is the way to go if you must use an internal combustion engine. It gets much better mileage then hybrids and with new Tier 4 engines, they are the cleanest internal combustion cars on the road (yes, cleaner then hybrids…). Plus you don’t get fleeced at the dealer like you do with hybrids.

Jun. 24 2008 12:09 PM
Jon from West Village

Here is a link to the new BMW development:

Jun. 24 2008 11:57 AM
Dennis from new york

An electric car that "plugs in" to our current electrical grid IS not a car that doesn't rely on fossil fuels! Very nearly all of our electricity at this stage of the game is generated by burnig fossil fuels. How about a car that regenerates its electrical supply through the spinning of its own wheels and its own solar panels?

Jun. 24 2008 11:55 AM
Susan from Bergen County NJ

I don't understand why the mileage on regular sedans that seat 4-5 people is not better. Our 1997 Saturn SL, 4-door, manual transmission, (OK not high powered or sexy) but could cruise at high speeds on the highway got 40 mpg. What happened in the interim? Please explain. Thanks.

Jun. 24 2008 11:45 AM
carlos from manhattan

What's so wrong about hydrogen cars?

Jun. 24 2008 11:44 AM
Jon from West Villiage

What is he talking about?
BMW is putting out a Hydrogen powered car in it's 7-series, it's highest-end luxury vehicles!

Jun. 24 2008 11:43 AM
Neal from NYC

If we move to a fleet of plug-in electric cars where will all the electricity come from? Is there already a strain on the grid?

Jun. 24 2008 11:43 AM
Michael from NYC

What about solar hybrids? Have these been explored? Most people leave their cars out all day in sunny parking lots??

Jun. 24 2008 11:42 AM

Please ask about diesel and recycled vegetable oil as fuels - low emissions, 50+ MPG, exisitng infrastructure and uses a FREE resource (discarded cooking oils)

Jun. 24 2008 11:41 AM
anonymous from park slope

Doesn't an electric car just transfer the point of air pollution away from the car to the power plant. Also, how do we discard of all the batteries from electric cars and/or hybrids?

Jun. 24 2008 11:40 AM
Al from Staten Island

Just using electric cars is not "no carbon"
until he generate our electricity in a way that doesn't generate carbon.

Jun. 24 2008 11:40 AM
chris o from New York City

The Aptera is a cutting edge vehicle that gets 300 mpg - looks pretty cool.

Jun. 24 2008 11:40 AM
zack from New York

Killing insects to make oil. What does the environmentalist have to say about this?

Jun. 24 2008 11:39 AM
Amy from Manhattan

2 birds, 1 stone: Could this technology make oil out of kudzu?

Jun. 24 2008 11:35 AM
David G from Manhattan


If these animals escaped into the wild, wouldn't their droppings pollute any environment they invaded with mini oil slicks?

Jun. 24 2008 11:35 AM
ralf from patchogue, ny

bugs that produce oil. well that certainly is forward thinking. burning oil is obsolete. we must stop now.

Jun. 24 2008 11:35 AM
anonymous from park slope

Any chance that the bugs escape and destroy the world?

Jun. 24 2008 11:33 AM

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