On June 2 Dr. Lee L. Riedinger, Director of the
Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, described the UT-ORNL partnership in general and reported on the success of the energy science and engineering doctoral program- which is now two years old. The program
is attracting a large number of very well qualified students. UT Faculty members and ORNL people are cooperating very well.
Steve Levy, Technical Director of the Tennessee Solar Energy Association (TSEA) was the speaker on June 10. His topic was “Promoting Solar Photovoltaic Deployment Through Microinvestments” Currently, solar power is economical for businesses but not attractive for homeowners. Steve described a plan to allow solar installations ( including residential rooftops) as investments using money invested in small amounts by utility customers.
On June 17, Jim Bierkamp,Business Development Manger for Proton Power, Inc., spoke about the process his company uses to make hydrogen gas or hydrocarbon fuel from organic materials such as switchgrass or mixed paper. The company has grown very rapidly and even without many working installations has a huge ($350,000,000) number of orders from around the world.
Robert G Kennedy III, PE, senior systems engineer VI;
Tetra Tech, sopke on June 24 on the topic “Space-based geoengineering: the Dyson Dot concept”. He is proposing to place one or more large (600 mile diameter ?!)
lightsail(s) in orbit(s) just sunward of the Sun-Earth Lagrange-1 point. This would be a monumental effort and he proposes to finance it by allowing private capitalists to install the large light sail with the objective of making a profit by selling solar electrical power. He discussed the prospects for the earth if we humans continue to fail to react to the increase in carbon dioxide in the air- it is grim,