LENR is Cheap Energy Not Free Energy
Part of the reason why Low Energy Nuclear Reaction has such a bad reputation in some quarters is that it is being promoted as “free energy.” This is simply not true, LENR would be cheap or cheaper energy not free energy.
The reason why LENR or cold fusion is not free is obvious. You would have to pay for the LENR device itself and the materials needed to operate it. Andrea Rossi has stated his ecat LENR device costs $1.5 million for a 1 megawatt model. The 10 kilowatt home model would cost between $1,000-$1,500 apiece.
This figure doesn’t include operating costs for the units. They would require regular insertion of a nickel/hydrogen mixture and perhaps Rossi’s catalyst. They also require a specific amount of electricity to operate. Rossi has noted that you need to put 1 kilowatt of electricity into the ecat to generate 6 kilowatts of energy. Since most of us would have to buy that electricity from the local power company that would hardly be free. If you used a solar panel or a wind mill to generate the power that wouldn’t be free either because you’d have to pay for the solar panel or wind mill.
The truth of course is that there is no such thing as free energy. Thermodynamics states we must get energy from some where. It can not be created out of free air as if by wishing. Economics dictates that people will not do anything unless they are going to receive a reward for it. It also states that everybody has to pay for everything sooner or later.
Andrea Rossi is hoping to make large amounts of money from his product. He also has to eat, put a roof over his head, pay for all the materials and equipment he is using, pay for his workspace and pay the people working for him. Obviously that takes money and he’s hoping to get it from somewhere. The somewhere is obvious from selling his technology or the rights to it.
If LENR were really “free energy” Rossi would not be working into it. Nor would other companies like Brillioun, Defakalion, Energetics, Cold Fusion Energy Inc., etc. They would make no profit on it and have no incentive to commercialize it. Nor would anybody be spending time, energy and resources to build it. This includes government agencies like NASA that want to profit from higher percentages of the federal budget.
In other words, economics like physics dictates that “free energy” is impossible. Nobel-Prize winning economist Milton Freidman once noted “That There is no Such Thing as a Free Lunch.” The great American novelist Robert A. Heinlein used the term TANSTFL (“there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”) what they meant was that somebody has to pay for everything. That’s certainly the case with any sort of energy. No energy source can be successful unless people are able to pay for it.
If they don’t pay for the energy itself the people will have to pay for the device that will create it. Even if somebody gives LENR units away they would not be free. Somebody would have to pay to build them and distribute them. That money would have to come from somewhere – probably from taxes or money taken from citizens by some sort of government. So it obviously would not be free.
Yes folks, LENR will probably be a far cheaper source of energy than anything we have today but it will be far from free. There will be financial and other costs associated with it. And if the history of technology is anything to judge by those costs will probably be far higher than anybody anticipates.
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