2014 turned out to be a really exciting year in low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) or cold fusion even if we didn’t get the breakthrough we wanted. The field made progress and took some surprising twists and turns.
The biggest and most important LENR story of the year had to be the entry of the American private equity firm Cherokee Partners into the cold fusion area. Cherokee purchased the rights to Andrea Rossi’s e-cat LENR device for $11 million and set up a company called Industrial Heat LLC to manage it.
This story is important because it shows that serious investors are interested in LENR and willing to put money into it. Hopefully many other investors will follow Cherokee’s Tom Darden into the field.
So far Industrial Heat has not unveiled a practical LENR device yet but it does seem to be laying a good ground work for commercialization. Hopefully they’ll unveil something in 2015.
The world is facing something that most of us would have thought impossible just a few years ago – an energy glut. That will have big implications for cutting edge power sources such as Low Energy Nuclear Reaction or LENR as well as the established energy conglomerates.
One impact you’re probably already seeing is at your local gas station. Various sources are reporting that regular unleaded gasoline is now selling for under $2 a gallon around or around 66¢ a liter in some parts of the American Midwest. This is driving up US retail sales, the wholesale club Costco, now America’s second largest retailer; reported that its sales increased by 7% in November.
This is sure to fuel economic growth in the United States and countries that sell to the USA such as China. It’s also sure to hurt countries that depend on oil imports such as Russia where the Ruble is collapsing and Venezuela. One side effect of falling oil prices is that Venezuela can no longer afford to support the Castro brothers’ revolutionary fantasy in Cuba. The Venezuelans were propping up Cuba with their oil money but now they are broke.
There’s a lot of energy news going on out there much of which is not being covered by the mainstream media. Low energy nuclear reaction or LENR is simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to big energy news going on these days.
Some huge energy stories you have probably missed include:
A major technological innovation such as low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) or cold fusion might be the world’s only chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change caused by global warming. That’s the unwritten conclusion of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest disturbing report.
“Science has spoken” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said of the report. “There is no ambiguity in their message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side.”
Some of the disturbing details contained in that report include:
Andrea Rossi’s E-cat is not the only experimental fusion technology making news. The giant American defense contractor and aerospace company Lockheed-Martin (NYSE: LMT) has come out of the closet and admitted that it is working on a compact hot fusion device.
The interesting thing is that Rossi’s e-cat low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) or cold fusion device and Lockheed-Martin’s technology could easily coexist. The two technologies seem to have very different purposes and potentials.
Lockheed-Martin’s website indicates that a team at its Skunk Works the secret research and development facility that created such iconic aircraft as the Stealth Bomber and the SR-Blackbird spy plane is trying to develop a large scale power source. It mentions a reactor about the size of a cargo container that would generate around 100 megawatts of electricity or enough to power a city of 100,000 people.
The long related Independent Third Party report on Andrea Rossi’s E-cat low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) technology has finally appeared. The report makes two conclusions that seem to verify Rossi’s claims.
The first is that a nuclear reaction of some sort that is generating energy in the form of heat. The second is that the energy released is greater than that from any known chemical reaction. Unfortunately the researchers did not say what the nuclear reaction is or how it is occurring.
The paper entitled: Observation of abundant heat production from a reactor device and of isotopic changes in the fuel was posted on a Swedish website called Sifferkoll.se. Don’t worry folks it’s in English so we Americans, British, Australians, Canadians and others can read it.
A proposal for a gigantic energy project in Utah shows what’s wrong with renewable energy and why we need to invest in next generation technologies such as low energy nuclear reaction (LENR). Four companies want to spend $8 billion to build a facility they claim can store wind.
The “Hoover Dam of Wind Energy” or the Pathfinder project would include a $4 billion wind farm near Chugwater, Wyoming and an underground storage facility in which pressurized air would be stored. The $1.5 billion underground facility would store 41 million cubic feet of air in caverns near Delta, Utah. The air would be released to turn the turbines and make electricity. There would also be a $2.6 billion transmission line to connect the project to Los Angeles.
Renewable energy boosters like to call LENR crazy and far-fetched. Well compared to LENR this project is positively insane. There’s no guarantee it will work but $8 billion would be spent on it. Just imagine if that $8 billion could be spent on energy research.
The big energy news this week is Tesla’s decision to locate its massive Giga Factory in Nevada. On Sept. 11, the Nevada State legislature approved a package of legislation giving Tesla Motors (TSLA) $1.25 billion in tax breaks and low cost electricity to build the batter manufacturing facility.
The Giga Factory could be a real game changer because it is designed to produce enough lithium ion batteries to store one billion watts or a gigawatt of electricity a year. That is enough to power 500,000 electric cars or provide backup electricity for 500,000 homes or business.
Now for the big question that nobody including Tesla Chairman Elon Musk has been asking. Where will the electricity to power those batteries come from? Solar panels probably wouldn’t do it and neither will wind mills. Musk also heads SolarCity (SCTY) the Solar panel company that uses Tesla battery packs for back up.
The North Carolina company that purchased Andrea Rossi’s e-cat Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) technology Industrial Heat LLC could have some connections to General Electric (GE) and a North Carolina company called Power Generation Services, Inc. or PoGens.
Power Generation which claims provide a complete energy management infrastructure could be the mysterious company where Rossi claims the one megawatt Ecat unit was shipped to for testing. Power Generation apparently provides a variety of services to utility companies. General Electric is not listed as a partner on Power Generation’s site.
Interestingly enough a company called PCX Corporation LLC according to its website PCX provides large scale generators or electrical distribution centers for data centers and industry. These include uninterruptable power systems which keep the lights on and the equipment working when the grid goes down. Pictures of some of the centers on PCX’s website show generation units that look a lot like some of the pictures we’ve seen of Rossi’s one megawatt ecat.
Investment and interest in all forms of energy technology and research is increasing at a breathtaking rate these days. Energy companies and products of all sorts are attracting a vast amount of capital which is good news for those interested in alternative power sources such as low energy nuclear reaction (LENR or cold fusion).
Some recent energy investments that have attracted a lot of attention include: