Reader View: Energy breakthrough around the corner?

Posted: Saturday, April 4, 2015 7:00 am

Many of the top news stories of 2014 nationally and around the world morphed into growing insurgencies that left us with a spate of challenging issues to work on. Pervasively confronting these controversies seems never more crucial than it does now.

In the state of New Mexico, the revolt against Public Service Company of New Mexico continues to make news. It seems that virtually everything the giant power utility does leads to protests. Earlier this year, demonstrators and renewable energy activists chanted and carried signs reading such things as, “Sol Not Coal” and “I Can’t Breathe” rallied against the utility’s continued reliance on fossil fuel-generated power. Citizens await a decision on what mix of energy sources PNM will use to produce electricity — the case is currently before the Public Regulation Commission.

Meanwhile, in the world of science, circulating deep in the research and development undercurrents, the quest for the holy grail of energy production has continued unremittingly since the sensational announcement of the discovery of cold fusion in 1989 — a now-validated phenomenon that promises the shiniest silver bullet solution to the world’s energy demands imaginable.

In the first quarter of 2014, Cherokee Investment Partners of Raleigh, N.C., buzzed business and social media with their news announcement of acquiring fusion energy front-runner E-Cat (short for energy catalyzer) with a first-round $11.6 million in financing as reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The resultant anomalous heat effect of fusion (varyingly known as low energy nuclear reaction, or LENR) is so gargantuan and so clean that Cherokee’s principal, Tom Darden, formed a company called Industrial Heat to commercialize LENR and made a business trip to China — the world’s largest user of coal-derived electricity.

With the solar-cell electrical conversion efficiency record significantly up from 21.40 percent to 40.4 percent, the reality remains that if solar PV were to ever achieve 100 percent efficiency, it still doesn’t begin to approach the cost-effectiveness or the enormous power unleashed by the breakthrough energy technology known as LENR — the “ultimate green renewable.”

The simple fact is that solar and wind technologies are material intensive, are not as environmentally impeccable as they’re made out to be and lack the energy density to run our civilization. LENR outputs more power on a bench top than do large PV panels or an entire wind tower. E-Cat — now independently verified internationally — has an energy density that’s “off the chart.” As reports the website Extreme Tech, this product possesses “10,000 times the energy density of gas.”

The online article, “Cold Fusion Is Not Just Science Fiction Anymore,” states that this industry-disrupting technology is an “environmental savior” and that, “If people are able to generate their own electrical energy through a LENR device that costs a few hundred dollars, the need for oil, natural gas, and power grids will soon disappear, and power companies could become obsolete.”

My PDF special report — “Power Utilities on the Edge: Repositioning In Today’s Commercial Arena” — is anyone’s for the asking.

Richard Dean Jacob is a new energy technology consultant and founding CEO of CHAVA Power-Tech. Contact him at

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