Hi Paul, You asked about storage in a reply to some discussion - I lose track when I read so much - anyway, check this out.
August 2008 will go down in history as one of the most significant in human history because of two scientific discoveries. The first is a technological breakthrough in materials by Dr. Daniel Nocera at MIT that allows for VERY efficient photolysis of water into Hydrogen and Oxygen molecules by abundant and easily accessible atoms and molecules (Cobalt and Phosphate). All you need to apply is a small voltage potential like any other electrophoresis apparatus, which can come from renewable resources, and illuminate the water tank with light. No more expensive Platinum and Palladium.
In the same month Spanish researchers and American physicists together have discovered a material for Hydrogen fuel cell membranes that is 10^8 (yes, 100million) times more efficient than current fuel Cell membrane technology. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory has confirmed the efficiency of this membrane. While the world gasps at the magnitude of this discovery they went on to explain the structure of this new material. The materials are common and inexpensive. It's made out of ZrO2:Y2O3/SrTiO3. All abundant materials.
Be sure to integrate energy efficiency with those new homes. I built my own place 4 years ago in west central Florida. My highest electric bill has been about $145 my lowest was $48. I have 2,900 sqft conditioned space with 6,200 sqft total area under roof. I am scheduled to take the State of Florida Photovoltaics certification class in Cocoa Fl on the 21st of July so that I can design, review plans and or inspect these systems. I know that by designing my home to be energy efficient I will be reducing my first cost on the new PV panels that I plan to install this spring.
The technology is out there -- http://www.teslamotors.com/ -- it just needs the buzz to promote it. Unfortunately, we ignored it and waited around until it hit our wallets.
Oil companies have a lot of money to lobby with and the government makes a ton of money on gas taxes. That certainly does not help get things done...
I got hooked in www.SeekingAlpha.com about two months ago on their alternative energy stocks section and some of the stuff going on is amazing.
Some of the solutions being offered by T. Boone are just that... part of the big solution. It's not just all about wind and natural gas... it's all about keeping our money where it belongs which is precisely what T. Boone was preaching today on CNBC.
We are going to educate ourselves and not fall for propositions like this, that's what! I do not mind Pickens making a buck, but too much is on the line and it is too late for half measures. GM made the EV1, a car that ran 100 miles on a charge. no harmful emissions (none) and ended up rounding them all up and crushing them. Google Ovshinsky. We've had the technology for years to produce electric cars, and they are not "too expensive" to produce. My friend leased the EV1: great car, great pick-up, no gas stations, just plug it in at home. Now combine that with solar panels and you are off grid both at home and on the road. GM rounded them all up and crushed them. Go rent "Who Killed the Electric Car" at Blockbuster video.