When asked about how the E-Cat stands up against other power sources, he usually says something along the lines of “all energy sources must be integrated”, and doesn’t get into a comparison between his technology and other energy sources. Today, he has made something of an exception to the rule, in responding to a JONP reader’s comment who suggested that in a few years all the US energy needs could be met by solar power.
Answer: you must make a distinction between power and energy. A solar power plant depends on the solar energy it actually receives to convert, as well as wind mills ( wind is anyway produced by solar energy, so indirectly also wind mills are solar plants). You can have a solar plant with a power of 1 MW, but actually it can produce at most 100 kWh/h of energy as an average, due to the fact that the solar energy that it is able to convert is the 10% of the solar energy it would need to produce energy at full power. This reduces to 3% the theoretical percentage of energy that solar plant are able to really produce respect the energy needs of the Country. To this you must add another factor, which is the cost of the solar energy, that is much higher than the cost of the energy produced by the classic sources. This high cost is paid by the taxpayer. Therefore the real situation of solar is not as much shining as it appears to be.
I am not sure about his assertion that the high cost of solar energy is paid by the taxpayer, but certainly there are many subsidies available in the US and elsewhere that provide incentives for solar use.
I suppose that Rossi could add here that a 1 MW E-Cat plant can provide 1 MW of power if there is no downtime, thus delivering a much higher percentage of energy if it was converted into electricity (Rossi is making an assumption above that Solar is 30 per cent efficient. If E-Cat plants use the Carnot Cycle to create electricity, 30 percent efficiency is comparable to solar — plus the opportunity for co- or tri-generation to make use of heat.
Then you have to compare the cost of a solar plant to an E-Cat plant, an we don’t know what that will be yet. As for government subsidies — I wonder if there will be any for the E-Cat in the future. Following the same logic for subsidizing solar and wind, the E-Cat could be seen as a technology worth incentivizing if it drops the price of energy and produces no emissions. There may well be political debates on this issue if and when E-Cats hit the market.