Brent Bennett on the physics of energy progress and the politics of Texas electricity
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On this week's Power Hour, Alex Epstein interviews Brent Bennett, a materials scientist by training and Policy Director of Life:Powered. In the first half of the interview, Brent shares how his background in physics and materials science has informed his views on the future of energy. In the second half, he summarizes the politics of Texas electricity--before, during, and after the recent mass-blackouts. Some of the specific topics covered include: - Alex's analogy between drug addicts and "renewable" power sources. - How Moore's Law is not a physical law, and how treating it that way distorts thinking about batteries. - The limitations of batteries given existing physics knowledge. - The proper relationship between physics and economics, and how today's politicians invert it. - How Texas did not have enough electricity generation to avoid rolling blackouts even if zero natural gas and coal plants had gone down. - Why today's Texas electricity "market" is totally unfair to reliable producers of electricity. - What reforms are needed to make Texas electricity "markets" fair and reliable. - How large financial institutions and tech companies are advocating policies that double down on unreliable electricity when Texas desperately needs reliable electricity. - The powerful lobbyists that shape Texas electricity policy.
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