**Written by Doug Powers
Regular readers here know all about the Obama administration’s vision for algae. Truth be known, this entire blog is powered by algae — that and electricity generated by burning coal. However, the greens in government who are handing out taxpayer money, forward thinkers that they are, like to avoid putting all of their egg whites in one biodegradable basket. Enter spinach:
The EPA awarded a $90,000 grant over the weekend to Vanderbilt University students “who designed a biohybrid solar panel that substitutes a protein from spinach for expensive silicon wafers that are energy intensive to produce, and is capable of producing electricity.”
They won the grant despite “nagging doubts about how the slight power from the panel would convince the judges,” one Vanderbilt professor explained.
When I was a kid my mother would make me eat spinach and then try to harness the power of my projectile vomiting to run the sewing machine, but could never quite master the technology. If only there were “green” grants back then we might have been able to develop it further — or at least gotten rich off taxpayers for producing nothing of any particular use in the real world. A win-win either way.
The Vanderbilt students only got $90,000? They should have focused on designing and manufacturing an energy efficient $50 light bulb and they might have been awarded $10 million.
Possibly coming soon to an Obama spinach-promoting green energy speech in the near future: “Popeye discovered the value of spinach as fuel a long time ago. It’s how he weaned himself from his dependence on Oyl.”
::Steven Chu rimshot::
**Written by Doug Powers
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