Thursday, January 24, 2013

Free, Unlimited Energy

I know it will be a while before we get away from fossil fuels. But the scenario presented in this article definitely gives me hope.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/01/17/1460431/solar-world-land/

7 comments:

T. Paine said...

Jim, I hope the day comes soon where solar energy is a feasible and reasonable alternative. I think it is smart for homes and businesses to supplement or provide completely the energy they need through roof mounted solar panels.

All of that said, the study that was cited estimated that we need "only" 1% of the earth's surface for solar panels by 2050 to provide all of our energy.

1% doesn't sound like much until you consider that the surface of the earth is just under 200 million square miles. That would mean that we could provide the earth's energy if we would just construct 2 million square miles of solar panels on it. It doesn't sound quite so feasible now, does it?

Someday the technology will be there where this will be a great source of energy.

Spending billions of tax pay dollars on failed companies like Solyndra right now is not going solve the problem though, sir.

jim marquis said...

Hey, at least you admitted that someday this will be a great source of energy. I consider that progress and will abstain from getting into the widely misunderstood Solyndra debate.

S.W. Anderson said...

There are many feasible alternative forms of energy. Maybe when the Sheiks and Big Oil have all the money, and the public is tired of fighting resource wars, we'll get serious about adopting those alternative forms in mass-market ways.

clif said...

Within a century, the only viable sources of energy will be solar driven energy sources, at the rate of increase the world is trying to use energy, no significant amount of fossil fuels will be left on planet earth. The limitations and massive problems nuclear exhibit means that it can be used for electricity production and large scale propulsion of ships worth the costs like military hardware that doesn't have to make a profit, but little else.

We need to accept this reality and start moving seriously at that target instead of resisting the way certain centrers of wealth are. Unless we do that the rest of the planet will pass us by.

free0352 said...

Solar cant generate the raw juice with present technology that society requires. Coal can run us for 150 years. Thats the best "short" term answer. Long term who can say, i think hydrogen but really who knows? My point has always been you have to solve short term problems before you can address long term ones.

Snave said...

I would agree with Free that hydrogen could be one of the better long-term ways. However, I'm one of those who believes clean energy sources are needed sooner than 150 years from now, thus I would also like to see solar energy developed so it can contribute to the whole energy picture in a bigger way. I've soured on windmills because of the toll they take on wildlife and because of how they can overload a power grid at times, so I don't know that I want more of them built. I'm ready to go for the next thing in that green sort of vein, and solar looks good.

The article does give some hope. I would love for researchers to find a way to make it so the sizes of the solar panels could be made to not have to take up so much space. I think human ingenuity can make it happen at some point.

clif said...

Long term who can say, i think hydrogen but really who knows?

Hydrogen is NOT a source of energy since extremely little free hydrogen exists in the planets available resources, and any hydrogen we can create from H2O requires more energy to get it them we get in return using it.


BTW if the Chinese, Indians, and other countries keep ramping up their usage we do not have 150 years of fossil carbon in coal fields. Not even close. Most projections do not use growth rates of developing countries or population rates, in their calculations.