Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by MaxHeadRoom, Jul 10, 2016.
Came across this little bit of food for thought out there.
I agree with most of this except for:
For everything else, you may thank capitalism -- to the extent that it exists, and continues to.
All this is very interesting. The trouble is it doesn't take into consideration human nature. Do you really think that it will prevent religious fanaticism like ISIS. From past experience all these wonders will be applied sooner or later for military purposes. There will probably be a spin off for civilian use, but most of us on this forum won't be around to see it.
No matter how "cheap" solar and wind may become (why are subsidies never included in cost calculations?), here is a situation that will never improve:
Personally, I think the wild card in the energy equation is fusion (I know, but hear me out. ) Not the large, immensely expense, dinosaur projects such as ITER or NIF which I think are going nowhere, but one of the small projects, such as from Lawrenceville Plasma Physics and others.
The interesting ones use the boron-hydrogen(proton) fusion reaction which generates no significant radioactive inducing neutrons, so requires little shielding or disposal of radioactive materials, as compared to the ITER or NIF deuterium-tritium reaction which will produce copious amounts of radioactive inducing neutrons (if they ever get it working).
Since the B-H reaction generates high energy charged particles instead of neutrons, it's also possible to generate electricity directly from that reaction by induction, without having to go through the expensive and inefficient steam-turbine-generator cycle that the D-T reaction requires.
These generators can then be built in small (say 10MW), relatively inexpensive units, so they can be installed wherever they are needed (commercial building basement for example), not one humongous trillion-dollar unit 50-100 or more miles away.
And think of all the huge, unsightly, expensive, (and vulnerable) long-distance power lines that would no longer be needed.
I understand it is a ways down the road (as fusion power always seems to be) but I don't think it should be discounted in the future energy equation.
It could be a real game changer.
For example, much of the poverty in the world could be reduced by a cheap source of energy.
And no more fighting over Mideast oil (or is that too much to hope? ).
And why don't people giving this argument ever include the fossil fuel subsidies?
Fossil fuel subsidies reached $90 billion in the OECD and over $500 billion globally in 2011. Global renewable energy subsidies reached $88 billion in 2011. Taking into account the price difference offered to developing countries of the fossil fuels (in many developing countries, fossil fuels are sold below the regular price), then as of 2015 fossil fuels are subsidised with an estimated additional $550 billion per year
From - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies
Don't mean to stray, but I think people in that region will always find a reason to fight.
If I were younger and planned on living here forever I would probably have solar.
I'm not doing anything else with my roof acres.
You know it's working when the electric company starts crying about providing the lines that you sell them electricity on.
Good job cutting off the foot note.
Also, is the UK running out of space for off-shore wind turbines that you decided to exclude them from your graphic?
Actually, I purposefully omitted nothing from the graphic. That is the way I found it.
As for space, or lack thereof, what's that got to do with anything? If there is anything that is, in fact, finite in this world, available surface area that can be dedicated to power production must be one of them.
True, true. That ocean is really filling up m
Please finish your thought so I can reply.
So, how many miles offshore must one go before wind power becomes prohibitively expensive, vs. just really, really, really expensive?
Having trouble with the concept behind this thread? Cheaper.
Joey, Joey, Joey. Is your image a 3rd grader's final project in 'Adobe illustrator' or does this image have some scientific merit? What kind of site is posting a partial graphic for you to copy?
The increased ocean area due to global warming from burning all the fossil fuel will give more room for ocean wind farms.
Oh wait, I forgot. There's no such thing as man-made global warming.
I think the future still lies with solar. But in outer space, with panels orbiting the earth, perhaps forming a ring around the equator.
The key will be developing a practical and efficient technology to transmit the collected power down to earth.
It always takes dreamers to push an engineers imagination.
It's not actually my idea, I read it in this book.