What Energy Solution to Develop Next?

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Hydrogen storage research at Brookhaven National Lab

Hydrogen storage research at Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island, New York (Photograph courtesy Brookhaven National Laboratory)

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PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 11, 2013

S

ome of the people who could shape the energy future have a maddening aversion to playing favorites.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the U.S. presidential race, where President Barack Obama endorses "all of the above" energy strategy, the same approach, word-for-word, touted by the opposition Republican party. The GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, is a tad more specific, placing greater emphasis on the U.S. "cornucopia of carbon-based resources."

Here are just a few examples of proposed next energy directions, as expressed by their strong advocates. How do you rate these ideas, and why? We will follow up with a look at your feedback and what the experts say about setting priorities on energy.

What's the best next energy solution? Give your rating for the answers below and share your thoughts in the comments.

  • OPTION 1

    Solar Resources (Including Wind and Biofuel)

    "Prices for renewable energy are decreasing constantly...Since installations producing renewable energy (in particular wind and photovoltaics) can be directly set up in those regions that need it, a widespread transmission infrastructure will be superfluous. What is more, wind and solar... do not need water for cooling and produce no emissions. The conclusion is inescapable: investments in renewable energy today are the only chance to reach a cost-effective energy supply for everyone everywhere." -the late Hermann Scheer, member of German parliament, who spearheaded that nation's feed-in tariff for renewable energy

     

  • OPTION 2

    Heat-Mining the Earth for Geothermal Energy

    [Enhanced Geothermal Systems are] one of the few renewable energy resources that can provide continuous base-load power with minimal visual and other environmental impacts. Geothermal systems have a small footprint and virtually no emissions, including carbon dioxide. Geothermal energy… requires no storage, and, thus, it complements other renewables…in a lower-carbon energy future. In the shorter term, having a significant portion of our base load supplied by geothermal sources would provide a buffer against the instabilities of gas price fluctuations and supply disruptions, as well as nuclear plant retirements.” —Massachusetts Institute of Technology interdisciplinary panel

     

  • OPTION 3

    Natural Gas for Transportation

    “Oil monopolizes about 95 percent of the world’s transportation, and OPEC…controls nearly 80 percent of the world’s conventional oil reserves. We cannot change anything fundamental if we continue to permit oil and OPEC… to maintain their dominance…

    The only realistic way to [provide competition for OPEC] is to enable vehicles, in short order and with relatively little investment in new infrastructure, to operate on alternatives to petroleum products… Cheap natural gas, which is key to ending our vehicles’ oil addiction affordably and promptly, can destroy oil’s monopoly and OPEC’s cartel.” –T. Boone Pickens, Texas oil and gas executive and investor, and  R. James Woolsey, former U.S. Director of Central Intelligence

  • OPTION 4

    Energy Efficiency

    "For the next few decades, energy efficiency is one of the lowest cost options for reducing U.S. carbon emissions. When efficiency improvements [are] both properly chosen and properly executed, the projected savings of energy and money [are] indeed achieved. Too often… savings [go] unrealized, due to… poor efficiency investment decisions and shoddy workmanship… Market failures include inertia, inconvenience, ignorance, lack of financing…Regardless of what the skeptics may think, there are indeed 20-dollar bills lying on the ground all around us. We only need the will—and the ways—to pick them up.”—U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu

  • OPTION 5

    Research to Spur an As-Yet-Unknown “Breakthrough”

    "Any proposal to fix environmental problems by turning away from technology risks worsening them, by attempting to deny the ongoing coevolution of humans and nature…The Y2K computer bug was fixed by better computer programming, not by going back to typewriters. The ozone-hole crisis was averted not by an end to air conditioning but rather by more advanced, less environmentally harmful technologies….We already have many nascent, promising technologies to overcome ecological problems. Stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions will require a new generation of nuclear power plants to cheaply replace coal plants as well as, perhaps, to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and power desalination plants to irrigate and grow forests in today's deserts.” —Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, cofounders of the Breakthrough Institute

69 comments
Mike Row
Mike Row

I think Governments should subsidise the cost of solar panels, so that we can work towards all people having self sustaining energy. Dam's, Solar panels, Wind turbines are the way to go !

Christopher Davis
Christopher Davis

In my opinion more needs to be done by the government to promote energy conservation by changing laws that limit our ability to become less dependent on the energy giants. In some states it is illegal to collect rainwater, in most states you have to be hooked in to the power grid, the sewer and water. When it is relatively simple to disconnect and live a sustainable lifestyle without using non-renewable resources. 


There needs to be a lifestyle change for the entire country as well. with most people moving towards urban areas the use of non-renewable resources is going to spike in those areas, so learning to live without air conditioning and heat, or with less I should say, can make an important difference in the way Americans consume energy.

James Scott
James Scott

We need to develop fusion. The technology is almost there--all it needs is money for further development to allow commercial production.

Russ Katt
Russ Katt

Just slow down using it, no magic no waiting for some  scientific discovery, use less = pollute less. Yes the dreaded life style change the simplest but least likely to happen.

Matt Herrmann
Matt Herrmann

We have the capabilities to generate a significant portion of our energy through cleaner methods already, the issue has and continues to be storage and transmission. Our infrastructure for transmitting and storing energy is woefully outdated.

Secondly, I agree with the option for more efficiency across the board. There seems to be some expectation that if we transition to "clean" sources of technology we can keep using energy as we see fit. That's not the case, there are trade-offs, compromises and dangers associated with any form of energy transmission. Unless we're willing to increase our efficiency in production, transmission and usage we'll negate any benefits gained.


Lastly, we need to find ways to offset and minimize our environmental impact. Even something as simple as reforesting or restoring natural areas is a good thing for us and for the planet. Teddy Roosevelt was onto something when he pushed for the establishment of our national parks system, conservation and sustainability go hand in hand. We can strike a balance with living our lives, using the resources provided to us, and continuing to develop the planet.

Theron Egg
Theron Egg

Within the realm of these energy solutions, National Geographic (The Great Energy Challenge) has made great strides in  sharing new factson low temperature geothermal applications, more commonly known as geothermal heating and cooling. See their blog publications on geothermal applications for US homeowners: http://energyblog.nationalgeographic.com/2014/03/12/why-home-geothermal-systems-might-soon-be-more-affordable-for-u-s-homeowners/ and; http://energyblog.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/17/10-myths-about-geothermal-heating-and-cooling/

Bill O'Loughlin
Bill O'Loughlin

Sometimes I think that I am living in a parallel universe. Not too long ago, Ford Motor Company celebrated it’s 100th anniversary. And all of it’s cars up to that point in time ran on GASOLINE. Nothing of any consequence has replaced that fuel for powering automobiles.

There are battery powered cars, hybrids and diesels and some natural gas vehicles, but overall, gasoline is used for transportation for the masses.

The automobile to me means FREEDOM. I can go anywhere I want to anytime I want to as long as I can buy GASOLINE.

All the talk about alternate fuels such as ethanol and bio diesel haven’t amounted to much.

Look how many promising technologies have gone bankrupt even with the help of the Energy Department of the Federal Government. Solyndra comes to mind. And there are others. Tax money thrown down the rat hole.

Now we have FRACKING. No tax money involved. Oil companies are investing in this technology. And it is paying off BIG !!!. The USA will be the largest producer of oil in the world in five years.

And ALL of the fracking is done on PRIVATE land. If the FEDS would let these companies explore on FEDERAL land, we would be energy independent in less than five years.

Drill, baby, drill. Or is it “FRACK, BABY, FRACK”.

What is old is new again. OIL. It has the highest energy density of any substance outside of nuclear.

Steve Willis
Steve Willis

The experience of moving from the shores of Lake Michigan to the beautiful (but hot and dry) high desert near Tucson have helped us appreciate the importance of changing our consumption of water and energy. The Tucson area is doing a great job about water conservation but more still needs to be done. On a personal level, we are working to be part of the solution with our own water conservation measures and the addition of solar panels to our home. Doing More with Less has become our mantra.

Bruce Piasecki
Bruce Piasecki

I am pleased to see Karen’s comment on finding the right mix of renewable energy. As someone who has spent much of the last three decades working this issue of energy futures, I’d like to go on record saying that we all need to become like Ben Franklin all over again–more frugal in our use of energy, more innovative, and more aligned with others. Today business and business innovation routes are the name of the game. Learn more about 14 giant Energy CEOs cohering on http://www.cosia.com.

Karen
Karen

The energy solution we need to focus on, in addition to tapping into untapped renewable sources, is to address the global perspective on energy use. As illustrated in the book Doing More With Less by Dr. Bruce Piasecki (www.doingmorewithlessbook.com), the answer is more fundamental. It is not merely about researching and uncovering new, reliable, and renewable sources of energy. It is about rewiring the way we think about consumption on a global level. Doing More With Less, and Piasecki’s leadership conferences (www.ahcgroup.com) have succeeded in training multi-national conglomerates to answer the call to be more socially and environmentally responsive. The big energy question of “what to develop next” can not be adequately answered without first changing the way in which the world considers their consumption, need, and drive for excess. Furthermore, the key to solving issues is ultimately more strategic and creative partnerships, like the one NatGeo shares with Shell. A shared value approach (check out Piasecki’s follow up book, Doing More With Teams) will almost certainly have better answers to solve the tough energy questions.

andre
andre

Agree with Emily that this list is way incomplete.

Any carbon-based solutions (biofuel, LNG) need to be considered “transitional” fuels at best, until something non-carbon-based can replace them. They should NOT be treated as ultimate solutions.

Also distinction needs to be made with regard to scale of ANY energy projects. Industrial vs. community vs. micro. The smaller the better, IMHO. Less centralization, more diversity and robustness to the entire system.

ansil
ansil

nuclear waste = unlimited energy source
i’ve the design of the prototype

clarence Carrio
clarence Carrio

what happened to the much bally hoo’d nitrogen (?) cars ?

Hermas Suva
Hermas Suva

Gravity is the best energy source. Please stand by. It is coming.

Emily
Emily

This list seemed to be terribly lacking! It fails to include nuclear, tidal, and hydroelectric, to name a few. There are other forms of energy that are in the process of developing as well. Ultimately a variety is necessary so that dependence on one source of fuel, currently fossil fuels, does not happen again in the future.

Adam Baudelaire
Adam Baudelaire

It’s clear everyone has their favourite energy drum to bang. I think this diversity of thought is how we will survive actually.

No one solution is correct for any complex problem, I think in fact that we as a species suffer from the desire to oversimplify.

Some efficiencies if introduced immediately, will greatly reduce the pressure. Shipping by example, is an oft ignored source of emissions. Take a look at the stats. They tend to burn the heaviest, (read cheapest and dirtiest) fuels, not because they need to, but because they are still allowed. The sulphur emissions alone are staggering and cumulatively larger than all the world’s cars.

That’s a complex international policy issue.

New tech, even the crackpot ones, all add importantly to the dialog and should not be overlooked.

Transmission is critically important, as it’s one thing to generate the power, another to transport it to where it’s needed. Sometimes this requires prohibitive expense.

I read a comment mentioning solar ‘dark’. One example of simple and overlooked ideas. Yes, anywhere you have a difference in overall heat between two things you can generate energy. It’s a long way though, from concept / prototype to be being able to state installed cost per KWH / MWH which is the metric that determines whether it’s all worth it and sadly, the thing that most inventors overlook in their enthusiasm.

It strikes me that efficiency is the easiest short and medium term thing that we can do to help ourselves. This requires, more than anything, education and new habits.

Solar will take over daytime residential peak loads in sunny places pretty shortly. That’s just economics of scale. You can now buy solar panels at Ikea…

I think geothermal for maintaining temperatures in buildings is wonderful but very expensive to implement.

Wind is popular, has had a heavy commercial investment, is leading at the moment for installed cost per MWH, yet takes years and YEARS of field trials per commercial site, years and YEARS of government and statutory permissions and even then it’s hard to sell the power to anyone because it’s STILL MORE EXPENSIVE than coal. Coal continues to be subsidised (tax breaks, particularly on diesel fuels for coal mining) so that’s likely to continue.

SO:
• Solar for residential
• Efficiencies in all industry to reduces pressure
• Advances on all tech fronts to let the market naturally work out (from simple economics) which are the most viable technologies coming through.

• Buy a house away from the waterline…

Adam B

robert l Nevins
robert l Nevins

There are 2 parts to solar energy ,sunlight and sundark.
Sundark is simple and globally ignored. I use it and have a Simple U.S.Patent to change uncontrolled sunlight to free controlled sundark energy. Every residential and building glazing on 3 sides of a building is a future sunlight converter. First solar patent 1981. enough said.. .

Osmand Charpentier
Osmand Charpentier

Hopefully forgive me, Miss Lavelle. But your readers need a little explanation, more direct, of my discovery, against which, it is being spent a lot of money, so they will not publish:

The Earth is a giant centrifugal hydraulic pump without flow. Therefore, we can consider any of these, as analysis model.

No matter their inefficiency, when there is no flow of water: the efficiency is zero, and all the energy in the shaft, is lost in heat or internal energy, and self-recirculation. When the flow rate increases, so does the efficiency until it reaches its maximum; being transferred more energy from the shaft, and lowering the energy loss. That is, one flow is primed, which implies, a percentage of the total energy of rotation.

The rotational energy of our planet is 63 yottawatt-hour, at 1% efficiency, we would have at our disposal 630 zettawatt-hour.

Also, there are estimates of the energy in the powerful, ocean currents, that I think, the most powerful are 4; already such estimates of lost energy (370 Tw) is enough to justify our discovery. But the interesting thing is that, until the more inefficient, centrifugal pumps on our planet, if its impeller rotates, its efficiency is not less than 1% , Why think that the earth not have this efficiency, in the worst case?

This is the source of OCEANOGENIC POWER of Panama, that only in Panama, with current technology, we can extract. Currently the net effect is a head of water of 0.3 to 15 meters between the Pacific and Atlantic, separated 70 kilometers (44 miles). When priming any flow, will happen the same as occurs in a centrifugal pump, which is nothing more that a chain reaction that will precipitate an energy in equilibrium that is front of our noses.

At a cost of 3 cents per kwh, and the new HTS lines, makes available to all present civilization, enough, clean energy.

With these costs and abundance, can be electrolysed at 200 Pa, onsite water to produce hydrogen and oxygen that it needs the existing USA transport: 33 TWH per day.

Although it would be much easier, and would reach for the whole world, if, while we build the first OCEANOGENIC POWER plant: we increase the efficiency for move, our civilization, from the current 3% to 30%; through electric drive. We wanted to consider the use of brakes.

With terrestrial Cryogenic nitrogen plants, and easy modifications to install on floating offshore platforms, or for take care of thunderstorms: semi or fully immersed; superconducting lines, underground or underwater, can carry from Panama, all the OCEANOGENIC POWER necessary on any, or all continents, both for electricity as for distill, onsite hydrogen and oxygen, or any green fuel at CIF cost: less than 5 dollar cents per kilowatt hour.

With superconducting transformers, connected as directional couplers, and using perfect loads that consume electrical energy distilland, of seawater, hydrogen and oxygen, is unnecessary to find a way of fault interrupt to the transmission of large amounts of electricity.

And if the generation is, in small stages, as is the case of the first power plant to extract OCEANOGENIC POWER in Panama, there is no obstacle to send already, clean energy to any market of our planet, and distilling on site, fuels requiring the respective markets or last mile users.

From Panama to USA, the superconducting transmission line would cost 2 billion to Florida, 3 to Texas, and 5 to California.To Japan or China, via USA, 10 billion should be increased more. To Spain; and therefore Europe: would be 8 billion.

And the CIF cost of each kilowatt-hour will be less than 5 cent of a dollar.

BRENILDO TAVARES
BRENILDO TAVARES

WHY NEVER IS REFERRED MARINE/OCEAN TIDAL ENERGY THE MOST PREVISIBLE AND IMMUTABLE SOURCE PROVED BY TIDAL TABELS ALL OVER THE WORLD DEFINED FOR MORE THA ONE THOUSAND YEARS.
VALUES ARE DEPENDENT ONLY FROM MOON MOVIMENTS
AND NEVER FROM DAMS WHICH CAN BE REDUCED ON RAINLESS UNCONTROLABLE PERIODS IF NOT ON DROUGHT CATASTROPHES ?

Prof. Subramaniam Udhayamarthanda
Prof. Subramaniam Udhayamarthanda

All the above said solutions can not meet the long term sustainable energy in a consistent and abundant manner. First of all, any heat based energy technology calling for burning any form of matter- say Coal, Gas, Fuel, Bio fuel, Fire wood & Nuclear are unsustainable. The worst blunder humanity is committing is, by resorting & clinging to heat based energy systems as primary energy source & addiction to IC engines. Whereas the abundant fossil fuel reserves can be best utilized as non burning based organic resources for solvents, chemicals, polymers, materials, fertilizers, pharma etc, we are just burning out & exhaust lading into future uncertainties & climate change issues. Towards meeting sustainable ,long term, economical, consistent, abundant and cleanest energy resource we have the limited option of physical forms of energy resources feasible on this planet earth. Mother nature has kept the secret as non obvious & expect humanity to derive the source solution. So to say Solar, Wind , Tidal, waves & natural head based hydro power energies are to be phased out of the list. What else is the left out cleaner physical energy source for long term reliability? Is there any other source really feasible? How best it is sustainable ? Can it be applicable to all geographies? Can it be flexible for peak & base loads? Can it be retrofittable to existing prime mover systems without losing generator value? Can the gestation period of power plants made shorter? Can it be available consistently for 24 hrs X 365 days? Can the costs of energy be the lowest?- Well there is a positive reply feasible for the above posed complex multiple questions. The only long term reliable, sustainable clean energy source is the power of gravity. It is the only energy source qualify to answer the above posed complex multiple questions / demands . What is the best way to harness gravitational energy? Via Hydro Power. If the draw backs of existing hydro power plants are solved out, the solution is reached automatically. Problems & Solutions: Use of any water resource for hydro power. How? By artificial head formation. When heads can be artistically formed, we can expect more hydro power. The big challenge is returning water back to source after power generation. Hence the ultimate challenge is to solve the water lift problems. If we can lift water using indirect natural resource s without fuel / electrical energies, that is ultimate energy solution as well as solve all our water related problems. Extraction of Gravitational energy via fluid power is the ultimate energy resource.
Prof. Subramaniam Udhayamarthandan
Clean Planet Technology Initiatives for Sustainable Development.

Xuezhong he
Xuezhong he

Development of renewable energy sources such as biogas could be the most promising alternative, while in short-term, fossil fuel is still dominating the energy consumption in the world. so CCS is the most attractive technology for the reduction of carbon emissions. shifting from coal to natural gas for power generation can significantly reduce the CO2 emissions. therefore, the next generation energy will still be the fossil fuel, but renewable will become more and more important in the near future.
Membrane as an environmentally friendly technology, will be widely used in different energy processes, especially for CO2 capture, biogas upgrading, natural gas sweetening and PRO for power generation.

Concerned in CA
Concerned in CA

National Geographic has lost ALL credibility due to the sabatoging of information by Shell. All oil companies are responsible for gross environmental contamination in its long history of market manipulation. Oil companies like shell are responible for the death of people overseas where they neglect all american industry standards. Therefore do not trust what you read here. The ONLY SOURCE of knowlege is the UNIVERSITY the acedemic system. Nobody paid me to be a student and what I studied is truth not lies that oil companies spit out everyday. The future is carbon free or at least its efficient. The people who advocated and invented fuel efficient mechanisms in the past were murdered. Research truth! We must empower ourselves and stay away from oil industry. The sun is actually all we need.

Dr. KANTILAL KHATRI
Dr. KANTILAL KHATRI

It is so true that solution to most of technological problems come not from Universities but from high school drop out viz. Bill Gate and Steve Job.
There are people who may not have academic career or qualification but may have passion and intuitive quality which if given support may be able to solve many of technological problems not by Reinventing Wheel but merely by improving already existing technology.
For example I believe that Wind Energy could be achieved by innovative ideas of Windless Energy by improved technology of rotating Wind mill blades even when there is no wind or not sufficient wind! Does it m ake any sense? Yes it does to me. Because I think I do have ideas to do that! Unfortunately
I am not able to materialize those ideas due to lack of support to do just that.
I will be more than glad to get some positive response or suggestion about that.

Osmand Charpentier
Osmand Charpentier

Sorry, “Informatic Revolution” is better than “Informatic Age”

James Cleland
James Cleland

Most thermally generated electricity is generated via condensing power not using a cogeneration process. These plants are about 30% efficient.If we utilized cogeneration and heat recovery. We could use this waste energy to heat homes and hot water and for some industrial processes.
We use about 20% of our electricity to light outside areas. If we consider the light that is wasted by lighting the sky,sideways glare ,areas that are lit all night with little or no activity ;about 90% of this is waste.
We have allowed our rail systems to deteriorate so badly that goods that once took 7 days now take 30 days to deliver.Businesses cannot afford to have inventory tied up for 2 or 3 more weeks so now these bulk goods are delivered by truck.The trucks add $50 to $100 /ton to the cost of delivered goods ,make roads more dangerous and add to the cost of road maintenance.

S. W
S. W

I believe, because of the billions of dollars oil, coal and gas companies profit every year they should forced to “donI believe, because of the billions of dollars oil, coal and gas companies profit every year they should forced to “donate” a percentage (say, 20%) thier profits (with-out a tax write-off for donating) to construct wind turbines for electricity, solar energy storage, solar panels to given & placed in low income homes. Then if they raise thier prices, per barrel or whatever, then that percenage ( 20 % ) should also increase. THEN stand back & watch all of our fuel prices go down ! we are now paying the the “world -market-price per barrel”, not what the actual price per barrel is here in the USA. ate” a percentage (say, 20%) thier profits (with-out a tax write-off for donating) to construct wind turbines for electricity, solar energy storage, solar panels to given & placed in low income homes. Then if they raise thier prices, per barrel or whatever, then that percenage ( 20 % ) should also increase. THEN stand back & watch all of our fuel prices go down ! we are now paying the the “world -market-price per barrel”, not what the actual price per barrel is here in the USA.
THEN THOSE THAT CAN AFFORD REDICULOUS VEHICLES, LIKE THE HUMMER, NAVIGATOR, ESCALADE, & LIMO’S, SHOULD ALSO PAY A HIGH LUXURY TAX TO SUPPORT ENERGY EFFORTS, NOT GET A TAX CREDIT FOR HAVING SUCH ENERGY SUCKING VEHICLES. things would change drastically!

Micah
Micah

Everyone seem’s to have forgotton about Hydroelectricity. Hydropower is produced in 150 countries, with the Asia-Pacific region generating 32 percent of global hydropower in 2010. China is the largest hydroelectricity producer, with 721 terawatt-hours of production in 2010, representing around 17 percent of domestic electricity use. The BBC used underground hydroelectricity in the UK since 1952, one being located at Wychbold in Worcester, which was capable of supplying electricity to over 200,000 homes, and since all of the BBC underground hyrdroelectricity stations wern’t carried over in the sell off of assests in 1992, then those underground hydroelectricity stations still belong to the public even though they’re still being used by the BBC today for their radio pylons and supplying only those homeowners with free electricity that are in the know, if you know what I mean, because there’s no need for nuclear, wind power, geothermal or any other type of energy when hysroelectricity is already up and running ijn the UK, only the Government dosn’t want the public to know about it!

Carl
Carl

Every aspect of the energy industry needs to be reevaluated if we ever hope to fully modernize the infrastructure while also adequately taking into account all the proper considerations, e.g. the environment, grid-reliability, nearby and continuous fuel supplies, etc. So while the power-generation-technology piece that this Big Question addresses is all well and good, it’s just one small piece in the puzzle. And the correct answer from where I’m sitting is nuclear, natural gas and hydro as the large-scale, grid-level generation technologies and a much higher dependence on distributed generation, this more in the form of renewables and new tech

Larry
Larry

A new type of wind “mill” has been invented, no blades, utilizes 80% of wind efficiency and is safer for birds and bats. Check it out at
http://www.saphonenergy.com/
This looks like a really good invention. Iowas gets about20% of it’s electricity from wind, we are trying to help the planet…..

ketul raj
ketul raj

my opinion is, we have to produce solar power as fuel for runing vehicles. so go for making solar fuel

v.m. sadiq
v.m. sadiq

passenger trains should be fitted with solar panels on the exteriors and mini wind turbines fitted on top which rotate horizontally . as the train moves the combined effect can take care of lighting , cooling , heating etc inside the train. similarly freight trains can be fitted with only wind turbines on top which rotate horizontally. all turbines to be connected to a central power carrying line on top connected to power storage battery . as the freight train completes the journey .the stored power can be transferred to grid.

v.m. sadiq
v.m. sadiq

water from oceans can be taken and split into hydrogen and oxygen . hydrogen is a fuel. oxygen can be used in hospitals, beneath roads heat absorbing sheets / rods to be placed connected to equipment which converts heat into electricity . in turn connected to grid at sides of the highway. suns rays and tyres of vehicles moving on highways produces lot of heat which in turn can be converted to electricity.

lcp
lcp

Clean nuclear fusion nothing like the fission in nuclear plants said a voice in the wilderness Sadly doe dolllars go tp non starters like the above five.

Ray
Ray

new technology. no sun, solar has a problem. A regular household wind turbine gives like .2 volts at a sustained wind force. Which will give a battery enough power to illuminate a bulb for a minute or two after a couple hours of charging. Can’t keep sucking fossils out of the earth. Nuclear is, well not the safest. There are other ways believe it or not and not costing billions or trillions to research. it’s out there

Jayde
Jayde

I think Solar energy is the best source of energy because when I did a project on it in eighth grade it seemed like the best choice above all.

Phil
Phil

Fusion is the worlds ultimate gold plated buggy whip. It will never be viable. Solar PV is already the cheapest form of energy around if you install it yourself, once China entered the market prices collapsed. Payback can easily be under five years if your state has a reasonable energy policy.

Wind is also good in suitable locations, but Solar panels are the only energy source that lowers YOUR cost, all other forms of alternative energy raise you bill.

John O'Renick
John O'Renick

Algal-based biodiesel is the only non-fossil fuel choice that has a prayer of ever being produced in sufficient volume to replace petroleum as our transportation fuel, and it has far fewer storage and transportation problems than ethanol or hydrogen. But there is another reason to develop it; what is left after you press the oil out of algae is protein and carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals. In a world that’s already strained by supporting two or three times too many people, and that will balloon to nine or ten billion humans by the middle of this century, a cheap source of food that’s the abundant byproduct of producing transportation fuels is a resource we can’t afford to bypass.

Musole
Musole

My vote goes to “Research to Spur an As-Yet-Unknown “Breakthrough””.
Unknown breakthrough? Not so, anymore. May be to the rest of the world, but here I have it already.
Imagine how much energy (heat) is stored in waterways from the biggest ocean to the smallest lake. Reduction of ocean temperature by 1-2 C may yield enough energy for the world population.
I have the technology ready to be deployed anywhere in the world where temperature is high enough to sustain water in its liquid phase.

BRENILDO TAVARES
BRENILDO TAVARES

underwater turbines are the best energy source absolutely non polluent. But there are always a frustatibg silence on it:these pages are a direct example.
ocean tides have stream regularly calculated for centuries.
ocean waves are wind dependent so irregular and / or absent in some umprevisible momemts. Tides are constant. In RIO’s GUANABARA BAY high and low tides varies from 1,2 meters to 0,40 meters day and might, week by week,month by month. Think about Brazilian sea side coast 8 thousand kilometers long with same tides variation has a strong profitable natural force. Besides rivers strong stream from Amazon to many others where underwater turbines have huge square kilometers available. And no one talks about that, The day will come. Wake up peoples save light, industry population from darkness welcome to Corcovado’s open arms.

Cody Rienstra
Cody Rienstra

Yes, I’ve had this idea now for quite some years. It would involve any size vehicle and using the engine oil, other lubricants as well as the gasoline and all those elements would be able to recycle throughout the engine without ever going into the earth’s atmosphere, thus leaving a more clean environment and a much more sufficiently energy prone vehicle.

save light, industry population from darkness welcome to Corcovado’s open arms.

Tony Newell
Tony Newell

My vote goes for marine renewables. Wave and tidal may not be large scale commercially viable yet, but they show great promise. The European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney leads world research in this field. The coast off the shore of Scotland has plenty of potential marine energy. I would like to know how much energy could be generated across the world from marine renewables?

I note the reference to “base load” in the pitch for geothermal energy. At present Wind is (I think) the biggest renewable energy source utilised in Europe. Wind comes and goes so, although it is an excellent source, it can not provide a reliable base load, except through very broad multi-national network grids (big enough to span weather systems!). As long as we have the moon we have tides and as long as there is a weather system somewhere across our broad oceans there are waves (though admittedly of varying sizes and energy potential).

I would also pursue energy storage technology, which is not directly mentioned in the options for this “big energy question”. This would give the potential for energy from wind to be stored for when we need it. Are there no serious options out there for that? Perhaps it falls under the category of “research to spur as yet unknown break-throughs”. Hydrogen fuel cells may be the answer? Create hydrogen from water, store it, reform water and release energy without carbon emission.

James Cleland
James Cleland

Energy efficiency: 1.Let’s shut off all of the unnecessary outside lights. 2.Let’s get our railways back into the business of bulk transport of goods.3.Power generation is very inefficient (about 33%). We could get this up to 75% by using cogeneration and stack heat recovery which are existing technologies.

P.S.Ranawat
P.S.Ranawat

Solar Cooking by billions of Asian, African, S American…population can made a BIG difference because it adds up to a huge amount of energy that every Homo Sapiens needs every day. Give it a try!

james dekeyser
james dekeyser

thorium reactores if we spent 10 percent of what we spend on wars around the world yearly to perfect thorium reactores [ liftrs ]our electrical power need would be solved cheaply and make the cost to consumers drop by at least half of what it is now.

Richard lei
Richard lei

In my opinion we should develop fission energy and fusion energy.As we know traditional energy is from sun.These energy have saturation,if we over-exploitation the environment will be damaged.
Technology of nuclear fission is more and more ripe .Nuclear fusion is developing but I believe it will have leap.

Gregory Eads
Gregory Eads

“Enhancement of transportation system efficiencies by reconciling diesel rail efficiencies with individual passenger automobiles powered with LNG. in a ‘Global Intermodal Transportation System’ , ‘GITS’. Have Design now.
Above is I.P. Copyright 2012 Gregory M. Eads

Decentralization. Extensive use of localized (hi eff. coal, LNG, E. Geothermal, etc. Electric Co-Generation with waste heat capture in large arch microweather-shielded and enclosed communities with {near] 365 day greenhouse growing area south enclosure, shops and townhouses north of enclosure.
Above is I.P Copyright 2012 Gregory M. Eads

Warren Linney
Warren Linney

@Musole  I am interested in energy from the ocean to fuel a CO2 mineralization project.  Let me know how to license your technology.

Thanks

Warren@broadlink.com

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