Sustainable Energy

Posted on 02/26/2021. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

A definition of sustainable energy is a source of energy that can be used without depriving future generations of its use. Fossil fuel is not a sustainable energy source. The earths source of fossil fuels is finite and certain to be depleted as a source of energy before humans need for energy does. That was a concern before climate change became an issue. Now climate change is the driving issue that if solved, will also solve the need for the replacement of fossil fuel for energy generation.

Currently there number of candidates to replace fossil fuels: Hydro, thermal, nucellar, wind, and solar are current ways energy can be produced by non-fossil means. Hydro has been exploited about as much as possible and acceptable in this country. Thermal needs hot spots to get the energy needed to turn a turbine. It is known where hot spots exists and they can contribute to the sustainable energy pool. Lower thermal temperatures are available throughout the planet and can be used to heat and cool individual homes, commercial buildings and can contribute to the sustainable energy pool. Nucellar energy does not require fossil fuel but current designs require scarce fissile material and in addition produces waste that is extremely difficult to handle. Research continues and some form of sustainable nuclear or molecular power may emerge. This leaves wind and solar as the currently available sustainable energy sources. They also contribute to mitigating climate change.

Both wind and solar have the problem of intermittent power generation. Solar panels use precious metals. Windmills have high construction and maintenance costs. However, the energy to be captured from the wind and sun are sustainable, reliable and free. Currently, both wind and solar require backup power. There is talk of battery backup. This hardly seems feasible for high energy us. Fossil fuel backup defeats the sustainable and climate change issues. There is no free lunch. A modern nation wide power grid that can move power around to where is is needed could eliminate backup power generation. Wind is blowing somewhere all the time. The middle of the country, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas are wind rich and have the potential to produce as much power as needed to power the nation, if it can be available where needed. These problems have to be worked out, not only in this country, but also the entire planet. Lets hope human ingenuity is up to the task.


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