Tuesday, March 11, 2014 10:32:14 PM
Essentially, no existing technology is a long-term solution. We need a bridging solution until we have technology that's a long term solution.
For energy, the only sensible option is "all of the above".
Yes, but with the extra criterion that the mixture is the most efficient one. Renewables for a bit, but not much. Fossil fuels and nuclear fission for the bulk of it, but we`ve dropped the ball on nuclear.
We need to stretch things out until we get one of two things, preferably both;
1) Mass-scale electricity storage. That would make renewables viable. Organic flow batteries might be able to do that.
2) Practical nuclear fusion. That`s the big game-changer because it`s practically limitless. By the time our far descendents would be anywhere near running out, humanity would either be extinct or have technology we can barely imagine. Bigger, more efficient tokamaks might be able to do that.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 10:20:55 PM
And then there's the same problem that exists with all renewables - it`s not controllable, so you can`t use it for a national grid. You need to be able to constantly match supply to demand and the waves don`t follow orders.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 10:18:53 PM
I've heard of a renewable that uses ocean waves and their natural rhythms as a source of energy. They`ve tried it in Cali and Florida. Britain could make a killing doing that...
Been trying that here since the 70s. There were some dubious dealings in the early days with nuclear being preferred and figures being wrongly reported, which stifled the early pioneering work by Salter. The cheapness of oil in the 80s killed it off.
Wave power is back in serious development now. There are now some small-scale test facilities being built.
There are two main problems:
1) Nobody knows what the best design is. That puts people off investing big money in any design - it could be wasted.
2) There`s too much power in the sea. It`s a challenge to find a design that will last long enough. Power stations have to be reliable and last long enough to spread the cost of building over a long enough period.