The other day, I started thinking about the different energy sources humans have exploited and their evolution: trees (charcoal), fixed water (water wheels), animal (as labor), animal (fuel, as in whale oil), hydroelectric, coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear fission and wind-electric. After I made the list, I thought, “what’s left?”
Here’s the answer according to a USGS report:
oil: 18.42 ZJ (zettajoule, or 10^21 joules)
natural gas: 15.7 ZJ
coal: 290 ZJ
Uranium: 2 ZJ (up to 1000 ZJ in fast breeder reactors)
Those are global estimates.
Here’s the breakdown of where we are getting our energy:
natural gas: 23%
You should add Geothermal to the list.
There has been talk in California about trying a ‘wave energy’ farm:::
Our energy? Kinetic? heath?
Helium 3 on the moon?
Everything else outhere in space?
Our resources are limited here on earth. Even if we use sustainable energy-sources. We need to build windmills. Hydrotermal plants, Solar cells etc…they all need material (and energy) to produce.
But if we leave this limited sphere. Wich will cost a lot of energy and resources there’s virtually no limit anymore.
I’d say lets focus on renawable energy-sources & then get the space-age going.
I didn’t post this to “sell” any particular solution, but just help define a lot of the sound bites that we hear (ie peak oil, clean coal, etc).
Everything I’ve heard says that Helium-3 is still a bit far off from reality… but who knows. This concept is all over the news the last couple days: Solar power beamed from the moon! With laserz!