Monday, October 02, 2006

The Stream Continues...

The ice is melting in my whiskey glass. It dissolves inside the caramel liquid giving the alcohol a lighter taste. Drinking it cold satisfies my tongue and gives my brain a familiar fuzzy feeling. Perhaps the same feeling an oil company experiences when someone mentions the hydrogen economy.

A new economy with a similar infrastructure, while still dominated by fossil fuels and refineries. “Gee, this sounds like an easy way to continue our business”, whispers a big oil exec. He is right, it is an easy step to transform our oil dependance into a new form. To add, automobile manufactures are easily convinced, since fuel cell technology can be made to fit into the autonomous mobility vehicle. Yet, all these ideas still fall into the hands of the current energy regime, a slick and dirty oligarchy.

The new ray of hope, though, comes from a mix of renewable technologies and nuclear power. (Yikes... I said it. I have laid my soul into a murky abyss full of flying atoms and heated rocks) This idea of electrifying our economy more, continues to make more sense. When you use the right methods to produce electricity, we can achieve a sustainable future. Nuclear is included because of its huge potential to heat/cool our cities and provided electricity (When I say heat, I do not infer cooking our cities with radioactive material, but using the steam heat in district energy systems). Along with wind, geothermal, biomass, hydro and solar energy our mix becomes a wonderful recipe for economic growth, geopolitical stabilisation, and environmental protection.

Curious enough, solar energy is the main source of all our energy and new developments have come up with some interesting ways of capturing it. Like most resources, good solar energy is limited to certain areas of the earth. The sun’s energy can be used everywhere, but some areas are prime for super heating. Simply using a satellite dish of mirrors to concentrate the sun’s rays can achieve temperatures greater than 400 degrees Celsius. Remember, when you have a temperature difference, you have useful energy! Such a simple idea can really change the way a community produces energy.

Of course, the sun does not provide this type of power everywhere, but simple solar collectors on a roof can provide the necessary heat for your hot morning shower. These systems should come standard with any house when it is built, because it makes clear sense. Free energy is where we have to look, not in a refinery, or from sticky mud, these become too costly. Once we are able to find and capture the free power, then the fun science begins. All we need is for the public to understand it and to buy in.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should come to New Brunswick and visit the "fallsbrook center" , they are working in diverse modes of harnessing solar energy and produce sustainable energy for central america.
Big field ahead of you...
by Random Thoughts

2:02 AM  
Blogger Swedish lamps and other energy tales said...

The Falls Brook Centre is a great place in New Brunswick. They do a lot of outreach for the general public about different renewable energy potentials. One significant project they are working on is bio-fuel from agricultural wastes. This is to help the argicultural community deal with high energy prices and to loosen the grip of imported oil. Farms are being hit hard since their crops are not gaining the amount of money to pay for the energy costs of producing them.

11:38 AM  

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