Micro Life Zone
Asked by ultimatezeus to Renee, Janette, Elise, Dirk on 17 May 2012.
Keywords: clean, energy, source
There are many alternative energy sources. Solar, wind, wave and tidal to name the more practical ones. They all have their complications especially since they require some major technology. The CSIRO has some nice relative easy to read information on the matter (see links 1) and 2) below). There is no such thing as a “one solution” to this issue, we need to use the systems that make sense in the geographic area it is needed.
If we ever manage to sort out the problems with fusion reactors (see link 3) below), duplicating what the sun does, then that will give all the energy we need. However, we will have to find a ready supply of Helium3 to drive the reactors, there is not much on earth as we’d like. Fortunately it appears the moon may have plenty.
Figure 11 in this article indicates where Australia is heading in its quest to use renewable/clean energy between now and 2050 and wind appears to play a big role!
There is not going to be one ‘magic bullet’ energy source that can replace our fossil fuel use. The key will be to spread our energy generation over a number of different renewable technologies like the ones Dirk mentioned. What we really need is a commitment from government to seriously invest in renewable energy because at the moment there is very little incentive for business in this area. Lets hope the carbon tax is the first step in the direction towards more sustainable energy generation.
We will definitely need to look at multiple ways to tackle the problem of our dependence on fossil fuels. Solar, wind and tidal are all going to play a big role in the future, however we do need more investment to make the transistion more affordable and encourage people to switch to these more sources.
There are arguments out there that nuclear is ‘clean’ which on the face of things is true, but I disagree with this argument. While nuclear power is very efficient, there is the big problem of radioactive waste and this has posed big problems for countries that use nuclear power. It also is very expensive for countries to mine uranium, build the reactors and dispose of the waste, so it isn’t a good solution, nor is it very clean in the end!
This is really neat, scientists have taken their inspiration from nature to make artificial leaves that make fuel from sunlight (by powering a reaction to split water and recover the hydrogen for use as a fuel to power things). It also is very cheap to produce so the hope is it won’t be out of the reach of the world’s poorest areas: http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/5580/low-cost-artificial-leaf-help-world%E2%80%99s-poorest
By BRIDGE8 under license from Mangorolla CIC 2020