Renewable Energy: The Possibilities Are Endless
Renewable Energy’s growth can be dramatic, just look at Portugal, Germany, Spain or California in recent years. Renewable Energy is booming and the technological advances are hitting the headlines like celebrity scandals. Are we actually on the brink of safe, endless, clean energy for everybody and what does it mean in the fight against Climate Change?
No other sector has seen more dramatic growth than renewable energy in recent years (even during the economic crisis). A pinch of subsidies has helped this sector to explosive growth. Renewable energy remains a tiny fraction of the energy mix, but some countries are showing that renewable energy is the future.
The era of 100% green energy may be here sooner than the predictions.
Subventions are supposed to support industry in hard periods. Fuel and atomic energy subsidies have resulted in no major technological advances for years and have blocked more promising sources. In the renewable sector the technical advances seem to happen every week: Nano technological self-arranging solar panels, wind turbines that produce ever more power with every rotation, and the sinking of the first tidal turbines.
Man is sitting on the edge of endless, locally produced, and green energy. What could that mean for humanity and therefore the planet?
Salinization Plants flood the deserts with fresh water
Salinization plants are the only technology we have to create more fresh water.
The future century is likely to be scarred by a number of water wars. There are hot spots already in the Middle East, north Africa, but tensions are likely to increase too in Southern Europe, China and the USA. We need more fresh water.
The problem with these plants is the immense energy needed resulting in carbon intensive water. Of course with over 100% green energy we suddenly open up the opportunity to create more freshwater and thus relieve pressure on political hot spots but also on natural ecosystems.
The problem with the combustion engine is the local pollution and also its inefficiency. A fleet of electric cars is only green when the energy that feeds them is from green sources. Electric cars driven by renewables would decriminalise the motorist (although it will remain a deadly form of transport).
The car could also help with renewable energies current major weakness: storage. Electric cars could act as a smart grid feeding electricity back into the grid when it is needed and taking it when there is too much.
Endless Light and heat control
A Major source of carbon is not from lighting, but from heating and cooling. Overproduction of green energy could slash our domestic carbon footprint. The implications for farming are also immense. Tomatoes grown in cold northern Europe could be heated and lighted with green energy. We could therefore localise food production resulting in less food miles, less virtual water transports and healthier, fresher food.
The Ability to turn back the clock
Man could do a U-turn with nature and begin the slow process of healing the planet. Here comes the geoengineering. Man could start to look into ways of cooling the planet: mirrors in space could be launched or we could start to capture carbon and use it to fertilise farming or burry it in the ground thus taking the steam out of climate change.
This all may sound like a pipe dream but the current technologies being developed may just provide man with what he has always been searching for: endless, cheap energy. The planet will become a peaceful place when he finally figures out that he just needs to start building and investing in renewables.
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Tags: Renewable Energy