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It's important to keep straight the difference between "cannot ever supply X" and "cannot supply X at today's prices."

For example, solar photovoltaic electricity could easily provide base and demand load generation--IF you can afford the solar cells and are willing to use up big chunks of desert. So could wind, IF you don't restrict where the turbines are placed and have an adequate network.

The big problem with fossil fuel is the CO2. If a CO2 sequestration program was successful, it could eliminate this problem. So, a practical solution to the global energy crisis is to continue with a mix of fossil and renewable energy, and to develop a CO2 sequestration program to counteract the global climate change problem.

by asdf on Tue Oct 18th, 2005 at 06:32:34 PM EST
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.. even with high prices. The limits comes from a  question of scale. Doubling the total primary energy with wind means multiplying by factor 100 (or more) the present output of wind energy. This is impossible in the next 15 years. It is a question of building factories, mineral resources, input energy. Not space or price.

Sun is even more impossible since the factor is around 10000 and there is a huge initial investment in energy (you need the solar roof working for seven years to recover the enrgy invested).

So right now they are not possible alternatives for doubling primary energy.

Wind with very high prices and after 20 more years of research and capacity building, it would be possible. Not in the next fifteen years.

At least, this is the number I have. I would love to be wrong, believe me. With huge investment and all the resources available I just can see a 10-fold increase  for the next 15 years in the production of wind. This would be more than enough to cover for gas and oil in primary energy.

Please, any input that would show how to make the 100-fold increase with present technology, please give me a link. I really want to be wrong

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Oct 19th, 2005 at 12:33:11 PM EST
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