We use about 90 Gboe energy a year ,mainly as Oil, Coal, Gas, Bio, Hydro Nuclear (90,000,000,000 barrels of oil a year when everything is converted to oil). That corresponds to about 240,000,000 boe per day and only one third of that is actually crude oil or about 80 million barrels a day. BP publishes annually global energy statistics in downloadable Excel format.
For most people renewable energy is already an important energy provider for the world. Taking the Bio energy (wood) and hydro out makes the energy production of the remaining renewables just a mirage brought up ny the totally ignorant news media. As of 2008 these renewables hardly even show up in global energy supply statistics. Only the Wind energy is there as a tiny blip. The others Solar, Wave, Tide, etc., do not impact these statistics at all.
To make these renewables more important we must have means to store huge amounts of energy both overnight and over the calm wind and ocean conditions. The technology for this is about the same we need for the electric car. We know that it can be done but there are still hurdles on the way. The charging of these batteries must be short for automobiles to become practical, while the discharging time must be short for the utility power sector. We have already clumsy solutions like switching the batteries at "gas" stations but not yet anything on a fully proven commercial. That means we have functional prototype batteries for both but we do not know how many charges or how long they will last in real commercial duty.
"Free" energy forever - that is the promise of a fusion reactor like our Sun
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a gigantic scientific instrument near Geneva, where it spans the border between Switzerland and France about 100 m underground. It is a particle accelerator used by physicists to study the smallest known particles – the fundamental building blocks of all things. It will revolutionize our understanding, from the minuscule world deep within atoms to the vastness of the Universe.
Two beams of subatomic particles called 'hadrons' – either protons or lead ions – will travel in opposite directions inside the circular accelerator, gaining energy with every lap. Physicists will use the LHC to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang, by colliding the two beams head-on at very high energy. Teams of physicists from around the world will analyze the particles created in the collisions using special detectors in a number of experiments dedicated to the LHC.
There are many theories as to what will result from these collisions, but what's for sure is that a brave new world of physics will emerge from the new accelerator, as knowledge in particle physics goes on to describe the workings of the Universe. For decades, the Standard Model of particle physics has served physicists well as a means of understanding the fundamental laws of Nature, but it does not tell the whole story. Only experimental data using the higher energies reached by the LHC can push knowledge forward, challenging those who seek confirmation of established knowledge, and those who dare to dream beyond the paradigm.
The wind resources in the USA
Global wind energy system suppliers in 2007
Different bodies of the Solar System receive light of an intensity inversely proportional to the square of their distance from Sun. A rough table comparing the amount of light received by each planet on the Solar System follows:
|Planet||Perihelion - Aphelion
maximum and minimum
|Mercury||0.3075 – 0.4667||14,446 – 6,272|
|Venus||0.7184 – 0.7282||2,647 – 2,576|
|Earth||0.9833 – 1.017||1,413 – 1,321|
|Mars||1.382 – 1.666||715 – 492|
|Jupiter||4.950 – 5.458||55.8 – 45.9|
|Saturn||9.048 – 10.12||16.7 – 13.4|
|Uranus||18.38 – 20.08||4.04 – 3.39|
|Neptune||29.77 – 30.44||1.54 – 1.47|
The spectrum of the Sun's solar radiation is close to that of a black body with a temperature of about 5,800 K. About half that lies in the visible short-wave part of the electromagnetic spectrum and the other half mostly in the near infrared part. Some also lies in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum. When ultraviolet radiation is not absorbed by the atmosphere or other protective coating, it can cause damage to the skin known as sunburn or trigger an adaptive change in human skin pigmentation.
The spectrum of electromagnetic radiation striking the Earth's atmosphere is 100 to 106 nanometers (nm). This can be divided into five regions in increasing order of wavelengths:
The map below shows the solar energy available in the USA in Watthours per square inch per day. This does not tell too much for a layman but these are the numbers the solar energy industry has to work with.
The number 5000 Whr/sq_in_day means maximum energy availability of about ...
Today we use a
Like the PC revolution nothing can stop the new energy generating megatrend that is in it's infancy. All ingredients exist to change how we generate our electricity, all tested and proven to work with minor maintenance. However, to move ahead with the speed the human race needs now we cannot wait for the prices of these new technologies to moderate - the governments must step in.
We have only one problem. Without policy support from around the globe the progress will be only at a fraction of the speed we need! The real threat and fight in the shadows is between culling of the population by 2-3 billion people in near future or making the planet to sustain all it's life forms with their natural growth in numbers beyond the foreseeable future meaning - a couple of hundred years forward and perhaps even beyond!
We are running out of affordable conventional fuels like oil (plenty at higher price), coal (plenty), natural gas (limited), shale gas (plenty), nuclear (for many unacceptable regardless of safety when properly implemented), hydro (already 100% harnessed), ethanol (very limited) and biomass (very limited).
We are not running out of the hydrocarbons like people are made to believe, we are running out of inexpensive hydrocarbons. Compare it to a paradise: if you need something it is always there effortlessly whenever you need it. The oil and natural gas used to be in this paradise category until 1973 oil crisis. None of the above mentioned fuel sources can provide us a solution for our forever increasing energy hunger. It does not help that the largely ignorant politicians repeat in their mantras and the evasive "industry experts" tell that they want to drill, just give us the permits and financial support and you have enough of oil and gas in no tim e at all. Not quite so as it will take years before anything from any new drilling site would be shipped to a refinery.
Oxygen, the most ignored component in our atmosphere
The oxygen level in our atmosphere is decreasing slowly. For most people the low readings, close to 15%, during the past 600 million years means absolutely nothing. However, at this level large local variations (6% to 7%) - we have those - can be lethal to some people.
Hydrocarbons have a problem that seemingly nobody wants to address in public: they all consume vast quantities of oxygen. Try Los Angeles (LA) streets in peak traffic hours. Some major Asian cities have installed Oxygen bars like Pubs for people to recuperate from depletion of Oxygen caused by peak traffic hours. The average Oxygen level in atmosphere is around 21%. The lethal low oxygen level for human race is at about 8%. In LA highways and inner City the lowest recordings for Oxygen have been around 13%. At this level some people start experiencing serious misunderstanding of their environment where they are and the so called "road rage" or irrational behavior on the streets starts increasing. Many get to unnecessary accidents and can endanger themselves and everybody barong them with increasingly foolish driving.
On the political and industrial arena we have used all the options. There is very little more that can be done with the existing fuels and power plants. The politicians dare not cut their own bread by introducing anything that might hurt their support from the energy industry mega-companies who's mantra forward is simple: drill and dig more and more of the same.
Their end game is the same used by the famous Caribbean pirate, Mr. Black Beard, after his main ship run aground on East Coast of the USA and a couple of British Navy boats were approaching. He simply shifted all the treasures he had on his ships to one smaller very fast sail boat and took his old pirate buddies with him and forced by guns the rest of his newer pirates, majority, to stay behind and meet the British justice.
Note, that during the past decades we have heard of discussions and references supporting population culling as the best alternative. This from the very high ups in the world - like from the mouth of Prince Philip from UK.
If we do nothing population reduction is already dialed in and coming one way or the other. Be assured that the surviving party will have all the best technology that they need to continue life on this planet while the doomed ones must fend themselves against hunger and death in endless wars for resources. This culling is moving already a stealthy, unnoticed way.
It all started in laboratories with mice, rats and apes. It worked there and testing was expanded to farms and farm animals through farmers in the Midwest, Africa, Asia and even the Europe - they all fall to it. The culprit is unnatural food substances or the so called Genetically Modified (GMO) foods.
It is easy to support the use of GMO's as the cereals are pest resistant and at least at the beginning give large crops, just like in early human days when the new fields gave always a bumper crop for 2-3 years but not after that. And to survive we needed new fields while the used ones we recuperating from loss of most important nutrients until we learned to fertilize the fields.
What can you say to a hungry person - feed your family with this or remain hungry and if you get sick you may not have the strength to recover. When laboratory and farm animals have a choice they know somehow to avoid the GMO cereals and eat only the others and will not even touch the GMO ones. This is the very point that Monsanto (one of the major pushers fro GMO foods) advertises the benefits for the humankind of these foods - the hunger can be eliminated from earth. What a sinister expression!
There is more to this story: The second generation of laboratory animals started showing major infertility problems and those siblings that survived were clearly weaker that their parents at the same age. The real shocker come with the next generation as often there was no next generation or many of the surviving siblings were badly misinformed and could not survive a normal life. This is like the pirate Black Beard story again. Some people today cannot afford to eat enough other than GMO foods while the informed and more affluent ones eat now mostly unadulterated healthy foods - the ones the nature intended us to eat. As nothing is labeled properly one must know what to eat and what not to eat.
The wars around us have nothing to do with democracy or willingness to help other nations to prosper. We are just implementing ruthless colonial policies to extract inexpensive energy from those who have it. This worked well through the last century but no more. The peoples of the world have been woken up in purpose with internet and local interventions to know what is theirs and they have started defending it by all means they have available. At current level the game has turned temporarily from the money and biggest guns to a game of numbers where only valid count is the number of the feet on the ground. Note that the all destructive fire power just calmly waits for the culling to continue.
The New Energy Networks - the Basis for the New Global Energy Policy
This all is likely implemented first on local Nation level. China was the first major power that started this new era by demanding that a certain fixed percentage of each utility electric power they sell must be purchased from the renewable energy suppliers on each Utility's service area regardless what the cost of this new electricity is. That will work and the rules of capitalism will bring the price or renewable energy down fairly quickly. Then a new percentage can be applied, etc...
Like the PC revolution it takes a while before the new renewable energy revolution gathers enough momentum but it is already moving at accelerating pace offering enormous opportunities to anyone who wants to play with it.
We are living the early age of the new energy "internet". It is almost like the old internet and it will also will have hundreds of millions users within the next 2-3 decades. They all install tiny inexpensive power plants and generate electricity from sun, wind, waves and tide one way or the other. This electricity is stored in batteries and sent when needed through the local power internet to those who need it. This concept has been tested in tens of thousands of places around the globe and is proven to work seamlessly with the utilities including the debit and credit billings.
At some point of development in the future we will no more have need to build more large scale power plants. The role of utilities will shift towards maintaining and improving of their power distribution networks instead of building ever larger and larger power stations they do today. They can take such major efforts like installing superconductive trunk lines and distribution centers to transport and distribute the electricity where it is needed most. THis effort will actually save another 5% of electricity as the transportation losses will almost disappear.
The Mini-Power Plants
The power system of the future is simple to understand and operate, and inexpensive. It is also much more secure that the one we have today. The bulk of the electricity generation will slowly shift towards these Micro Power Plants (MPP), meaning units that can generate only perhaps than less than 20 kilowatt hours a day of electric energy and operate more or less randomly depending on the wind, sun, ocean waves and tides.
The typical new ge power generators will be solar cells, small scale wind mills, sun operated mini power turbines and fuel cells utilizing hydrogen and a myriad of other fuels as locally available. All these tiny power plants can store the electricity in batteries that in turn can send or take electricity from the network as needed. The technology to do this all exists and the limiting factor today is only the price that is becoming more and more attractive day by day accelerated further by the forever raising conventional fuel prices.
There is no reason to panic either as the changes that are needed are huge and the infrastructure to supply for these changes is tiny compared to the global need. This is the opportunity of the century for young entrepreneurs everywhere on the planet. The Moore's law (Intel) known from microprocessors is still in infancy on this field.
To describe the situation where we are is like asking strangers on the street: what can they do with 100 dollars, or 1000 dollars. When you go to million the answers become hazy, billion is beyond comprehension and Trillion will be beyond statistically beyond comprehension of everyone whom you can encounter on the street. Note that the global derivatives game is today US$ 600 Trillion according to BIS (Switzerland) - if you did not know this poker game is played by the largest banks of the world with 4 of them owning a share of US$200 Trillion to it!
The Earth's magnetic field protects our planet from most of the permanent flow of particles from the solar wind.
Fissures in this magnetic shield are known to occur, enabling the solar wind to penetrate our near-space environment. A study based on data collected by the four ESA Cluster satellites and the CNSA/ESA Double Star TC-1 spacecraft, provides new insight into the location and duration of these ruptures in the Earth's magnetic shield.
Aurora Borealis in Finnish Lapland 2011 from Flatlight Films on Vimeo.
This is taken with a special low-light 4K-camera by the crew of expedition 28 & 29 onboard the International Space Station from August to October, 2011.
Earth | Time Lapse View from Space | Fly Over | Nasa, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.
This video clip shows the actual solar wind taken from the pair of early warning satellites showing the magnetic field interactions of both Venus and Earth with the actual solar wind: