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July 09, 2007

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Pedro Arrontes

In general I absolutely agree with this thesis. The big challenge will be to sensitize the people all over the world, that the energy resources aren´t inexhaustible. But probably we´ve a chance using the opposite of nuclear fission that is nuclear fusion. Scintists are working at the moment on the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in Cadarache (France) trying to fuse hydrogen to helium. In theory during this process one gram of hydrogen releases the same amount of energy as the combustion of 8 tons of petroleum or 11 tons of carbon. I think this is a grippingly story. There are still a lot of difficulties but also challenges. But as you have mentioned ... we have to hurry up ... Thanks for the food of thought ... we forget to often the real problems on the world.

Dennis Howlett

Link to Nocera's presentation?

Sandro

The most important question to consider when planning the conversion to electric locomotion is: "Will we have all the electric power to run all the vehicles we run now?".
This request of energy for locomotion is a big number that need to be considered carefully.

The Prof. Nocera site at MIT: http://web.mit.edu/chemistry/www/faculty/nocera.html

Rick Bullotta

The biggest failing we could make is to focus on the supply side of the energy equation while failing to work just as hard on lowering the demand side. I would argue that technology exists and will exist for order-of-magnitude improvements on reducing consumption as well...

Rick Bullotta

Not to belittle the issue, but after doing some quick research, our current capacity is about 15TW, and he's projecting less than a 2X demand increase...which, while substantial, does not seem to represent quite as tall a "mountain" to scale when viewed from that perspective...in any case, it should also become obvious that responsible and safe application of nuclear energy is going to be an almost "must-have".

ron

When can we expect to see the first "Powered by SOLAR NetWeaver" tagline? :)

CB

Shifting Gears.

Nanosolar ist opening a Production Facility in Luckenwalde this year.

Benchmark Capital, Klaus Tschira , Dietmar Hopp and Google’s Larry Page und Sergey Brin are giving support to this Venture (as you may know).

“The company itself claims these solar cells successfully blend the needs for efficiency, low cost, and longevity and will be easy to install due to their flexibility and light weight. Estimates by Nanosolar of the cost of these cells, fall roughly between 1/10th and 1/5th [5] the industry standard per kilowatt. A significant cost reduction which, if true, is expected to drastically affect, if not revolutionize the modern energy market.” … from Wikipedia

Likely they will have some start-up problems, and it will take them a number of cycles to get it right, in production. But if they manage to pull it off this would be pretty disruptive.

What is in the back of my Mind is the question: if the extremely powerful International Oil Cartel is just going to sit back and do nothing, while some others are beginning to eat their Lunch?

ruy

I believe that in the future it is necessary to give to each person/company the possiblity of producing energy. The concept of production of energy will changed from the actual, and in buildings production this will be part of infrastructure. The temperture in the earth interior will be use to produce electrical and thermic energy /power. The cars will be cover by material producing electrical energy. In a world where due to the new technologies are spending a lots of energy it is necessary to use this technologies to produce also this energie.
rg,

ruy

I believe that in the future it is necessary to give to each person/company the possiblity of producing energy. The concept of production of energy will changed from the actual, and in buildings production this will be part of infrastructure. The temperture in the earth interior will be use to produce electrical and thermic energy /power. The cars will be cover by material producing electrical energy. In a world where due to the new technologies are spending a lots of energy it is necessary to use this technologies to produce also this energie.
rg,

Orly

Hello,
I also share your passion for creating a better environment through technology.
I am an electrical engineer and physicist and looking for job opportunities in that area.
I would like to hear your advice even if you don't have positions.
You can contact me at orlyle@gmail.com.
Best regards,
Orly

moti

in 1880 (or so)economists concluded that by 1920 London would drown in Horse shit, and something must be done to resolve the problem. Without any relation the car was invented, world war I erupted and in 1920 London was facing other challenges.

The problem is three fold
- the size of the human population
- the resources we use (waste)
- direct utilization of the sun

The first two are even more important than the third, and we are still entrenched in the agriculture culture of growing populace as a sign of healthy existence.

As regards the direct utilization of the sun, the answer is simple to articulate. All the energy comes from the sun through the photosynthesis process. The question is how to make electric producing plants. Imagine a tree which provides a continous output of electricity created in a genetically altered photosynthesis process.

moti

Timbo

Even if we assume that we would be able to bridge the energy gap, the real driving factor is, as moti has already pointed out, the size of the human population on earth. With that exceeding 6 billion now and ever increasing, the amount of resources consumed, of which energy is but one, will also increase. Maybe the earth can simply not support 6 billion people who want to live an American way of life. Still, any attempt to step away from being on battery power is a good one. Not to mention the problem we are facing with global warming.

Abhay

Hello Mr. Agassi (Or Hello Shai whichever you prefer)
I would really like to comment on a bunch of other things other than just this blog entry - starting with moving out of SAP to the recent photographs from your vacation, but let me get to the point. What I really wish is great brains and passion of yours to get together with some other similar great personalities e.g. Mr. Ratan Tata (of TATA group of industries of India). Though I can not claim any personal acquaintance with him (or you) to bring the two of you together, I am willing to do whatever necessary to contribute to your initiatives, just let me know.

Ami

Hi Shai,
I am already convinced, I wonder what is the best way to contribute to this effort, I would be happy to hear your opinion.

Ami

Tony Belding

I don't think solar power is the only option that can scale up to address the problem, although it's clearly the one with the most mindshare. I think both geothermal power and IEC "polywell" nuclear fusion have huge potential to fill this gap, and neither of these are getting enough attention -- or enough funding.

MIT produced a study highlighting the untapped potential of geothermal power: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/geothermal.html

Dr. Robert Bussard caused a stir when he gave a Google Talk and described his recent research into IEC fusion reactors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polywell

Shai Agassi

I agree with the comments regarding the three "scaling sources". We can either use the sun power, the earth's power or build our own "star on a planet" - nuclear plant. While the first two will run eternally (all we need are the right spots on the ground to harness/harvest the energy sources of the sun or the earth) the third requires that we build enough small stars and manage them carefully.

Good point!

Asad

Shai,

I was searching for some information about you/SAP (synonymous *smiles*) when I came across this! And would you believe this...?!

The Master himself is blogging...and actually answering back to us?! Like, wow! Alternate energy is an interest, while the predecessor - oil - is a passion!

This is my first post - I look forward to visiting your blog regularly...and seeing you, in due course.


Kind Regards,
Asad

Ami

Hi Shai,

The solar solution is not so perfect, many of the heavy energy users live in an "cloudy" environment and I am almost sure that there will be not enough solar power near them. so the long. The conclusion is that long term effort should include reducing consumption and energy transfer ways. so I think that their are Four elements on this equation and not only Three

Regards,
Ami.

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