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Old 07-08-2011, 06:43 AM   #193 (permalink)
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Renewable energy like solar and wind have short term fluctuations, but that doesn't make them unusable. In fact, if we build them over a broad enough area, they can provide a very steady and predictable power source. Wind turbines produce a steady 35-45% of the total capacity virtually all the time, if they are spread out over a broad enough area. The wind in places like South Dakota is very constant. Both USA coasts and the center of the country have way more wind than it would take to produce ALL the power we need.

And there are several other renewable sources that are controllable; like biogas or geothermal. Wave power and tidal power are also very constant.

The sun's energy that hits the Earth in ONE HOUR is enough to power the entire world for ONE YEAR. If you factor in our ability to collect it, etc. it only takes ONE WEEK. Enough wind power is available in ONE MONTH to power the entire world for a whole year. So, in one month from solar and wind alone we could have 5X as much energy as we need for a whole year.

Storage is not a problem either: we already have at least 2 ways to do this. Hydro plants with an elevated reservoir is one way, and another is to store compressed air underground in spent natural gas fields. Solar heat plants can store molten salt underground that stays very hot for days. Biofuels can be stored long term. Geothermal is stored in the Earth's core.

These energy sources will last as long as the Earth does -- virtually forever. They use zero fuel, and produce zero pollution. They have no need for military protection, and cannot be used to make bombs, and they can't explode or burn or cave in. They are not dominated by certain countries, and can't be shut off by anybody. The money we pay for them stays in our local economy.

What's not to like?
Sincerely, Neil
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