Fight global warming with green energy
The New York Times recently quoted experts‘ conviction that “clean energy is the ultimate solution to combat global warming and reduce energy dependence on other countries”.
Green energy is certainly necessary, but it will not increase energy independence.
Hydrogen fusion is the only green energy that could completely free the United States from dependence on other countries. But the “promising” experiments are still far from demonstrating the possibility and economic viability of fusion.
The ecological nature of atomic energy is questionable, given the radioactive waste and the risk of leaks. And Almost all uranium from US power plants comes from abroad. This is hardly energy independence.
Green energy will mainly consist of hydroelectricity (which has limited potential for expansion), wind turbines and photovoltaic panels which convert sunlight directly into electricity.
Solar energy is abundant, but extremely variable, depending on the time of day, the weather and the seasons. My own solar panels produce only a fifth as much monthly electricity in the middle of winter as in the middle of summer.
Storing enough electricity for the night may be possible, but it will probably be impossible to store enough to accommodate huge seasonal variants.
The logic of the situation therefore demands that we connect the whole planet into a single electrical network.
Solar energy can then be generated wherever conditions are currently favorable and transmitted to other locations where it is needed.
A global network is the opposite of energy independence!
Is there no alternative to such a grid? One of them is often mentioned: placing photovoltaic panels in the space, where they benefit from constant sunshine, and Electrical harness down towards the earth.
If the panels were above the United States, for example, it might look like they could provide energy independence without being connected to a global grid.
But even assuming it was technically possible, which is doubtful, it wouldn’t provide safe electricity since a small rocket could destroy the panels in orbit.
And the rockets that send all this material into space would add huge amounts of planet-warming carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
The new program under the slogan (Onot SUN, Onot Oworld, Onot grid) is therefore absolutely correct. And plans to set up a network have taken a leap forward in recent months.
Until recently, I mistakenly believed I was the source of this idea, but it turned out that Buckminister Fuller actually had proposed a global grid several decades earlier.
When I first wrote about a global network in 1972, I noted that it would bind the two major countries of the world in mutual interdependence, and that interdependence would be a feature, not an unfortunate side effect.
The two countries were the Soviet Union and the United States, the two political systems in which I had the most interest, and which were locked in an ugly cold war.
The link would have crossed the Bering Strait between Alaska and Siberia.
It would then have spread to North and South America on this side and Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia on the other side of the world.
Neither the Soviets nor the United States could have afforded to sever such a connection. Twelve hours later, she would be deprived of the electricity produced in the other half of the world where the sun was currently shining.
It would not be at all like the European Union’s current unilateral dependence on Russian oil and gas.
Russia could stop its exports of these fuels to punish the EU for its opposition to the war in Ukraine, without suffering any immediate harm itself.
A global network will strengthen interdependence, and interdependence is much better than dependence. This is fortunate, because if we want to avoid a runaway climate, we will have to switch to solar energy, which by nature requires a global network.
Like I said before, it’s a world whether we like it or not.
CrossPosted from “newsmax“