Wednesday, August 09, 2006

No source to rule them all

Clearly, we need alternative energy sources to cut our dependence on foreign oil, reduce pollution and save on energy costs. But I've been pondering lately about how there probably won't be some revolutionary new alternative energy source that takes the world by storm and is used everywhere.

Wave energy is being developed in Oregon that, by using about 10 square miles of sea water, will be able to supply power to the whole state. Wind power will be used in Oaklahoma (as the it comes rushing down the planes), and solar energy will be used throughout the southwest.

Instead of building cookie-cutter subdivisions everywhere that all look alike and are made of the same materials, I think we should take a cue from generations past. They didn't build all their houses the same way. People in New Mexico use adobe-style houses because they are made from readily made materials and keep their homes cool. Hybrid indoor/outdoor houses work in warm and tropical locations when the weather is fairly consistent year round and allow for more natural air circulation, thus reducing the need for using AC as much.

We can't make enough ethanol to supply our oil needs, plus it often uses material that could be used to feed the starving masses. Not very ethical. Gas-electric hybrid cars (such as the Prius) require expensive batteries that will, eventually, loose their ability to hold a charge and are still relatively expensive. The same problem exists with 100% electric cars. Solar panels aren't at the point yet where they can power a home in most cases, let alone a car.

So let's stop waiting for some cure-all to our environmental problems, and start acting on the technologies that are already available.


The way I see it, the "magic solution" to our energy problems is the practical production of hydrogen. If these guys are legit, they may prove the title of this posting wrong.

If hydrogen (or, in this case, aquygen) can be produced at a rate of 1,500 liters in one hour for 70 cents of electricity, it would completely revolutionize the way we get our energy. It can (could, whatever) run cars, heat our homes, power turbines to create electricity, etc. etc. etc.

Anyway, those are my current thoughts on energy. Readers (all six of you), I'd be interested to hear your thoughts, particularly on the hydrogen link video.