WE MUST BREAK OUR ADDICTION TO OIL
The tapping of the infinite energy of the sun, geothermal reservoirs, wave, wind and tidal energy will one day be ubiquitous.
Each of these sources of heat and potential electrical energy can heat and power all of our needs without spoiling our environment, we must and will learn to accept the appearance of the structures which harvest these sustainable resources once they become our way of life.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology for instance claim that it would cost less than the price of one clean coal fired power station to gain sufficient steam from geothermal boreholes 6 km deep in the right places to meet the requirements for heat and power of 25 million homes. It has been calculated that solar arrays of mirrors in the sun of North Africa could meet most of the electrical demand of Europe and that tidal barrages could replace coal fired power stations and provide additional benefits as bridging estuaries and creating sea defences.
The problem of intermittent supply of solar and wind power, often quoted as their weakness, can be overcome with adequate storage facilities such as reservoirs for water pumped by solar power for later release to drive turbines, the production of hydrogen through electricity produces by photovoltaics or wind power for use as fuel for transport systems. The developments in electrical storage battery technology is now yielding batteries with high voltage storage capacity and long life, making plug in electrical vehicles and powered equipment and machines viable alternatives to fossil fuel powered ones - only vested interests now standis in the way of their ubiquitous use. The sum of these batteries will be a national electrical storage resource.
Solar heating systems are now sufficiently advanced in development and production to take the place of fossil fuel powered alternatives with the additional advantage of the option for reverse cycling in areas where global warming is going to require heating in winter and cooling in summer, especially where high thermal insulation of buildings raises the risk of overheating in hotter weather. The prospect of swimming pools being a useful way of providing heat sinks could be one of the pleasurable necessities of keeping building environments at their optimum temperature.
Some power utilities companies are also already benefiting from increasing the efficiency of their customers' heat and power use to offset the need to increase generating capacity. Where linked to communal heat and power systems with the inclusion of solar or geothermal heating the prospects for cheap heat and power can be greatly enhanced if total demand is reduced to cost effective use levels.
Sustainable building developments could require as little as 90% of current equivalent developments, bringing them well within the capacity of alternative energy systems.
Plans are afoot to power London with thousands of Darius windmills throughout the city, making them ëas common as lamp posts'.
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