Clean Energy: Solar, Ocean Currents, and Geothermal

Local projects are slowing a bit, so I’ve been focusing a bit more on National and International issues. Not surprisingly, I believe that it is absolutely essential to begin focusing on renewable energy. The Oil Drum has a fantastic post about exciting developments in Solar Thermal energy. Curiosity of this post led me to the fine Peak Energy blog, which has a lengthy look into the power just waiting to be tapped in our oceans. A search revealed another source with potential: Geothermal. It seems that the Peak Energy blog is a bit more upbeat about our prospects than The Oil Drum, so perhaps I should follow it for my own sanity.

It seems the over-riding answer for us is in electricity and batteries. Both come with their drawbacks; however, they are probably more sustainable than the internal combustion engine.

Comments 4

  • Opinion at The Oil Drum varies, but I’m definitely the optimistic end of the spectrum.

    Besides the solar (PV/thin film as well as thermal), geothermal and ocean energy alternatives, there is also plenty of promise in wind power, biogas and even variants of hydro (run of river stuff).

    If you couple these will passive techniques (passive solar, passive geothermal in particular) and the full range of efficiency options available, you get a picture that says things could be pretty good – if we are willing to make a lot of changes to the way we get and use energy…

  • At $100 a barrel, a lot of technology and capital investment starts to look a whole lot better.

    Both statists and libertarians were right: the statist Europeans imposed high energy taxes several decades ago to drive retail prices up, and they might be a little more ready for $100 oil permanently.

    The libertarians knew that market forces would eventually drive change.

    Interestingly, there is not a whole lot more “green” technology deployed in Europe than in the US, with the exception of generally smaller automobiles and France’s nuclear-powered electric grid.

    Even the nuke solution has other drawbacks; one of the biggest consumers of freshwater in the world is the thermoelectric power-generation industry.

  • Thanks for the comments, both of you. I’ve seen quite a few people start to advocate for nuclear energy, which makes me quite nervous. We have a lot of options out there, and I see nuclear as a last resort, along with massive projects like the Three Gorges Dam.

    Thunder, I think Denmark gets a great portion of their power from wind energy. Other Northern European countries are not far behind.

  • I work for one of the biggest geothermal company’s in the mid west
    and have been doing geothermal for 15 yrs. Why in the heck are we still using gas. Its crazy. People have beensaving money with geothermal for 50 yrs. And you dont use water unless you have an open loop system.

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