Monday, December 04, 2006

Energy and Light

the smell of light

Towards the end of this week, I will be visiting with a group of local and regional decision makers who, at the request of an enlightened businessman in the city, will attend an early morning breakfast meeting to hear about the upcoming legislative agenda that has been adopted by the regional renewable energy association.

The legislative agenda itself is actually pretty timid, given the actual situation that we all face.

It calls for 25% of total energy to be met with renewables by 2025.

I guess that sounds like a lot of energy. We use about 13 Quads in this state, so 25 % of that would be a big number. It would take 1600 square miles to achieve that goal solely with solar energy.

That's a 40 mile rectangle or patchwork of rectangles.

Why, it would almost be the land area of a small county.

To take care of all of the state's needs, we would neede 6400 sq. miles.

That would be all of Brewster County.

If you wanted to power the whole world with solar, you you would need 260,000 square miles or an area about the size of Texas.

The Sahara is 3.5 million square miles. It could take care of all the world's energy needs 14 times over.

With over 6 million square miles of desert on earth, we could take care of earth's energy needs 28 times over what we might expect to use ( 500 quads) as China and India continue to come on line and the US quits being a greedy hog butt.

In the beginning of the Solar Age, we will need to build solar plants in deserts and send the energy out, either as electricity or hydrogen. But as we move towards third and fourth generation photon to electron materials, every wall and roof will become active transducers of light to energy.

In 50 years, big Solar Plants will begin to look like dirty old coal plants. Wind farms will begin to disappear just like the rows of oil derricks that used to visually pollute the great oil play centers gave way to their more advanced technologies and economic methods.

As we move towards a solid state energy economy, fuel itself will become as anachronistic as whale oil is for lighting your lamp.

Gone will be the changing signs with the unleaded and premium prices posted just below the fuel brand.

Gone will be the giant smoke stacks that would spew their carbon and their mercury into our most precious resource.

Gone will be the curious notion that a civilized culture would allow its air to be contaminated with the by-products of industry and energy conversion.

Gone will be the talk that in order to have "economic prosperity", you must suffer a little pollution.

It was a lie.

Light will be Energy.

And Energy will be Light.

And Dick Cheney will be out of a job.


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art courtesy of Energy of Light


Anonymous Anonymous said...

wahoo! great message. keep it up.

9:03 AM  

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