ENERGY IS TECHNOLOGY
Anyone living within the fossil energy heritage will says: No, this isn't true, this is the gigantic big misunderstanding, energy is not technology, energy is a resource. They're right in case of the old fossil fuel based energy system. But in the new energy renewable energy model they're wrong. As much as James Howard Kunstler and his vision/books can be admired, he sees the new energy model out of the perspective of the old (fuel based) energy model. The first one that described the Energy is Technology idea was Nicolas Tesla (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla), one of the technological fathers of commercial use of electricity. In his vision the Morgan/Rothschild/Rockefeller dominated oil cartel of his early days (before the legislation and implementation of the Sherman Act -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Antitrust_Act- was just a supplier of one type of energy (the fossil one) and mankind need to harvest other energy sources. From Tesla's mind perspectives we just need to discover new energy sources and explore them. This was what Tesla was searching for whole his life. Tesla resisted the nuclear fission models made by Einstein. Tesla didn't like uncontrollable environments and wanted always to practice his theories as soon as possible. Whole his life he searched for new energy sources that could tapped 'here and now' with relative simple existing or new technology. It's a pity we have Tesla not around this time. We need Tesla-like people now more than ever. Harvesting affordable renewable energy is just a result of research + technology + finance + business. What affordable actual technology we have currently available as valid alternatives to the declining supply of carbon fossil resources oil/coal/gas? The 5 today already fully available energy transition models are: a) efficiency, b) model changes, c) photovoltaic, d) geothermal and e) deserttech. All those 5 are relative simple to implement by the 'technology + finance + communication = realization' model. Open Foundation (www.openfoun.org) is based on this 'formula' as receipt for massive energy transition investments. Let's look closer to each of these 5 technologies. Efficiency: Energy Efficiency is about doing the same as before but due to new technologies it demands less energy. Home insulation is a perfect example of this. Fuel efficient cars also. Yet, although energy efficiency can deliver severe less energy demand with any prosperity decline (efficiency will compensate higher prices), it do not deliver new energy resources, but it's a to big 'source' not to mention. Model Changes: Model Changes are about doing things different than before. Examples: Skyscrapers can let in the cold night air in to lower the building temperature with several degrees. Buildings can be cooled down during the day by using geo-cold with a closed water pipe circuit as transporter. But also using videocalling instead of physical meetings, using remote office technology instead of commuting. There are plenty of examples. Although also Model Changes don't deliver a new energy source, it can be used as a 'virtual energy source' very effective. PhotoVoltaic: PhotoVoltaic is about harvesting the energy in sunlight. The perspectives of PV are enormously. Extreme (but also very clear) said: each man-made object should have an energy generating PhotoVoltaic skin. More relaxed stated: Let's do the roofs of every building in the next 5 years. The price of PV technology is lowered to something like $ 1.50 per PeakWatt ex-works and still declining, the price of oil/coal/gas is still climbing. So PV is a good case, certainly if by the in Energy Finance paper of Planck Foundation described models the interest will be lowered to a 5% annual rate. The beauty of PV is that's a decentral energy generating concept, giving more local power availability security and also releasing the grid somewhat, something that's very much needed as the market share of energy as molecules will decline and energy as electrons will gain severely. PV don't need subsidies. PV just need communication structures (the Open Communication model) and finance (the Open Finance model). Than everybody with a little energy knowledge will do it and the rest will follow certainly. Some math is simple: each nation has a) a national area a statistic figure b) a cultivate area percentage figure, c) a building coverage ratio figure. Take the average Peak Watt capacity per square meter figure and you've got the potential. GeoThermal: Geothermal is about harvesting the heat of the geo nuclear fusion reactor (the earth's core) by drilling pipes into the earth's core pimples into the earth's surface (the so called hot spots of the earth) where the drilling reaches hot rocks earlier than on the cold spots of the earth. Sea water is continuous injected and gets hot by this infinite heath resource and comes continuous as very hot pressures water to the surface where it vaporizes into stream that drives turbines that produce electricity. A side product can be significant supply of sweat water. A nation like Iceland for example can become a huge power supplier to both Europe, Russia and the USA. What's needed is a redundant HVDC network to it. HVDC wire that also contains fiber and by this will digital redundancy plus cheap energy and natural cooling the datacenters of the world will move to the North. Planck Foundation has made a proposition on the GeoThermal option for Iceland (http://www.planck.org/projects/iceland/geothermal) and a also a paper (http://www.planck.org/projects/iceland/geothermal/The-GeoThermal-Option-for-the-Economic-Recovery-of-Iceland.pdf). Iceland can be a showcase for successful massive geothermal energy exploration as it is one of the world's hotspot and has abundant quantities seawater nearby. There are two things that should be controlled away by geothermal: a) hot rock residues in the water and b) geothermal drilling should not perforate near surface underground water reservoir layers (as they are crucial for prosperity in the 21st century. DesertTech: Desert Tech is about harvesting the energy in sun light by warmth. It is solar thermal technology on large scale located in the deserts of the world (http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertec). Sunlight is concentrated by mirrors to a central linear tube of high tower in the focus point of the mirror. Sunlight that transforms into warmth by hitting the focus point and pressured water is heated very much. When the pressure is lowered it vaporize into steam, steam that drive turbines, turbines that delivers electricity. Planck Foundation has a different DesertTech model than Desertec. Desertec is based on remote component manufacturing. DesertTech of Planck Foundation is based on local component manufacturing. In the desert is sand abundant. Sand that can be transformed in glass and concrete and anything between these to. DesertTech of Planck Foundation is based on maximal use of silica technology. This reduces the CAPEX very much. DesertTech has thereby a lower CAPEX (easy funding) and thereby a better ROI (higher output). Other facets of DesertTech are sea water use, sweet water production, vegetables growth, frozen vegetables export. Of course Desertec and DesertTech both needs multiple redundancy in power lines to the continental networks of the continents. Parts of these networks should be transferred from HVAC to HVDC technology on existing lines (quickest realization). Desertec and DesertTech both needs strong bilateral relations between desert power producer states and power consuming client states. Real friendship, based on mutual interest. Desertec and DesertTech both needs non political both corporate intercontinental en continental power networks. Politicizing these lines only is creating trouble. Companies just serves the transport function and has no political agenda. These power transmission companies should make a good legal framework with each nation they operate in. The above 5 sectors aren't very much about 'rocket science', but typical sectors were competition drives the investments/maintenance ratio (in this case regarding energy harvesting economics). Open technology can help these industries very much, reducing the R&D costs significant and make new product and production technology very fast available, plus due the amount of feedback are dead ended streets much more earlier clear. For these industries there should also be open business models: making it for companies more easy to enter the sector. For these products should be easy finance models: finance is the key to market demand for capital intensive products: ask any banker or car dealer/manufacturer and they will conform this. Open Technology: cheaper production. Open Business: more production. Open Finance: demand facilitator. Open Communication: demand creator. As Energy is Technology the high tech industries of the world will jump on energy massively. The current weapon industries (as being very high tech) will start energy devisions. Google will start an energy corporation besides their internet operation. Energy is Technology is a very valid statement.
Author: Gijs Graafland
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