No better time to go green
Estimates, and they vary up and down, place the energy from the sun that hits the United States at 9 billion kwh in one hour at midday on a sunny day. So what does that mean? Consider that in 2004, the United States consumed a total of 3.35 terawatts of energy, less than half of the energy that strikes the surface in that hour. That would be roughly 20 times the energy used in a year, delivered in a 12-hour day.
Base load power producers work with the mindset that they have to meet demand on the grid. Everything is geared towards that goal. Over-produce and the grid will go down.
What if the goal was to simply produce as much power as solar and wind are capable of producing, using that energy delivered each hour? Using a smart grid you could push the excess power into a process of producing Hydrogen, say from waste or salt water. Collect the hydrogen and use it to produce power when the sun is not available. Hydrogen fuel cell waste is water, clean, potable water. The heat from the fuel cell could be utilized also.
Storing power in batteries is simply the wrong direction. Produce electric power from fuel when needed, just as the technology of last millennium did. Fuel generated from the delivered energy of the sun is an unlimited source. No need to locate, no need to mine, no need to transport raw materials, no need to manufacture, no need to ship finished fuel, no need to dispose of waste by-products.
Green energy has an unlimited power source in the sun. Why not use as much of it as we can? Rather than shutdown wind turbines, so as not to overload the grid. Use all the power that can be produced by generating fuel, with the excess of demand for use in the off period. That fuel would still be green energy. That fuel might even find its way out of the electricity production cycle to be used to run cars, for instance.
Alfred S. Blakey
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