There has been tremendous interest in alternative energy sources, and the general public, at least in the developed countries, are now beginning to question the global strategy for sustaining modern society. And while our technology improves, as solar and wind power become more efficient, we still must contend with the weak link. Storage.
We all seem to assume that our 21st century technology juggernaut will solve this problem, either with a single, profound discovery, or with a collection of smaller, additive solutions.
Well, just to add to the mix, I’d like to make a suggestion. The Earth is essentially an oblate spheroid, a sphere flattened along the axis from pole to pole. Spinning on this axis, the Sun rises in the East, and sets in the West. As darkness falls here in Indiana, somewhere on the planet dawn is stirring others to begin their day.
With a fundamentally simple, but challenging (from a geopolitical perspective) approach, we could be relying on solar power from our neighbors opposite us on the globe. In other words, day lit locations on the spinning planet would supply much of the energy required by those on the dark side. And this process would simply “roll” with planetary rotation. This simple approach could potentially ease some of the storage dilemma.
Solar generating facilities, infrastructure, and maintenance would obviously be done at the local level. As a result, though we would be sharing the energy bounty, local economies would benefit.
This would also require a fundamental change in how we are designing and building our national power grid system. Not just “smart”, but highly distributed. Remind you of anything?
I also read that by 2050, the human population will swell to about 9 billion, up from around 6 billion. Since we as a species have not done a great job in controlling our numbers, outside of murder, how about we make smaller people? I’m sure Monsanto or Dow would be delighted to start work on this GMO initiative.