Jan 222008

Last updated on November 4th, 2015

Here’s something (link now dead – originally at ) I posted on an Australian blog that caught my eye. I just had to speak. Sorry. It’s about the various options for transport and other energy policies, paying special attention to Guy Negre’s air-powered car concept.

This is the text as posted:

The thing is that there is plenty of readily available energy for everyone in the world to share. 92 million miles away there’s a continuous H-bomb going off which plasters the earth with the stuff. The laws of thermodynamics say that energy is neither created or destroyed – it’s converted from one form to another.
Nature has done half the job for us in that it makes waves and wind from the energy of the sun’s H-bomb. We can extract that energy and also, if we wanted, we could collect the spare heat with heat collectors and the spare light with photocells using current technologies. The economies of scale would see the unit cost for world-wide implementation plummet.
For transport we should use energy derived from but not necessarily using, electricity. Batteries and fuel cells are dangerous red herrings also. In fact, if people set their minds to converting all the suns energy to electricity instead of looking at the other red herrings of biofuels, coal,nuclear etc which are all temporary fixes, then we’d be a lot better off. The use of fuel from human food should be especially discouraged. The mere concept of it is bad,bad,bad.
Electricity has three benefits:
We’ve been handling it for over 100 years.
It’s easily transportable with wires.
We can make anything from electricity…think about it…. gold, diamonds, computers, cars, food, bricks, pottery, ….

For portable energy (transport) we need to convert electricity into something. I like the air-powered car idea (look it up with the name Guy Negre). Also, hydrogen can be made from electricity and water etc. Although compressed tanks of the stuff seem a bit dodgy and metal hydride technology is overkill for a simple problem.

How to store all the electricity that will be needed? Simple; pump water up a hill and store the water in reservoirs. This is tried and tested technology. We just need to make a lot more. For the UK, at current energy consumption we’d need about three times as many. When electricity is needed, let it out, just like now, through generators. It’ll go along the wires to where it’s needed with minimum interaction (it’s called a switch 😉 )

In short, the sooner we start doing these things and try to save our precious chemical feed-stocks for non-energy and non-transport uses, the better. After all, it took about 300 million years of sunlight to make all our fossil fuels. To burn them up in 300 years is foolish in the extreme.

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