A Silver Bullet Energy Solution

first_img LinkedIn A Silver Bullet Energy Solution Facebook Pinterest It’s easy for each individual clean energy industry to claim the status as the silver bullet solution to the werewolf climate change. But is there a silver bullet?Sustainability should be the ultimate goal for humanity if we want a place for future generations. But what’s even harder to reconcile is that there remains a steep cost for even the cleanest of energy solutions. We all know something must be done to combat climate change and secure a future for our growing population, but where do we start?The main products in the renewable utility scale market (ten Megawatt or larger) are as follows: Photovoltaic Solar (PV), Concentrating Solar (CS), Wind Turbines, Biomass, Geothermal, Hydroelectric and Ocean (e.g. waves, currents, and thermal gradients). Each of these technologies has decided advantages and disadvantages.For example, CS and Wind are easily scalable to produce enormous power but endanger birds in the process. To be fair, the danger to birds from CS and wind has been regularly overstated, as cars, buildings, pesticides, city encroachment and especially domestic cats, which are responsible in the U.S. for between an estimated .6 and four billion (cough…that’s right billion) bird deaths annually, are all a far greater danger. Biomass and geothermal are held up as great additions to our energy profile, but they have their issues, too.The “clean and renewable” claims made by biomass advocates are rather dubious, as the carbon produced by burning mature trees can linger in the atmosphere for decades, waiting for newly planted trees to grow and recapture it. Trees burn quickly but grow slowly. Geothermal is a great option. That’s assuming there is thermal resource nearby and you have tons of cash. The reality is that geothermal becomes cost prohibitive as the drilling expense skyrockets at great depth. But, geothermal is a very scalable resource, from tiny home systems to entire cities. Hydroelectric has been a mainstay of U.S. and global energy for decades.Hydro is touted as clean, renewable, safe and environmentally friendly, but that’s not the whole story. There are few rivers left in the continental U.S. that flow undammed. Dams for hydroelectric and water reservoirs have devastated river fisheries. The limited spawning habitat combined with overfishing may leave our dinner plates decidedly free of salmon. Ocean based energies open up an entirely new debate.Disputes over the international nature of ocean resource rights, combined with the habitat destruction potential, make ocean energies very controversial, but nonetheless a very viable energy. PV Solar probably holds the title as closest to the silver bullet solution, which may be why investors are flocking to this technology. It’s easily scalable, eco friendly, cost effective, efficient. Even PV has setbacks, though. The sun doesn’t shine everywhere, after all, and it uses lots of land (pun intended).Don’t tear your hair out and run for the hills screaming yet. There is a solution. It’s everything. The solution is diversity itself. In reality, the market demand for energy sources is getting more diverse, not less; there is no silver bullet. A renewable energy solution for a small community in Tanzania or rural U.S. is far different than in a pollution choked and power hungry Shanghai or Los Angeles. The cost/benefit of each technology needs to be considered for each community separately. Even micro solar cell phone chargers are a part of the future. It may be sacrilege, but nuclear, oil, gas and coal are still a part of the solution as we transition to cleaner sources.The source of energy is only part of the solution. Our demand on the systems can also be culled. More efficient buildings and cars, along with fewer energy wasting behaviors (tossing out food, leaving devices plugged in, unnecessary driving) all help. The equation and its solution may be just this simple: Diversifying Energy + Wasting Less = Sustainability.Maxwell Roe, director of business development, Clean USA Power, Inc., www.cleanusapower.com, [email protected], 541-728-0871, 115 NW Oregon Ave., Unit 10, Bend OR 97703Sources:• http://www.energy.ca.gov/research/renewable/ • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_energy• http://www.npr.org/2016/07/12/482937940/is-burning-trees-still-green-some-experts-now-question-biomass• http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-04-21/beware-the-blades-of-death-world-s-top-serial-bird-killers- Google+ Twitter Tumblrcenter_img Email Share. on July 20, 2016 By Maxwell Roe of Clean USA Power Inc 0 E-Headlines, Healthcarelast_img

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