An Alternative Energy future
Q. When will alternative technologies replace hydrocarbons as the main producers of energy?
That will start when we stop focusing on producing electricity and start expanding the horizons of how we can put it to use.
Electricity from wind and solar will be the dominant source of the energy that will power the expanding global economy. We never have to worry about electricity shortage again in the “consumer world.” It’s going to take a book to explain just how we’re going to do that
This is a book that would be banned by the climate denier government if we lose our first amendment rights.
Why? Because starting from here forward will be a direct assault on the sales of the petroleum products we are consuming today.
The magic will be when we stop our focus on electricity production and start exploring how many things electricity can do that will replace 60-70% the need for petroleum.
The vision that’s in my head is a result of correlating everything I have learned since Christmas Eve 30 years ago. 90% of that learning is the result of decisions I made without the aid of what I’ve learned since.
One hint is that we need to deploy electricity powered transportation at five times the pace that automotive experts think is possible. (Keep in mind that the entire transportation infrastructure system we have today has been designed to be petroleum’s prize revenue generator)
If Elon Musk had not come from so far outside of the establishment and managed to be so successful that the US auto industry has had to follow suit, the rollout of EV’s, globally would still be at a snail’s pace.
The nice thing about batteries is that they really don’t care when they’re charged or how much they are charged at any given time. In other words, they are a perfect use for intermittent electricity from wind and solar.
Another key break that we’ve had is California’s insistence on renewable energy, and even more important is the clearing of the regulatory hurdles for “Energy storage.”
Something I did not anticipate, as I researched various energy storage technologies over the past decade, was that the high cost and the positive impact of lithium-ion battery systems would improve so dramatically that they are justified at utility scale.
This is opening the door for an even bigger opportunity to reduce fossil fuels that will double the Renewable Electricity absorption capability.
We’re on our way
I don’t care how we get there, I just care that we get there as quickly as possible. The evolution of electricity storage since California provided the regulatory environment needed, has been and continues to be astounding.
The ability to convert the electricity from renewable generation or energy from any source that’s being wasted into a useful energy form that can be stored is the next step to the energy future that’s now possible with an alternative mental model.
In conclusion, I will reiterate that we now have plenty of ways to generate electricity without combustion, but saving our planet depends on how many other ways we can find to use intermittent electricity.
© William Ross Williams 2018