q. What energy source are we not hearing about?

Electricity! As primary energy for making storable heat.

As of this posting, it’s still stuck in potential energy category because we haven’t had a matching use for it.

The fact is that our current electricity requirements can’t tolerate the variability and flicker effect of weather impacted sources, so the system operators have to prioritize the reliable generators and disconnect the intermittent electricity.

That is coming to an end. The use we’ve been looking for is to make the heat that industry is burning fossil fuels to produce. We don’t hear about that because it would encroach into the market that fossil fuels are holding onto for dear life.

It’s actually kind of mind-boggling because thermal electricity has always been made by burning fuels or nuclear heating. In that context, it’s the result of making steam that turns the turbines that turn the shaft of the generators. That is all we’ve known.

Since 99.99% of consumers have had no reason to ever contemplate what electricity is, and there has been no profit in getting into the details. Those “details” like; electricity generated by wind will work just fine to make heat that industry is buying petroleum products to do.

If you are one of the gazillions of people who have wondered why we can’t use lightning, the answer is that there is no way to predict where lighting is going to strike. No telling when or how much is coming at the ground.

Wind turbines solve 2/3 of that problem by establishing where and how much electricity we’re going to get, but we cannot control When it’s going to come. Oops.

The “when” part has been the whole point of electricity. The reason we’ve never heard about it is that we’ve never been curious about it. This was never talked about because that would have caused people to start thinking about electricity beyond the wall plugin.

Never mind. Google and Siemens have been doing that thinking for you. The same kind of molten “salt” that doesn’t care when the sun heats it, doesn’t care when electricity heats it.

Voila’ heat with no fire… we’re still a couple of steps away from applying that, Energy Storage regulations have been keeping that away from consumers, but Elon Musk has blown those doors open, and the Batteries have now battered down the walls, that electrically powered thermal storage has been stuck behind.

And this my friends is why I’m so much more optimistic about the same kind of future that fossil fuels are terrified of.

I’ll conclude by saying I wouldn’t recommend buying oil stocks for your retirement, and

Happy New Year

William

 

©William Ross Williams 2018

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