Making a Case for More Energy Consumption

Our collective future looks pretty grim when taking into consideration the preposterous environmental devastation caused by a myriad of human factors – from genetically modified food and animals interrupting the balance of ecosystems, to the unfathomable destruction (in both the short- and long-term) resulting from mining fossil fuels. Energy itself is a good thing, and is essential to not only sustaining life, but in facilitating progress of all kinds – especially technological. Now, polluting, deadly energy derived from fossil fuels? Well that’s bad. Very bad.

Energy

So how do we reconcile our growing human population and its ever-increasing energy needs? How are we as a species to grow and evolve, yet avoid laying waste to our incredibly unique and stunning planet, with it’s complex, interrelated, brilliantly designed systems and processes? The answer, it seems abundantly clear, is renewable energy. How lucky we are to have such a solution; many mistakes are made which cannot be atoned for, but we still have a chance to address our wrongdoing. We need only to commit to a global, concerted determination to transition FROM coal, natural gas, petroleum, nuclear, and lumber TO (primarily) solar, wind, tidal, and wave energy. The Sun alone can provide all of humanity’s energy needs – an incredible fact I just can’t stress enough.

Solar energy is used principally to generate electricity through the use of solar panels. However, solar thermal technologies can be improved which would address our need for heating as well. Solar thermal to date is difficult and expensive to incorporate into existing structures, although it is a brilliant source of clean energy for new ones. Oil is a major problem both in terms of pollution and the fact that it is used for transportation. We are beginning to see an amazing emergence of electric vehicles, as well as recent transport innovations that use solar, such as solar-powered buses and boats.

Utilizing the energy from the wind, Sun and oceans won’t pump radiation into our oceanic and terrestrial ecosystems, pollute our water supply, or contribute to the disease and death of countless humans and animals. We don’t have to go to war to fight for renewable resources because, despite what some politicians say in an effort to protect dirty energy interests, harnessing the Sun does not diminish its power – nor that of the wind or the waves.

With access to clean, unlimited energy, there is no limit to our collective evolution. By utilizing clean energy we can ensure our continued survival on Earth, and develop improved technologies to address the damage we’ve caused since the Industrial Revolution. We as a species have unlimited potential – we need only to seize it.

Related Articles:

Solar Energy in a Nutshell

New Solar Technology Unlike Any Other

New Solar Cells Can Handle the Heat

Solar Energy in a Nutshell

By far the most popular and widely available renewable resource, solar energy has been making tremendous strides in recent decades, and has simply exploded over the past several years. Solar technology is constantly improving, making panel systems more efficient and less expensive than ever before. In combination with various rebates, home solar panel installations are now a viable option for many homeowners across the country.

Beyond affordability and personal usage, solar energy has the potential to transform the way we exist on this planet, as the Sun alone can provide all the energy required to power the growing global civilization indefinitely. Given the devastating impact of the use of fossil fuels for energy production, transitioning to renewable energy is essential to ensure the health of our home planet – and solar is the key to our collective survival.

Solar panel installation

The concept is fairly simple: Solar panels absorb energy from the Sun, and an inverter transforms said energy from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) electricity – the latter being usable for powering homes and businesses. AC is then sent to an electrical panel which powers a breaker box. A utility meter measures energy production and usage, and meters are actually designed to run backward when a surplus of energy is created. Excess energy is used to power one’s home at night, and is stored inside a battery to protect against potential power outages. Solar power systems, which include all necessary components for a functioning system, are installed by solar panel installation companies such as Get Powered By Sun – locally owned and operated by a friend of mine in Minneapolis.

Related Articles:

New Solar Technology Unlike Any Other

New Solar Cells Can Handle the Heat

Making a Case for More Energy Consumption

New Solar Cells Can Handle the Heat

One big issue with existing solar cell technology is its inability to handle temperatures above around 100 degrees Celsius. This is a bummer given that the most ideal places to use solar technology, such as the American Southwest and deserts, reach high temperatures beyond the capacity of existing solar cells.

Sun

That is, until now. Scientists at Technische Universitat Wien in Vienna have developed a strategy which allows cells to operate at temperatures up to 400 degrees Celsius! This incredible breakthrough will allow humans to replicate the way plants store energy from the Sun – which, until now, was an elusive and assumed to be impossible task.

This is done through the use of electrochemical storage, whereas existing cells utilize batteries and similar technology to store energy. These new cells are also comprised of metal oxides, as opposed to silicon-based, thereby allowing the cells to work at extremely high temperatures.

Solar rules!

Related Articles:

New Solar Technology Unlike Any Other

Solar Energy in a Nutshell

Making a Case for More Energy Consumption

New Solar Technology Unlike Any Other

MIT recently introduced solar cell technology that can be placed on the surface of a soap bubble without causing the bubble to burst. That’s pretty impressive, considering that almost everything causes soap bubbles to burst – including the act of attempting to blow one.

Soap Bubble

MIT’s best and brightest promote this technology as “the thinnest, lightest solar cell ever produced.” Such malleable technology can be applied to almost any surface, thereby expanding the potential for solar generated power to nearly infinite possibilities.

One of the many benefits of this technology is its potential to remove the need for charging cords of any kind, as it would allow electronic devices to be charged through the application of the solar cell(s) without adding weight to the device.

The article also states that the cells could be applied to nearly any non-electronic object, including clothing! Imagine walking your dog and, all the while, you’d be generating free energy courtesy of the Sun. I’m not sure how waterproof the cells are or will be, but imagine participating in water sports where your clothing and/or the respective water sport apparatus is equipped with this technology.

The cells are sandwiched between two layers of film similar to cling wrap, but apparently much thinner – and, one would imagine, far less of a nightmare to work with. I’d love to see some hidden camera videos of people attempting to use cling wrap successfully – it’d be hilarious! I know, because I’d be one of those people throwing a temper tantrum.

Another feat of human creativity and scientific advancement. As Bill Nye would say, “science rules!”

Related Articles:

New Solar Cells Can Handle the Heat

Solar Energy in a Nutshell

Making a Case for More Energy Consumption