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Jack Oswald once told the Digest it’s a mistake to be thinking about simply shifting from an energy-starved world based on fossil fuel reserves, to an energy-starved world based on clean energy.
“What we need is energy abundance,” he said. “If you have enough energy, you don’t have to think twice about pumping the water of some some gigantic Lake Tahoe two thousand feet further up the mountain, and using that proven system for energy storage…”
The only thing worse than pumped storage is all the other schemes for energy storage to correct the gaping flaws in intermittent energy.
Jack Oswald plans to improve on Mother Earth’s evolved means of dealing with the abuse of Mother’s powerful captor, the old divil Sun who will one day devour her.
The limitation that Electrofuels seek to overcome is the problem of photosynthetic inefficiency. Few plants utilize more than 4 percent of available solar radiation, and the theoretical limit has been placed at around 10 percent, no matter what efficiencies are developed through microbial engineering. By contrast, solar PV systems have captured up to 25 percent, and one day will do more.
Yet, liquid fuels have a place – both for reasons of energy storage and energy density. Electric cars have proven a tough sell, and one reason is range anxiety and the huge cost of battery-based energy storage.
Intelligence and ingenuity, forethought and foresight like that of Jack Oswald takes time to overcome the cupidity and stupidity of the wind and solar crowd that are taking a detour from reason and thus aiding the fossil fuel purveyors and deniers.
For Oswald’s ideas on improving on Mother’s evolution see:
We inhabit a water world of vast energy sources and choose to seek out scarce, expensive and troublesome sources while poisoning the water so it is undrinkable.
We can do better and must if we are to survive.