Let's Talk About Energy Sources

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm curious to know what you all think of the future of energy. What type of energy do you think has the most promise for the future? What role do you think the various engineering disciplines will play?

I'm really looking forward to the future of this whole antimatter factor haha.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
256bits
Gold Member
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OK Lets talk.
What do you think will be the role of, picking one, oil, as an energy source in the future?
 
  • #3
Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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Antimatter factory? No such thing exists nor are there any plans for one. The thing is with antimatter is that it takes more energy to produce it than it gives (though it would be an almost perfect medium for energy storage).

Considering the problems of future peak oil I would expect to see a necessary change in cultural attitudes reducing energy consumption alongside; increases in gas and coal usage, investment in renewables and construction of more nuclear reactors.
 
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  • #4
russ_watters
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By far the biggest piece of our energy future will have to be nuclear power.
 
  • #5
Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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By far the biggest piece of our energy future will have to be nuclear power.
This is a reason why I am extremely jealous of the French, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_France" [Broken] mean that when we actually need to invest in fossil fuel alternatives it will take years to even get started.
 
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  • #6
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Has to be nuclear, we need to get over the mistrust of it as a fuel source.
 
  • #7
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The only real player, at this stage is nuclear. The Germans seem to have a neat trick that may change a lot though. I read that they are working on scalable technology to use excess power to generate natural gas from Water(hydrogen) and CO2.
Man made Natural gas, may be the missing storage piece that could push alternate energy devices over the hump. The real problem with most of the alternative energy methods, is their inconsistency. The wind does not always blow, and the sun does not always shine. Separating the energy capture from the energy demand with a storage medium. The infrastructure is already in place to distribute natural gas, and we can already convert transport to run on it. One additional thing, If I can make methane, making more complex hydrocarbons may not be out of the question.
 
  • #8
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Also, a way of producing hydrogen cheaply and efficently to run our cars on. Anybody heard of any exciting new prospects in this field?
 
  • #9
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I want to know more about why people have such a negative view of nuclear power, I mean obviously because of nuclear accidents and the problem of spent fuel storage, but I am a firm believer that we can solve any problem thrown at us. I believe that we can reduce the chance of having a nuclear accident to make it so insignificant that it would be crazy not to have nuclear power as, at least, a reliable supplement to other forms of energy production. I have read of so many innovations in nuclear power production, e.g. thorium fueled reactors, better reactor design. But everyone is afraid of it. What say others?
 
  • #10
Use of solar power to produce hydrogen..

The tech is already in place (in canada), but is xpensive..

But i stroingly believe it'll take over in near future..
 
  • #11
30
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I want to know more about why people have such a negative view of nuclear power, I mean obviously because of nuclear accidents and the problem of spent fuel storage, but I am a firm believer that we can solve any problem thrown at us. I believe that we can reduce the chance of having a nuclear accident to make it so insignificant that it would be crazy not to have nuclear power as, at least, a reliable supplement to other forms of energy production. I have read of so many innovations in nuclear power production, e.g. thorium fueled reactors, better reactor design. But everyone is afraid of it. What say others?
I suppose this spins out of the notion that there are other alternatives (wind, solar, & hydro) that don't have the environmental issues offsetting them. People who haven't studied these things assume that they can be used in the same way gas, coal, and uranium is; to make electricity. Unfortunately, they just aren't competititve. Wind works really well in some areas, but that's rare.
 
  • #12
30
0
Use of solar power to produce hydrogen..

The tech is already in place (in canada), but is xpensive..

But i stroingly believe it'll take over in near future..
Why not just convert strictly to electricity? Why use the H2 as an energy carrier? If you mean for mobile/auto than why not batteries?
 
  • #13
285
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Why not just convert strictly to electricity? Why use the H2 as an energy carrier? If you mean for mobile/auto than why not batteries?
Electricity needs to be used less than a second after it is created, otherwise it just goes to waste.
 

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