# YOU!: Fix the US Energy Crisis

Mentor
We always have threads on various pieces of the puzzle, but what I want here is for people to post a coherent plan of how to fix the energy problems we have in the US (and critique what others propose). Some groundrules:

First, though most would agree there are issues, people won't necessarily agree on what they are/what the most important are. So define the problem as you see it before proposing the solution. The usual suspects are: safety, capacity, pollution, cost, future availability of resources, and foreign dependence. Obviously, feel free to modify that list.

Second, I want specific, coherent plans. Don't just say 'reduce CO2 emissions' or 'increase production' - tell me how.

Third, money is important, but not critical (for this thread), so don't let it constrain your ambition. I want solutions that will work - paying for them is another matter. Obviously, any solution will require making tough choices and (in the short term, anyway) spending a lot of money. No need to build a new budget to support it. If you say you want to spend a trillion dollars a year, fine (but the benefit had better be big).

http://www.agmrc.org/markets/info/energyoverview.pdf [Broken] is a site from another thread with some background info on what we use for what.

I'll go first...

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Deliberately_Troy and (deleted member)

Mentor
The problems I see are as follows (in order):

1. Pollution, specifically coal: Somewhere around a quarter of our energy usage is in the form of coal - virtually all of that is used to generate electricity. Oil is also a major source of pollution, though its uses (and pollution production) are more diverse. I don't consider nuclear power to be a major (or even minor) source of pollution.

2. Capacity (vs demand): Demand is rising faster than supply and results in increasing costs and more frequent (and more massive) power outages.

3. Foreign dependence: Reducing our emphasis on foreign oil would improve the global political situation somewhat, but more important is reducing our trade deficit.

4. Cost: Obviously solutions cost money, but in the long term, a good solution could reduce energy costs.

My solution is a 30 year, multi-pronged, and three-phased approach:

Phase 1 is short term: 10 years. It will focus on short-term needs and heavily fund research for long-term solutions. It will include:

-Construction of many large, modern nuclear power plants. Five years or so of design and preparation should enable starting construction of 10 a year, taking 5 years to complete, for the indefinite future. By the end of phase 2, it would mean replacement of all existing nuke plants and an overall doubling of capacity from nuclear power. Increases in capacity would start at the end of the 10 year phase 1. This is a major expense: tens of billions of dollars per year.

-Fund alternate energy research heavily. Emphasize things considered viable, but spread money around enough to pick up some speculative research. Fusion and solar power are key. Fund hydrogen fuel cells too, but I'm more concerned with generation than storage. Fund improved fission technologies. Total funding for research would be on the order of ten billion dollars per year.

-Immediately impose heavy regulations to reduce the largest sources of pollution immediately (no 10 year phase-in crap). This means, primarily, coal power plants. Technology exists to greatly reduce their pollution with little difficulty (just money) - require its immediate implimentation. Close other loopholes - trucks and ships aren't as well regulated as cars, for example. This cost would largely be absorbed by the economy, but it would be several tens of billions of dollars.

-Subsidize personal alternate energy, ie solar panels on houses/businesses.

-Reward conservation, ie. give tax incentives for conservation: buying compact fluorescent lights, heat recovery, energy efficient heat/ac, etc.

Phase 2, 10 years, decision-making, development, expansion of Phase 1 solutions. After 10 years of heavy research, we should know where we stand on new technologies. Start implimenting what works, continue research on what is promising, and drop what is not.

-If fusion becomes viable, start planning for massive (and I mean massive) implimentation. This would cost tens of billions of dollars a year.

-Expand Phase 1 nuclear plant construction (unless a viable alternate is found) and include new technology. This would cost tens of billions of dollars a year.

-Start de-comissioning coal plants as new nuke plants come online unless significant (and I mean in excess of 99%) reductions in emissions are doable.

-Start implimenting solar solutions: that means ramping up production of 20% efficient solar cells on the order of hundreds of square miles per year (or space-based collectors). This would cost tens of billions of dollars a year.

-Start implimenting secondary energy solutions, ie hydrogen fuel cells. Emphasize production and distribution. This would cost tens of billions of dollars a year.

-Upgrade electric grid to handle upcoming new load and distribution. This would cost tens of billions of dollars a year.

Phase 3: Long term solutions

-Continue nuclear program - fission or fusion:

-If fusion is available, build 10-20 plants, hundreds of terawatts each, and have them take over the vast majority (>90%) of the grid, including expanded capacity for hydrogen generation. This could easily cost a trillion dollars over 10 years.

-If fusion is not available, construct large solar arrays to augment fission capacity. 30-50% of total capacity should be solar. This could also easily cost a trillion dollars over 10 years.

-Close the rest of the coal plants.

-Begin phase-out of gas powered cars.

In my estimation, in 30 years we could transform the way we produce energy in the US. But it wouldn't be cheap: easily $100 billion a year or$3 trillion over the 30 year life of the project. Roughly 1% of our current gdp. Of course, much of this money is recirculated, so its not as simple (or bad) as just sucking it out of the economy.

The benefit after 30 years, would be vastly reduced pollution, vastly increased capacity, assured long term availability/renewability, and lower energy costs going forward.

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Deliberately_Troy, ISamson and (deleted member)
motai
russ_watters said:
Phase 2, 10 years, decision-making, development, expansion of Phase 1 solutions. After 10 years of heavy research, we should know where we stand on new technologies. Start implimenting what works, continue research on what is promising, and drop what is not.

-If fusion becomes viable, start planning for massive (and I mean massive) implimentation. This would cost tens of billions of dollars a year.

Hopefully if the progress of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) remains steady, a commercial fusion power plant should be available in the years following 2010.

In my estimation, in 30 years we could transform the way we produce energy in the US. But it wouldn't be cheap: easily $100 billion a year or$3 trillion over the 30 year life of the project. Roughly 1% of our current gdp. Of course, much of this money is recirculated, so its not as simple (or bad) as just sucking it out of the economy.

The benefit after 30 years, would be vastly reduced pollution, vastly increased capacity, assured long term availability/renewability, and lower energy costs going forward.

Its a good plan but...

The only problem in implementing this program is the politics that go along with it. I believe under the Clinton Administration their energy advisor didn't quite know what he was talking about, so America lagged behind in terms of nuclear research. I think the Bush administation's energy advisor wants to continue to build more nuclear plants in the future... and I believe Kerry wants to maintain current nuclear plants.

ISamson and (deleted member)
Mentor
motai said:
Its a good plan but...

The only problem in implementing this program is the politics that go along with it. I believe under the Clinton Administration their energy advisor didn't quite know what he was talking about, so America lagged behind in terms of nuclear research. I think the Bush administation's energy advisor wants to continue to build more nuclear plants in the future... and I believe Kerry wants to maintain current nuclear plants.
Thanks, and I share your concern: I don't think any politician is really willing to put a serious effort into this and the climate in the public isn't favorable to it either. Being the pessimist I am, I think its going to be 10-20 years of steadily increasing problems (the New York blackout every other month) before people start seriously considering fixing these problems.

In any case, I wanted to focus on problems and solutions here, not politics.

PRodQuanta
Dayle's got some good points.

Being in the Midwest, I would love to see biomass become our number one energy supply. i.e.-ethanol. This allows us to become less dependant on foreign oil, but our wealthy politicians who run this place wouldn't want that now, would they!? It doesn't help that some of our countries leaders are so closely tied w/ the oil economy... CoUgHBuShCoUgH...

I've also done some research on a microbe that will convert any type of sugar to electricity. Why not harvest those, use the same method they use to make ethanol, and feed them the sugar? This would get rid of farm waste also (living on a farm, I'd know).

I dunno... just my OPINION! Whatever you other posters do, make sure you read the word "OPINION" before biting my head off. It is my right.

My $.02 Paden Roder Artorius Being in the Midwest, I would love to see biomass become our number one energy supply. i.e.-ethanol. This allows us to become less dependant on foreign oil, but our wealthy politicians who run this place wouldn't want that now, would they!? It doesn't help that some of our countries leaders are so closely tied w/ the oil economy... CoUgHBuShCoUgH... In comparison with gasoline, how much CO2 is released into the atmosphere if one gallon of ethanol is burned in an engine? I know that for gasoline, the value is around 20lb. If ethanol releases a substantially smaller amount of CO2 into the atmosphere, it may be a better alternative to gasoline for transportation fuel. Over time, if ethanol is used on a large scale, the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere may be "scrubbed" back to their pre-industrial levels by the biosphere (this is prob just wishful thinking :tongue2:). But, like you said, with Bush, Inc. in the back pocket of Big Oil, things will not change. Dayle's got some good points. I like Dayle's post, too. Instead of placing the burden of the "energy crisis" on engineers to come up with new technology, maybe the burden should be placed on every man, woman, and child to conserve energy resources by changing behavior (by using mass transit, learning to live in hot weather instead of turning on the air conditioner, learning to wear long underwear in the winter, using cloth grocery bags, learning to quit breeding like rabbits, etc.). An intensive educational awareness program of the energy situation and how people can help out is sorely needed. I know that after the brief energy crisis of the 1970's, there was a multitude of such educational initiatives and quick progress in alternative energies. Then oil came back down in price, and we went right back to the status quo of maximization of consumerism. Funny how it all comes back to oil. That's my$0.02.

Suninthesky
tumor
For start, force people to switch from incadescent lightbulbs to fluorescent ones. In USA fluorescent bulbs are still BIG news.Small steps like this can make big difference.

I've read that in the most wealthy nations there is not self-sustaining population growth, that the death rate exceeds the new birth rate. However in the poorest nations, this is reversed in dramtic fashion. Even Feyman admitted to not having a clue to how to assist the poorest members of our global society in one of his books. And some controversial (but thought-provoking) ideas have been floated around that the assistance efforts have contributed more to the population growth in the poorest areas to make the problem worse than before the assistance.

But our use of resources does keep increasing, no doubt about that. Russ addressed this in his point of using regulations, taxes, and incentives to change this phenomenon.

And that is my issue, is that the people of the industrialized world won't change the consumption habits without leadership to do so and the policies to provide incentive to change.

Car & Driver did some research into pollution controls on automobiles to see how effective certain policies have been. In short, compared to the pollution emitted by power generation (mostly coal) and industrial pollution the numbers were almost statistically insignificant. Abroad this is even a larger issue as the policies there have yet to even address pollution in many countries, and their problems show little signs of improving.

"Green" policies would go an incredibly long ways to getting this done. Something like what Minnesota is doing with their E85 efforts to bring an alternative fuel to market should be commended, they have plenty working against them. Seattle or Portland (can't remember which one) switching to hybrid public buses to save something staggering like 30 million gallons of diesel each year.

As much of a libertarian as I am supporting less government, I think a simple change to tax polluters and reward conservation would be one of the few methods of accomplishing the goals. Too many people plod along in giant SUVs and give me grief on driving a V8 car that gets 26.5 MPG because they assume it guzzles more gas than their hog. I'd love to convert it to run on hydrogen and get 3000MPG of gas especially if the US government would borrow from Britians laws where they will pay for conversions to LPG to help with their petroleum problems.

I also agree with the nuclear generation of electricity but the public seems far too gun-shy of such a concept to allow this to become a reality. Unfortunately I also agree that many of the upgrades to the electrical grid will not be implemented until the problem becomes much worse.

Personally I'm happy that just some of us are aware of the multitude of issues and having discussions about it. All we need now is more activists like Dennis Weaver (big supporter of alternative automotive fuels) to champion the cause and get public support for it. Many because I cynically view the population as a whole to not being able to move towards such a goal until its a clear economic choice to pay heavily to pollute and waste resources and save money to do the opposite.

my two cents..
Cliff

supersheen
PRodQuanta
Just something to break off our foreign dependancy on oil. That reason is a big contributer to higher gas prices and (well, what I've heard) some war going on in the Middle East. Bush's back pocket isn't worth killing American soldiers. Get some smart people in there to enforce E85, hydrogen, or SOMETHING! It not only frustrates me, it kinda scares me. One day a bomb's going to drop, if this doesn't stop.

My (well...$.02+$.02...)$.04 Paden Roder Mentor Ivan Seeking said: I will give some thought to this later, but I mostly follow the plan outlined by the joint venture between the National Hydrogen Assocication and the DOE, among others. I think these people are on the right tract. I only skimmed your links, I'll spend more time with them, but it looks like pilot programs for hydrogen fuel implimentation - busses, for example. Pilot programs are good for study, but my fear is that they are emphasizing the end use of the hydrogen, and not the production of the hydrogen. And that's by far the larger issue. Building hydrogen fuel busses is relatively easy by comparison. Yeah, it is motion in the right direction, but not much... I want faster, bigger ideas. I posted this thread because it appears to me no one is thinking big about these issues. Last edited: tumor we all want changes, then we have to start changing our selfs first. Suninthesky Dayle Record I believe you erased my post in this thread. Is that so? Mentor Dayle Record said: I believe you erased my post in this thread. Is that so? Yes, I did. I thought I had posted an explanation, but it appears it didn't go through. Your post was off topic. If you want to discuss the political and moral issues of people's effect on the environment, start a thread in the appropriate forum. I don't appreciate your attempt to hijack this thread. PRodQuanta So, you got any insight on my proposal russ? I mean, seriously, if I'm being led astray here, I'd like to know an experts opinion. Is biomass a likely possibility? Paden Roder motai PRodQuanta said: I'd like to know an experts opinion. Is biomass a likely possibility? Paden Roder Im not an expert, but id think that biomass as a primary source couldn't sustain a larger country like America. It seems too low-yield for any substantial energy outputs. Personally I think for best results the primary source should be some form of nuclear (be it fission or fusion) as a base with other sources such as wind, biomass, solar, etc. falling in behind it. I was able to google a site that compares different energy sources: http://www.ewg.org/reports/choosinggreenenergy/appendix.html?print_version=1 [Broken] Last edited by a moderator: Mentor PRodQuanta said: So, you got any insight on my proposal russ? I mean, seriously, if I'm being led astray here, I'd like to know an experts opinion. Is biomass a likely possibility? I thought I had replied to yours too. Hmm. Biomass is a good idea, but I also don't think it has anywhere near the capacity to make more than a local impact. Artman There are a lot of missed opportunities out there for recovering energy. Some energy recovery methods include: grey water heat exchangers (to recover heat from warm waste water), well water heat exchangers and desuperheaters (to precool refrigerant and preheat water), energy recovery ventilators (to recover heat from exhaust air), some forms of active solar air heating systems (Using large metal panels to heat incoming air for warehouses) can be used as insulation as well as heat to achieve 'R' values close to 50 (in heating season). Recovery of waste heat in cooling systems for preheating hot water benefit both of the systems (cooling and water heating) and can be incorporated in both home and commercial systems. Magnetic refrigeration systems show potential in the future for low energy use systems for refrigeration of cold storage boxes and large commercial cooling units. These also work with just water as the refrigerant so environmental impact is reduced. Suninthesky and bluespanishlady Mentor So many of my clients could be doing more for energy efficiency - and tightening the codes to require it would help a lot too. Even on a 5 year payback, most companies still won't do it on their own. bluespanishlady Artman Some energy recovery methods include: grey water heat exchangers (to recover heat from warm waste water). Waste Water Preheater In fact, about a trillion kWh (= 3413 trillion Btu) go down America’s drains each year. Active solar air heating systems. http://www.solarwall.com/sw/swHow.html Well water heat exchangers and desuperheaters (to precool refrigerant and preheat water), energy recovery ventilators (to recover heat from exhaust air), Recovery of waste heat in cooling systems for preheating hot water benefit both of the systems (cooling and water heating) and can be incorporated in both home and commercial systems. http://www.oxfordplasticsinc.com/geothermalheating.htm [Broken] # Free or Cheap Hot Water - unlike any other heating and cooling system, a geothermal heat pump can provide free hot water using a device called a "desuperheater". Magnetic refrigeration systems show potential in the future for low energy use systems for refrigeration of cold storage boxes and large commercial cooling units. These also work with just water as the refrigerant so environmental impact is reduced. http:/Magentic Refrigerator With the goal of making refrigerators and air conditioners more efficient, several groups around the world are developing magnetic-refrigerant materials. A magnetic-cooling system could also be less polluting than current systems because it wouldn't use environmentally harmful chemicals, such as ammonia or chlorofluorocarbons. Last edited by a moderator: bluespanishlady Artman russ_watters said: So many of my clients could be doing more for energy efficiency - and tightening the codes to require it would help a lot too. Even on a 5 year payback, most companies still won't do it on their own. I am starting to see more use of energy recovery, but still, the first cost does scare many off of the idea. Locrian There was an article published in Science magazine around 2000 by a couple of civil engineers in the northeast suggesting that you could replace half of all coal power with wind power and, after taking in consideration hidden costs such as healthcare for coal miners, it would not be significantly more expensive. The price tag was something like 250 billion. That sounds like a lot, but hey, its half the crooked medicare bill the administration barreled through not long ago. I can look for the reference if someone is interested, though you'll need access to Science magazine to see the full article. Suninthesky I don’t think using any type of combustible fuel, including Hydrogen, is a good idea. Burning Hydrogen generates noxious gases because the atmosphere is only about 21% oxygen. Realistically energy is simply an economics problem. The faster the price of fuel increases, the faster the politicians must respond to the loudly voiced discontent that will surely occur. I’m hoping oil prices skyrocket forcing the rapid development of fusion power generation. Suninthesky and bluespanishlady Science Advisor GENIERE said: I don’t think using any type of combustible fuel, including Hydrogen, is a good idea. Burning Hydrogen generates noxious gases because the atmosphere is only about 21% oxygen. Exactly what gases do you speak of in particular? If burned stoichiometric then H2 is quite clean, even if burned lean and hot so as to result in the production of NOx this can easily be cleaned up with the addition of a little more H2 and a scrubber and would still be as practical as a catalytic converter is today. And if widespread H2 production were to be employed that used water as the source we could create as much O2 as a byproduct as any rainforest. If nuclear, wind, PV, hydro, etc power production was more predominant then H2 production is a logical energy storage mechanism and has the ability to maximize resource utilization that might otherwise be wasted. As Russ addressed though, H2 production seems to be a low priority. Cliff Suninthesky and supersheen Kenneth Mann GENIERE said: I don’t think using any type of combustible fuel, including Hydrogen, is a good idea. Burning Hydrogen generates noxious gases because the atmosphere is only about 21% oxygen. Realistically energy is simply an economics problem. The faster the price of fuel increases, the faster the politicians must respond to the loudly voiced discontent that will surely occur. I’m hoping oil prices skyrocket forcing the rapid development of fusion power generation. I hope you don't really mean those last two sentences. Do you really wish for a disaster to force us to behave more logically? Think of the possibilities. Sometimes even the strongest societies don't survive disasters if they are sudden enough and cause enough damage. The result could possibly be the onset of another 'Dark Age'. Let's hope for better; that we can make progress without some form of cataclysmic event. Second point: A little history for those of you who are younger. Fifty or so years ago there was great enthusiasm over nuclear fusion. After all, it had taken only a few short years to control the fission process for power generation. The great belief then was that we'd have thermonuclear power generation within five (ten at most) years. Then, after about twenty five years that great confidence was dampened down to a cautious hope. Now, after roughly five decades of slow but discernable progress, that optimism seems to be returning, so I simply leave the little caveat - - - Don't pin too much hope on this technology until you actually see it taking place. (Now, with that said, some people at Princeton Labs do seem to be quite upbeat.) KM supersheen Mentor Someone said in another forum that fusion has been 25 years away for the past 50 years and will likely continue to be 25 years away for some time to come. For that reason, I would agree that any solution needs to be based largely one already existing technology - such as (imo) fission power. Mentor Locrian said: There was an article published in Science magazine around 2000 by a couple of civil engineers in the northeast suggesting that you could replace half of all coal power with wind power and, after taking in consideration hidden costs such as healthcare for coal miners, it would not be significantly more expensive. The price tag was something like 250 billion. That sounds like a lot, but hey, its half the crooked medicare bill the administration barreled through not long ago. I can look for the reference if someone is interested, though you'll need access to Science magazine to see the full article. I'd be interested to read it and I'm not surprised since something like 20,000 people die prematurely every year in the US due to air pollution and coal for electric power is far and away the largest fraction of that. Still, that's an awful lot of windmills and I'm not sure its even possible to have that many in the US. ...[2 minutes of research later] Coal accounts for about 250,000 megawatts of capacity in the US (wind power accounts for about 4,500 - but at lower availability due to its variable output). The average installed turbine has a capacity of about half a megawatt and the largest about 1 mW. Assuming new ones average closer to 1 mW, that's 125,000 new wind turbines (assuming 100% availability). At$250 billion, that's about $2 million per turbine, which I think is overly optomistic, nevertheless its a reasonable number for a multi-year (10 year, probably) project, considering my proposals were on the order of$100 billion a year.

Certainly something worthy of study.

Skyrocket was a poor term to use. Nevertheless attacking the purse is the only means to inspire action. Obviously oil price inflation should be planned and sufficiently gradual to minimize economic damage. The point is moot as oil prices are rising now and with ups and downs will continue to rise. I’m suggesting a $5.00 per barrel tax dedicated entirely to alternative energy development;$2.00 of which to support an international. Consortium. In my mind only fusion power is worthy of investment. I’ve read that wind power widely used could provide 20% of the nations energy. As efficient technology presently exists, implementation should be immediate. Ditto for fission power, with plants built for 30 years of use.

Hydrogen utilization at best can only be considered a means of storing energy, maybe a better battery. It must be:

Produced
Stored
Transported to point of use
Stored
Combusted

None of these methodologies presently exist (large scale), all require at least one decade of development and the commitment of immense monetary resources. I’m not aware of any stoichiometric process affordable by an individual on the consumer end. After this is all in place and functioning, production remains a problem. Hydrogen can be produced by combusting Hydrogen (in the sense of providing energy) but the best known process can only achieve 75% efficiency. We can burn coal, oil, and corn to make up the 25% loss. With the additional losses down the pipeline contributing another 25% (best case) loss of efficiency, what’s the point?

IMO star power is a realistic goal, but maybe a pipedream restricting us to transmuting U235 with a little wind, water, and sun thrown in for flavoring. Once the implementation of the least poluting prime energy source(s) is realized, Hydrogen may be a good choice for utilizing the energy, but first things first.

- -

supersheen
Gold Member
On topic book rec:

Paul Roberts - The End Of Oil (2004, Bloomsbury, ISBN 0747570752)

Not going to get myself dragged into this thread (which is patently about to become a monster) summarising it, but if you're genuinely interested about the causes, effects and solutions for the impending energy crisis in the western world, it's the book for you.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Methane in deep earth: A possible new source of energy

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- Untapped reserves of methane, the main component in natural gas, may be found deep in Earth's crust, according to a recently released report* in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). These reserves could be a virtually inexhaustible source of energy for future generations. [continued]

Also

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supersheen
Ivan Seeking - Methaneclathrates are thought to be formations holding immense amounts of methane at shallow ocean depths. Are these formations the same as the ones you've provided links to? I've only scanned the links at the momment.

Mentor
GENIERE said:
Skyrocket was a poor term to use. Nevertheless attacking the purse is the only means to inspire action. Obviously oil price inflation should be planned and sufficiently gradual to minimize economic damage. The point is moot as oil prices are rising now and with ups and downs will continue to rise. I’m suggesting a $5.00 per barrel tax dedicated entirely to alternative energy development;$2.00 of which to support an international. Consortium.
I share your assessment of the economic reality here: The gas crunch of the 1970s is a good case in point. It led to an ultimately temporary shift away from large gas-guzzlers to small energy efficient cars. A gas/oil tax could both provide money to fund alternate energy (or expanded conventional energy) and encourage conservation.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
GENIERE said:
Ivan Seeking - Methaneclathrates are thought to be formations holding immense amounts of methane at shallow ocean depths. Are these formations the same as the ones you've provided links to? I've only scanned the links at the momment.

I don't know exactly how they are related - presumably they are - but this report suggests that methane forms naturally and continuously without the need for biomass. This is completely new information AFAIK. EDIT: This might expand our field of options significantly in that the gas is much more abundant than we ever realized.

Note also that about two or three years ago, a couple of reports surfaced indicating that a primordial layer of Hydrogen may be down there as well. Unfortunately, this rock-bound H2 is thought to be something like 50 KM deep.

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Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
A new test that produced methane under conditions mimicking the deep interiors of Earth and Mars lends support to an idea that the gas could theoretically support unseen colonies of microbes on both worlds. And the study hints at the possibility of a potential vast supply of petroleum products. [continued]

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/methane_production_040923.html

Rothiemurchus
It's 100 per cent reliable and an endless pollution free resource - tidal power.
Initially, it would cost a fortune to build enough dams in the sea,and they would be
costly to maintain, but in the very long run, they would be worth the trouble.
You'd get a lot of hassle from marine ecologists though and people who like
a nice view over the sea.