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View Diary: The 4 biggest oil fields in the world are in decline (197 comments)

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  •  A trillion dollars to change over (none)
    Hydrogen would require building an entire new infrastructure costing about 1 trillion dollars in the US.  I am doubtful that China will loan us that much more.

    At present fuel cells are not efficient enough to store energy as well as hydrocarbons and nuclear fuel do.

    I am optimistic that new solar technologies, like roof tiles, can help out on a small, local scale.  That would be a good thing.  Carpeting the desert with solar panels, however, would not only destroy habitat, it would also interfere with the desert (and its microorganisms) as a carbon sink.

    That Brit report sounds overwhelmingly, exaggeratedly optimistic.  Solar is a weak and diffuse energy--that's why you have to have vast tracts of panels, thousands of acres, to replace the energy from a 1000 megawatt nuke plant that takes up less than a third of a scare mile.  

    I am always wary of calculations about energy that make such claims.  There is enough energy in the atoms of a dime to remove New York City from the map. It doesn't mean we can hook a dime up to a turbine.

    We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. -Albert Einstein

    by Plan9 on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 01:15:51 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  There's always the Solar Tower project (none)
      The one being worked on by these guys:

      http://www.enviromission.com.au/

      This strikes me as a practical solution.

      In any case, there's nothing (other than maybe enviromental reasons) to prevent us from scattering these things in the deserts of Eastern California or Nevada or Arizona.  If it takes dozens of these taking up fairly huge amounts of land, who cares?  Have you ever driven from LA to Vegas or Phoneix?  There's miles and miles and miles of nothing out there.

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