April 30, 2011
There has been an issue that has been present always in every form of life and every civilization in this planet…
This problem is the need for Energy.
- The use of fire
- The use of the power of the rivers to move plows
- Roman aqueducts to move water from one place to another making it possible the first big cities
- Using of animal force
All those are examples of expensive and primitive but sustainable ways of using more energy than the mere human force.
But with the progress and the arise of modern civilization We now need huge quantities of energy to make it possible the artificial way of life we are living in and cheap energy is today something we take for granted.
But we have two problems:
- This energy is not sustainable as it is based on the destruction of commodities that are scarce.
- We rely too much in a extremely centralized model
What solutions do We propose?
Distributed System over the Centralized
Distribution over centralization, thi is something I learnt in the Computer Engineering School.
If you have a centralized network with all the information in big servers, you have a clean system with all the power within the mainframe and lines connecting every terminal with the central master…
Clean, yes, but one big issue… if the mainframe fails, the system dies, the system rely extremely in the power of the mainframe.
And yes you could design a system with multiple mainframe acting in parallel which is expensive and a management hell.
On the other hand, you have distributed networks. There’s not such thing as a mainframe, and the power is shared intelligently between all the points of the network.
But nothing is perfect by itself, you can use the best of the two worlds…
A mixture between both models could be for example the Internet.
In the case of our current energetic system, we are in a clearly in a centralized model where big nuclear, hydraulic or coal plants provided huge quantities of energy to all the consumers. With this model We rely absolutely in the good working of these facilities but, we can see in events such as Japan´s Tsunami that in the event of a failure of the central, the disaster is total. A simple Chernobyl out of control and the whole humanity is doomed.
Then, in the eyes of sustainability we need a system where every point of the network is a consumer and at the same time a producer.
If every home has a wind, solar, biomass or human energy production system connected with the network and with Hydrogen energy storage, in the event of no consumption you could give away the energy you’re producing.
At the same time, no longer a person will be technically unemployed because you spread between the whole population the responsibility; every person is responsible for the energetic system and at the same time you give power to the person and to the system.
This would be notwithstanding the fact that expert companies would exist to assist the not-so-expert citizens.
And one model doesn’t kill the other, you can still put in place a big production facility and make some business selling the energy you produce, but the most important difference is that this facility is no longer needed.
Sustainability is all.
Sustainability as the first goal. Energy based in scarce resources should no longer be permitted. There’s no point in that for using a car we have to burn oil. There’s no point to use Uranium. We have to use the energy from the sun, from the wind, from the tides, from volcanoes, etc…
Energy that belongs to the natural cycles of the Nature, that has always been here and that will always be here.
As an exception we could use biomass but with intelligence, taking into account the natural renovation of trees before we burn the trees, and we have to examine the collateral effects of burning trees giving nature time to grow trees at its own pace as the use of catalysts can damage the ground.
We could even use scarce resources with extreme care.
This is not about energy only, for example if We use oil to make a road, We have to be able to reuse that oil after the road is used; a powerful industry of reuse of scarce resources have to be set.
And it is not enough to oblige people to recycle, this has to be considered an important and paid work (with money or other kind of incentives)
Research and Development. Using global thinking We should continuously improve the methods of producing, consuming and storing energy.
Keep it simple. The Earth is our home let’s take care of her and She’ll give us the energy we need for free