1,500 Reader Comments on Renewable Energy that will Really Work

Our Cleantech Linkedin Group, over 20,000 members strong, has had a seven month running discussion started by Robert Drummond entitled “Renewable Energy that will Really work”, asking for readers views on what’s practical in renewable energy.  Kind of crowd sourcing opinion and facts on the subject of renewable energy.  Robert’s discussion reached a staggering 1,500 comments this month.   It’s a real “cleantech democracy”, and a testament to the passion we all have for this sector, so I wanted to share it with you.  Throw your own comments in here or back on LinkedIn, but definitely participate!

Renewable Energy that will Really Work

By Robert Drummond

“I want to start a discussion about renewable and clean energy supply and distribution that will work in the forseeable future. I have read so much rubbish that I want to hear the views of people that know about each possibility and are not afraid to tell us all.

Since I have a lot of hang-ups and opinions that need to be checked I will fire-off first.

Renewable energy sources

Hydro. One of the best but not many places left in the world where it will make much of a difference. Some people hate dams so it isn’t universally loved.

Nuclear Fusion. This is the holy grail but seems too far away and even when it comes (if ever) it will be full of dangers and risks both real and political. The thought that it is just doing what the sun does appeals but I am not holding my breath.

Nuclear Fission. This is not really renewable and whether it is green or clean is equally debatable. Most major economies are renewing their commitment to it and it will play a bigger part in energy production in the future. The fear of mis-use of the technology and the huge capital investment and decommissioning costs will ensure that it never gets to become the big success that some would like.

Solar – Photovoltaic. This is the flavour of the year since everyone understands it and it seems to be as clean as you can get. Of course it does “pollute” the countryside and the materials used are not as benign as we would like but it works and is getting cheaper as the technology improves. This may be the first major alternative to pass the fully commercial test. However it is not portable and only works in the daytime. So we have to capture the electricity for use at night (or have alternative sources to match). Also it will not answer our prayers for a replacement to fossil fuels for transport until we have a better way of storing electricity efficiently with light weight devices.

Wind. I am told that the big problem with wind is that the off-shore farms (which everyone likes since they don’t want one in their own back-yard) suffer from three problems. Firstly the very large generators that are most efficient are extremely heavy and constructing them off-shore is mighty expensive. Secondly they are prone to damage and wear (particularly due to UV and salt and the problems of transmitting the rotary power to an effective generator). Thirdly the electricity is likely to be some way from the consumer which means loss in transit.
We also have the same problems about intermittant power generation and lack of portability of electricity.

Wave. Most of the technology is highly suspect and my friends say it wont work except in a limited local way with simple up and down pstons for pumping for uses such as desalination.

Tidal/Current. These seem quite hopeful but there are only limited places in the world with sufficient water flow to achieve anything worthwhile. Even if they succeed and do not foul-up or kill all the fish they will like hydro-electric soon run out of available good locations. They have the advantage of being hidden from view. Again the problems of intermittancy in most places and also they generate electricity.”

Join our Cleantech Linkedin group and view the 1,500+ comments here, or post in the Cleantech Blog comments below.

2 replies
  1. Torbjørn Johnsen
    Torbjørn Johnsen says:

    Renewable energy sources: "Hydro. One of the best, but not many places left in the world where it will make much of a forskjell.Noen people hate dams so it is not universally loved."

    Yes! Hydro is one of the best, therefore I have developed a technique that only utilizes the power of water without the negative consequences, such as a traditional power plants have.

    "Buoyancy in the water / Gravity field reduction in water"
    1.86 KW/m3 floating body
    150m * 150m * 15m * 1.86 * KW/m3 24h * 365d = 5.5 TWH / year
    New custom designed energy technology developed for a variety of structures and capabilities.
    Can be adapted to local needs every one of clean renewable energy in the world.
    An expanded facility can produce hydrogen H2, transport vehicles,
    Converts electricity from "Buoyancy in the water / Gravity field reduction in water".
    Intended for, Private Property / Store building / Industry / PSTN
    The technique will be a sensation when it becomes known. At the same time, all immediately understand the principle.
    The technique produces power 24 hours, year after year, at a very low cost.
    DEMAND FOR nuclear / coal, etc., ARE WITH THIS TECHNIQUE zero out!
    Area Need for a hydroelectric machine with a capacity of 3-three times the current nuclear reactors:
    300 m * 600 meters * H:xx meters…….= (1500-1800 MW)
    7 to 10 soak up the plant will be equivalent to Norwegian electricity production of 130 TWH / year
    Transfer `s network is limited primarily to local needs
    The principle is patent pending. Development Partners wanted!

  2. Art Drentlau
    Art Drentlau says:

    Thank you for your time!
    I would like to introduce you to a New! Green Energy Technology.
    Gravitational Energy Corporation was featured on a
    Northeastern Ohio PBS station Friday evening, February 11, 2011 at 8:30 pm.
    The show is called NEOtropolis and features businesses in this part of Ohio,
    usually titled "Not Business as Usual." This is a half hour show and most
    of it is about GEC. After the video part of it, please continue to watch
    the panel discussion. http://neotropolis.org/
    Thanks, Art Drentlau http://www.gravityassistedpower.com

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