The Future of Energy
In the coming decades, electricity will become a globally ubiquitous utility and nearly everything will be automated — particularly as more and more countries industrialize. Unfortunately, this development is taking a huge toll on the planet by stripping the Earth of natural resources, and disrupting the climate, at an increasing rate, in an effort to cope with the demands of consumers. Furthermore, as oil becomes more and more difficult and problematic to obtain, with pipeline leaks and fracking quakes on the rise, it is becoming evermore critical to switch to alternative energy sources. This is an international crisis of absolutely catastrophic proportions.
Electric cars and trucks could be powered by renewable sources. The point is that we need to have distributed grids that draw energy from sunlight and wind, and anywhere else we can get it from. Think about it. Not just the trucks on the road, but also every tractor in the field and train on the tracks relies on diesel. So much of the modern world is completely dependent on fossil fuels. Even planes require jet fuel. Now, although it is technically possible to use sugar cane ethanol, cost-effectively produced in Brazil, to make something for planes to run on, this is not ideal. In the long run we will have to develop synthetic bio-fuels to gas up our jets with. We might even see hydrogen fuel cells used in a number of different means of transport in the recent future.
Once the nation’s all establish local self-sufficiency, the world will have far more international security. This is vital, because something else that desperately needs to be done is the decommissioning of nuclear arsenals. We should convert these weapons of mass destruction into small modular reactors for nuclear power plants to provide electricity to people, in cities all across the world. We need to build efficient fast-neutron reactors. The point is that we have to use potentially dangerous fission reaction technology until we fully develop magnetic fusion reactors, like ITER, the international mega-project shown at the top of the article and in the image below. Just consider how important this must be to the future of humanity if China, Russia, and America are forced to work together on the same device.
Again, all of this has to be supplemented by renewable energy produced by the Sun, Moon, and Earth. Solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal energy is constantly being produced. We just need to harness it, whenever and wherever we can. The world is going to go through a great deal of change in the not-too-distant future, as we move toward more sustainable economies. Fluctuating gas prices will gradually become a thing of the past, eventually being replaced entirely by standard monthly electric bills. Soon, smart buoyant air turbines will replace the inefficient windmill towers currently in use. In no time at all, we will have transparent quantum dot solar cells in every sun exposed window serving as mini power stations in the rooms of buildings everywhere. Renewable energy will power the future in unimaginable ways over the coming century.
There are already a growing number of countries trying to do what they can to reverse the frightening trends. 75% of the energy in France is nuclear. Spain and Germany both get about half of their energy from solar power. Iceland makes great use of their local geothermal energy. Costa Rica is an all around model of sustainability. The thing to keep in mind is that countries are becoming more self-sufficient as time goes on, leading to more and more of a brighter future for everyone in the years to come.