Seeking alternatives to nuclear and fossil fuels

The latest situation with damaged Japanese nuclear power plants seems if anything more potentially dire and apocalyptic than what prompted my comment on Don Arthur’s post:

Seems to me that whatever now happens the nuclear power option is almost certainly a dead duck in all western nations with free media. Whatever may be the wholly utilitarian risk/benefit analysis, the images and sense of Armageddon we’re seeing coming out of Japan will be imprinted on people’s minds permanently, meaning that politicians from now on simply won’t be able to propose nuclear power solutions without facing terminal electoral consequences.

The images coming out of Japan mean that it’s game, set and match to the Greens on the nuke power issue and we need to get on and develop other sustainable, low carbon baseload power options.

However, it appears that currently feasible non-nuclear and non-fossil fuel baseload power options (i.e. commercially deployable in the near future) are by no means obvious.

Nuclear pebble bed reactors seemed to hold some hope of cheaper nuclear options that didn’t carry the risk of overheating and meltdown so evident in Japan. However, trial reactor programs have largely been abandoned as unpromising.

Hydrogen fuel is fraught with problems that haven’t been solved, mostly related to its volatility, lightness and very low energy/volume ratio.  Compressing or liquefying it are both extraordinarily expensive.

Solar thermal might be capable of development to something approaching baseload constant availability with storage of energy generated during the day (e.g. superheated water) but certainly isn’t ready to be deployed on a large scale.  Moreover cost appears almost prohibitive:

Due to the nature of technology and the electricity market, says BZE, the carbon price would need to be above $70 a tonne before it could begin to have benefits for any new form of renewable energy generation. Between $70 and $200 a tonne, the signal is for extra growth in wind power combined with (what Wright calls) ”fossil gas”. More than $200 a tonne is needed to make baseload solar thermal viable at current prices.

“Clean coal” is almost certainly an expensive fantasy at least in most parts of the world, because very large underground storage caverns for the Co2 extracted to make “clean” coal just don’t exist.

So what else is there?  I’d be most interested in readers’  thoughts.

I note that the Green lobby is arguing that you really don’t need any baseload power sources at all, and that enough continuous electricity can be delivered by a patchwork of renewable but non-continuous sources, perhaps supplemented occasionally by reserve LNG plants.  Mark Diesendorff is a leading local proponent of that approach, and a retired scientist Dr David Mills claims that the US could meet all its current electricity needs with such a patchwork approach and without relying on either nuclear or fossil fuels.  Somehow I have my doubts, but again I’d be interested in readers’ thoughts (especially those with some relevant knowledge/expertise).

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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31 Responses to Seeking alternatives to nuclear and fossil fuels

  1. Incurious and Unread (aka Dave) says:

    Ken,

    A couple of things.

    Hydrogen is not an alternative energy source, it is just a vehicle for energy transport and storage.

    The BZE numbers are, presumably, based on the carbon price required to make solar thermal cheaper than combined cycle gas turbines. CCGTs have a carbon intensity of around 0.5tonnes/MWh, around half that of coal. So, if a $200/tonne price is required, this implies that solar thermal is just $100/MWh more expensive than gas, or 10c/KWh. And that is at “current prices”. I would expect costs to come down considerably once solar thermal becomes a mature technlogy built on a commercial scale.

    So I would certainly not rule out solar thermal. That looks the most promising renewable technology to me.

  2. Ken Parish says:

    Dave

    Yes I should have pointed that out about hydrogen. However, if it was easily compressable/liquefiable/transportable it would provide an ideal way of storing and transporting energy from just about any renewable source and thereby overcome their non-continuous nature.

  3. Incurious and Unread (aka Dave) says:

    Ken,

    Agreed.

    There are a couple of academic papers referred to in this article. I haven’t read them yet. But the reported conclusions are that by 2050 we would need globally:

    nearly four million five-megawatt wind turbines—i.e., turbines twice as big as those currently on the market. (China just built its first five-megawatter last year.) Plus 90,000 large-scale solar farms—for reference, there are only about three dozen in existence now. Plus 1.7 billion three-kilowatt rooftop solar systems—that is, one for every four people on the planet.

  4. Tim says:

    Ken, this is worth a look. Not in a position to judge its efficacy, but be interested to hear what people think. And if they happen to be even half-right, well, yay!

    http://bit.ly/fEVnf0

  5. Paul Frijters says:

    Ken,

    agreed that nuclear is now politically dead for at least the coming decades. I am no expert on the science of energy loads, but my understanding is that there is no cheaper alternative to various forms of fossil fuel: coal, gas, brown coal, oil. And the next in line at the moment seems biofuel (burning the oil from plants), which adds no new CO2 to the atmosphere but will take up more land from other uses. Of course we all hope some other source will come in sight, but given the doubling of the world economy (and hence, roughly speaking, its energy consumption) every 20 to 30 years one would be hard put to envisage any other scenario than going with what is cheapest.

  6. wizofaus says:

    It’s not just “no cheaper” though – as far as I understand it there is still isn’t a single renewables-based (other than hydro) plant of significant size capable of providing a continuous enough supply of quality electricity for it to actually be a candidate for replacing a fossil-fuel-based baseload generator. Until we have at least few examples to point to, any claims about the ability of renewable energy to completely replace fossil and nuclear power have been to taken with a grain of salt (much as I’d like to believe it was possible).

  7. Mark says:

    I think we should aim to be using less electricity overall. There is a massive amount of waste going on.

    If electrical cars become as popular as some claim they will, you would think that the need for baseload power will only grow

  8. Michael says:

    The idea of using less electricity seems to be constantly underrated. Given that most people seem unaware of how much electricity they use and where they use it would indicate that there is a large consumer surplus in Australia – ditto petrol. Efforts at serious energy efficiency haven’t even began on a wide scale.

  9. Chumpai says:

    Hey Ken, the pebble bed reactors are an interesting thought, but there are other modern designs with passive cooling systems (AP1000 passive cooling).

    Anyway, let me play devil’s advocate for a minute.

    In the wake of Japan I would argue whatever power source it needs to be highly resistant to natural disasters. Nuclear might be scary but it’s pointless (and rather ironic) having an earthquake knock out our coal/solar/wind/hydro power supply because we didn’t build it to super high standards because we weren’t afraid of it. In Japan the surviving nukes might be able to provide power without needing refueling (same goes for solar/wind too), it must be tough getting coal to power plants if transport infrastructue is down.

    Nuclear power plants did get back on the agenda after TMI and Chernobyl. So there is reason to think in our lifetimes it may do so again.

    I imagine small modular reactors (~200MW capacity) will become commercially available in the next decade (China/India/Russia etc will still pursue nuclear). If 5-6 years from now we see other countries building these plants public opinion might become more favourable. Also, smaller nukes might, might be able to be competitive with fossil fuels due to less upfront cost, shorter build times, less shutdown time for inspection and refueling. Don’t discount that hip pocket nerve!

  10. Incurious and Unread (aka Dave) says:

    Wizofaus,

    You haven’t looked very hard. Read some of the reports on the BZE website. They look pretty credible to me.

    Mark,

    “Baseload” means continuously provided. Electric cars can charge at anytime, whenever power is available. They could also be “discharged” at times to top up the grid. So I reckon that electric cars – together with the improvements in battery technology that come with them – are likely to reduce rather than increase the need for baseload power.

  11. Mark says:

    Predictions of Nuc plants becoming cheaper have been around for decades and in that time costs have done nothing but risen.

    Have any other power plants(eg coal) in japan been affected by the earthquake?

  12. Chumpai says:

    Mark @ 11

    Thats a good point and is true in the West at least – around $5780 to $8071 per Kw for AP1000’s in the US its must be hard to find private backing for something like that.

    That said, in the US now that most nukes have been paid off the costs of nuclear energy is similar to coal. Though I’m at work so don’t have time to find a graph sorry :(

  13. Chumpai's Boss says:

    I thought I might find you here!

  14. Chumpai says:

    @ 13 *quickly alt-tabs*

  15. Patrick says:

    Michael, that’s because consumer power use is at the margins. It doesn’t really affect baseload that much.

  16. Michael says:

    Patrick, well it would still have some effect. If consumers at least understood where energy was being used/wasted then they might not be so easily hoodwinked into “people’s revolts” on behalf of the real culprits. All this harping on about increases for households due to a carbon tax wouldn’t get the time of day if the populace wasn’t so easily fooled.

  17. wizofaus says:

    I&I, I am passingly familiar with the BZE report, and it certainly offers plenty of reasons to be encouraged, but it is ultimately largely a report about what might be possible in the future. I’m not aware of anybody in the world at the moment able to say “let’s shut down that coal fired power plant because we have this solar/wind/biomass/geothermal/renewable-energy-of-choice plant up and running now”. Whereas a number of fossil-fuel powered stations have been decommissioned or are planned to be and not replaced because equivalent power generation was/is available from nuke reactors or hydro stations.

  18. wizofaus says:

    Actually, sorry, strike ‘biomass’ from that list – in Norway at least they are indeed planning to replace coal fired power with biomass plants.

  19. derrida derider says:

    [email protected], yes – five thermal power plants were knocked out temporarily. Plus of course the lethal oil refinery explosion. The problem that will take much longer to fix, though, is the destruction of pylons and substations.

  20. Dave says:

    Wizofaus,

    You are right. But here is the order in which things will happen: carbon price, build low emissions plant, close high emissions plant. It is not going to happen the other way around.

  21. Andrew says:

    Baseload is a Red Herring. The use of Baseload power is artificially inflated by off peak tariffs for hot water etc that exist only due to the inflexibility of the operational requirements of Baseload power stations. Take away the off peak tariffs and the demand for off-peak power and therefore Baseload generation will drop dramatically, if not closing a couple of coal power stations at least reducing the requirement to build new ones for quite some time.

    And even so, no one is talking about reducing emissions to zero even by 2050. If Baseload is the hardest to replace with zero emission technology then they will remain coal fired for the foreseeable future. That is no problem at all if the easier and cheaper replacement of intermediate and peak load generators takes place. And all that before looking at the potential replacement Baseload technologies in development and the potential of electricity efficiency measures.

    Perhaps one day replacement of coal-fired baseload will become urgent, but it’s likely to be many decades away.

  22. Rafe says:

    If it is correct that the real damage at the Japanese plant was done by the tsunami, not the earthquake, then there is no rational reason to back off nuclear power, just build the plants well above the waterline.How many plants in the world are at risk to tsunamis?

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2011/03/17/watching-fukushima/

  23. Patrick says:

    Take away the off peak tariffs and the demand for off-peak power and therefore Baseload generation will drop dramatically,

    Which planet? Do you think that it is at all possible that off-peak tariffs exist because the baseload demand is there during the day and the coal plants can’t turn off so they may as well sell the power cheaper? Just possible?

    Perhaps one day replacement of coal-fired baseload will become urgent…

    Not in any hurry, only the day that climate change becomes urgent. I assume you realise that there aren’t any coal peaker plants.

    As far as I can tell if you want to make any meaningful dint in Australia’s emissions you have to tackle baseload generation by coal plants. The most obvious way is nuclear or gas, with nuclear perhaps a carbon winner and life-cycle winner but gas an easier option – although we would be talking about a bloody lot of very big gas plants.

  24. Rafe;

    The main problem with Fukushima was the design. It requires an active cooling system, which makes disaster more likely. Supposing you built in the hills, somebody could still come along and quietly pilfer your diesel, or it the tank might just spring a leak and the replacement fuel truck break down en route.

    Unlikely? Definitely. So too was a tsunami of a size big enough to swap the Fukushima diesel generators.

    Because the design relied on active cooling, Fukushima was more likely to go bad. If it had been a passively cooled design it would probably have been forgotten by now.

  25. observa says:

    “..the US could meet all its current electricity needs with such a patchwork approach and without relying on either nuclear or fossil fuels. Somehow I have my doubts..”

    Take my 2.1kw solar feed-in system. Nothing at night and on an overcast wintry day it can still be trying to start up the inverter mid morning, producing as low as 50watts of power at midday. The panels work best at an optimum temp around 25 degrees which tick over at 1700-1800 watts fine sunny midday, summer and autumn falling to 1200-1300 watts on hot summer days. Random clouds passing over will suddenly halve those figures. The investment only stacked up due to $8k Govt tax subsidy, $1.5k RECs subsidy on top and 44c/kwhr net output, Govt guaranteed buyback, soon to go to 54c in SA, while NSW will soon scrap their 60c/kwhr gross rate for 20c, due to the howls over reshiftable energy power bills. Fallacy of composition is too hard a concept for the modern Gaian intellect, so apparently our educators no longer teach it. A concept strictly for lay working families to impress upon astute politicians at certain periodic intervals it seems.

    I sampled wind power at Edithburgh on holiday a couple of years ago. Judging by the leaning native flora and the wind swept cliffs of Yorke Peninsula, an ideal site for the 30 or so windmills outside Edithburgh. The last day I arose early to make coffee and settle in for a read when the power went off. No coffee so a walk on the Esplanade beckoned. Not a breath of wind and the sea was a grey mirror, so much so that unusually you could see Mt Lofty(Adelaide) across St Vincent Gulf as well as Kangaroo island spectacularly reflected in the mirror as the sky lightened behind Lofty. Claerly SA’s first wind farm, Starfish Hill on the mainland at Cape Jervois behind KI was also becalmed. Around 45 mins later the power came back on just as the town was stirring, as no doubt the lads at Pt Augusta had been furiously shovelling lignite into boilers to compensate.

    The 23 wind turbines at Starfish Hill cost $65mill to build in 2003 and were sold to Transfield Infrastructure for an undisclosed sum in 2007. TI subsequently wanted to flog it all with land for $4-5 mill in 2009 but no takers and so now it is part of their valuable portfolio of wind farms. Welcome to the Industrial Devolution here folks, bearing in mind they get special power tariffs to boot. The last time I looked a couple of months ago, 3 of the 23 turbines were out of action with some blade tip problems.

  26. observa says:

    Apparently South Australia’s Starfish Hill wind farm continues a great tradition-
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/wind_energys_ghosts_1.html
    Gerry Jackson has been banging on about the diluteness of renewables as well as the diluteness of Green comprehension of certain natural and immutable laws. In a nutshell-

    “And the reason is those pesky natural laws.

    Wind and solar (in fact wind is a form of solar power as is hydro-electric power) are what the greens propose to replace centralised power generation with. Now for some basic facts. The maximum amount of energy that a windmill can extract from the wind is 59.3 per cent and is called the Betz limit. This tells us that it is impossible for any windmill or wind turbine to turn more than 59.3 the per cent of the wind’s energy into mechanical or electrical energy.

    The very rough rule-of-thumb formula p = r2v3 gives us an excellent idea of just how grossly inefficient wind power is. For example, if the radius of the blades is 3 metres and wind power is 30 mph, output will be 243 kilowatts. Should wind velocity drop to 15 mph output will plummet to 33.75 kilowatts which amounts to an 88 per cent drop in output. The fundamental problem is obvious enough: it’s the cubic power. Because of this a small drop in wind velocity results in an extremely large drop in output.

    Solar power also faces a severe and insuperable obstacle. The maximum amount of energy that the earth receives from the sun under optimum conditions is just under 1 kWh per square metre (11 square feet). So even if these panels were 100 per cent technically efficient they would still be grossly inefficient economically.”

    You need to bear in mind here that at present the most efficient solar panels can gather about 22% of that maximum diluteness, clouds and night-time notwithstanding, but hope springs eternal for these post-normal scientific and economic minds.

  27. Liz Aitken says:

    As an analyst in the energy industry, I am perpetually surprised that the Australian public has bought into the pro coal and pro nuke stance that renewables MUST have baseload characteristics.

    In Australia what is considered the baseload portion of the load curve is about 45% of the total energy produced in a year. Traditional “baseload” plant like coal provides approx 80% of Australia’s energy needs. This in itself indicates that we currently have an energy mix that is unbalanced in favour of coal relative to plant characteristics (also known as the “plant mix”). This is a direct result of the economics of the Australian Electricity Market (NEM for the East Coast – which is where most of the coal is anyway).

    So we have plant that is inefficient in meeting peak load, ramping up and down to meet that peak EVERY DAY. This means that there is an inherent amount of inefficiencies in our electricity generation system RIGHT NOW, and that these inefficiencies have been in existence for some time… coal-fired plant doesn’t get built overnight.

    Part of the issue with these levels of increasing inefficiency are also a result of the loadshape changing faster than the plant can be built to meet it… changes in consumer behaviour have been rapid and marked over the last 10 years. Increases in the volume of reverse-cycle airconditioners being installed, and their use, combined with extremely energy INEFFICIENT housing stock (yes, 5 star is a crock) means that inefficiencies in our power system run the entire way through the supply chain: from the generator to the end-user. This changing loadshape is creating extremes of price volatility in the wholesale market, but the price volatility of this type results in the market response of building smaller-scale inefficient generators that can be turned on 5-10 times per year, rather than a systemic increase in the underlying price which would encourage other types of generation to be built.

    There are a number of solutions to these problems, but to get back to the issue at hand, we do not really need to find an answer to the issue of baseload renewable. We really need to be looking at how to change pricing signals in wholesale electricity market to intially encourage the market to build plant that will meet the daytime load usage, and reduce the coal-fired gens from their current 80% down to around the 50% mark. The ideal generation to do this is gas: in the form of CCGT (combined-cycle gas turbines). CCGT is flexible on command (can ramp in minutes not hours like coal as directed), stable (it can be directed as required and not at the whim of the wind or the sun), and emits less carbon than coal (0.5 tCO2e/MWh rt new gen coal at 0.7 tCO2e/MWh). The flexibility of gas-fired plant to cover daily peak would also enable the construction of renewable plant with technologies that currently exist.

    So, over the next 15-20 years we need to work on improving energy efficiency in buildings (residential and commercial) and get plant into the NEM that will REDUCE our reliance on coal, by replacing coal-fired units with something better suited to the changing loadshape resulting from changes in consumer behaviour. At the end of that time we may have seen sufficient advances in renewable baseload technology to think about replacing the ACTUAL baseload needs of the with something else. Until that time the argument about nuke or not is fairly moot.

  28. observa says:

    Nice to see an honest, ethical appraisal of the state of play after a somewhat tawdry period for Western academia-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbR0EPWgkEI&feature=player_embedded

    I’m not so sure Liz, consumers give a fig about base load characteristics per se, rather they expect their power to be there when they flick the switch, preferably at past prices. Now they were politically conned that privatisation was to give them lower prices when Keating put a gun to the States’ heads with competition reform and the smart States realised the game was up with milking their utilities generally without providing for current replacement costs and reasonable depreciation. It was always about ending the cross-subsidisation between industry and households and better to leave private enterprise to be the bearer of bad tidings on that score and ending the cross subsidy. As you rightly point out changing demand, particularly with aircons has further muddied the waters, yet the price signals(smart meters and the like) would be best left to the market without the bleatings of politicians.

    Bang on about fuelwatch, grocerywatch, bank interest rates and charges, right down to big bad Coles and Woollies and Labor have simply made a rod for their own backs with trying to implement better social pricing of CO2 emissions now. Picking losers energy-wise hasn’t helped their cause either as they’ve burned up so much real and political capital chasing rainbows and doling out graduazzi welfare. That said Gillard has finally come out with the notion that income tax cuts are a live option tradeoff for straight carbon taxing. It’s taken a while for the penny to drop that if CO2 is the great moral imperative of our time, the maximum tax on carbon can be achieved by ditching all other forms of taxation for that mode. However they’ve also raised the notion of taxing other resources as well as carbon so their hypothetical maxm imperative needs some trading off by all accounts. Just what resources and how you’d tax them might be a useful avenue of enquiry here, as it could reset dramatically the constitution of our marketplace and presumably that’s the pressing environmental need here. How to better socially price the utilisation of our natural environment for our needs without the dead hand of Big Govt picking so many losers and at the same time give it countervailing market power to its destruction, is something these CO2 apocaleptics are not remotely interested in, as we’ve all seen.

  29. Alternatives to Nuclear and Fossil Fuels

    By E. E. Escultura
    Research Professor of Mathematics and Physics
    V. Lakshmikantham – GVP Institute for Advanced Studies
    GVP College of Engineering, JNT University Kakinada
    Madurawada, Visakhapatnam, AP, India

    1. On the nuclear crisis in Japan

    Several countries along the Northwestern Pacific Rim have expressed concern over the possibility of contamination by airborne radioactive materials coming from the partial meltdown of the nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan. I offer some insights based on references [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6] below.

    There is an elliptical wind cycle called the Northern Pacific Wind Cycle [5], [6], [7] that starts with the Trade Winds originating off the Coast of Ecuador [1], [2], [7] and going west along the Equatorial edge of the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Seaboard of the Philippines. It sweeps across the Philippines and curves North then Northeastward and grates Vietnam and the South and Southeast Coastal Regions of China and Korea. It crosses Japan and becomes the jet stream south of the Siberian Coast that crosses the Bearing Sea. Then it crosses the Alaskan Coast, curves southward and crosses Canada and the Tornado Belt of the US that extends from the Midwest to Texas. Then it and to complete the Northern Pacific Wind Cycle. (For full explanation of this phenomenon see [1], [2], [5])

    Airborne radioactive materials ride in and follow the course of this cycle. By the time they reach the Northern American Continent considerable amount of it would have dissipated downwards into the Sea and upwards into the upper atmosphere rendering the radiation considerably weakened there. By the time the radioactive materials reach the Philippines, if any, radiation will be minimal and harmless.

    2. More serious problems

    However, nuclear meltdown is not the only problem posed by nuclear reactors that include the thorium reactors to be built in India under a US-Indian bilateral agreement. Thorium 232 is a radioactive material three times more abundant than the uranium isotope presently used in nuclear reactors and has a longer half-life than uranium. Though rarely discussed, the most serious problem posed by nuclear reactors in the long term is waste disposal because these nuclear fuels have half-life of at least 1800 years. Presently, nuclear wastes are dump into the ocean. Their containers are bound to erode and leak radiation sooner than their half life. There are known dump sites off the Eastern Coast of Africa that have already caught the attention of environmental groups, particularly, the Green Parties.

    The nuclear disaster in Japan is bound to ruin the fishing industry that depends on fisting off the Eastern Coast of Japan. Since some fish species travel across oceans contaminated fish in this region are bound to contaminate the nearby coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean and China Sea. In fact, contaminated fish has been reported caught in Hong Kong just a couple of weeks after the disaster. This is of serious concern for the Philippines and I would recommend that Philippine authorities begin to monitor fish caught in the region.

    3. Averting nuclear meltdown

    Can a meltdown be avoided? Yes, but it will require rectification of present defective design of nuclear reactors. There should be no power shut off for a reactor to keep the water cooling system running and prevent overheating and meltdown. Installation of appropriate UPS (uninterrupted power service) will insure it. Moreover, there should be an automatic nuclear reaction shut off to suppress further heat generation and prevent meltdown in case the UPS fails. This can be accomplished by installing neutron absorbers (neutron of sufficiently low energy – 0.25 calories – split the uranium core nuclei causing nuclear fission that releases nuclear energy) such as cadmium or graphite rods that can be inserted suitably into the uranium core to choke off nuclear fission. (For the underlying physical explanation, see [3], [5])

    Note on the PNRI research reactor in the Philippines

    It should be noted that the nuclear disaster in Japan was caused not by the tsunami triggered by the earthquake that occurred there but by that earthquake itself. Therefore, the same disaster could occur at the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute research reactor in Diliman, Q.C., especially, since it is close to a branch of the Marikina Faults that passes under the University of the Philippines Library. I don’t know the power of the research reactor (it should be considerably less than that of a power reactor) but it should be an issue to worry about. I am recommending not a shutdown of the reactor but an automatic “choke” mechanism that would turn off the reactor in the event of an earthquake. Then it can be restarted again.

    4. Safe alternatives

    There are, of course, safe alternatives to nuclear and fossil fuels for generating energy. Under traditional power generation, we mention the following:

    (1) Geothermal power plant with suitable design that recycles the geothermal steam and avoids release of sulfur that causes acid rain as well as damage to the topography of the ground due to distortion of ground surface.
    (2) The use of ethanol for internal combustion engine. Ethanol comes from common crops such as cassava and sugar cane. More than 50% of idle land in the Philippines is suitable for growing cassava.
    However, this would eat up that can be allotted food production.

    (3) A new emerging technology uses the cold underground water for air conditioning and refrigeration. This is, of course, more environment friendly than conventional air conditioning and refrigeration. I have a friend in India who is venturing into this new technology. However, its usefulness as energy source is quite limited.

    We now have a new category, GUT technology, that uses the clean, inexhaustible dark matter comprising over 95% of and abundant everywhere in the cosmos [3], [4], [5], [6]. GUT means grand unified theory [3], the basis of the design and construction of such technology [5], [6]. This technology uses the natural engine of the vortex flux of superstrings provided by the magnet. Among the existing GUT technology are the following [5]:
    (a) The magnetic train. It uses two magnetic vortex fluxes of opposite spins that push each other and the train, one fixed magnet on the track and the other underneath the train. Such vortex fluxes are natural engines in dark matter.

    (b) Another GUT technology which is at the design and prototyping phase is the electromagnetic car which I introduced in India in collaboration with colleagues there. It also uses similar natural engines.

    (c) The present electric power plant is only partial GUT technology for it uses other source of energy side by side with the natural dark engine (magnetic vortex flux) such as gasoline, geothermal steam, tidal energy, river current and water falls.

    There is a potential for building an electromagnetic power plant using magnets alone. I have received an invitation from an industrialist in India interested in its research and development.

    Another electromagnetic engine based on GUT, specifically, the principles that account for magnetic levitation, can provide power to space vehicle that travels through the gravitational field of the Earth that extends far beyond the Moon or any cosmological body such as the Sun and any galaxy. This can revolutionize travel around Earth. Research and development for travel around Earth can be started now but for general space travel that is still way into the future.

    References

    [1] Escultura, E. E. Turbulence: theory, verification and applications, J. Nonlinear Analysis, A-Series: Theory, Methods and Applications, 2001, 47, 8, pp. 5955 – 5966.
    [2] Escultura, E. E. The Pillars of the new physics and some updates, J. Nonlinear Studies, 2007, 14, 3, pp. 241 – 260.
    [3] Escultura, E. E. The grand unified theory, contribution to the Felicitation Volume on the occasion of the 85th birth anniversary of Prof. V. Lakshmikantham, J. Nonlinear Analysis, A-Series: Theory: Method and Applications, 2008, 69, 3, pp. 823 – 831.
    [4] Escultura, E. E. The mathematics of the grand unified theory, Proc. 5th World Congress of Nonlinear Analysts, J. Nonlinear Analysis, A-Series: Theory: Method and Applications, 2009, 71, pp. e420 – e431.
    [5] Scientific natural Philosophy, an ebook in Press, Bentham Science Publishers.
    [6] Lakshmikantham, V.; Escultura, E. E.; Leela, S. The Hybrid Grand Unified Theory, Atlantis (World Scientific): Paris, March 2009.
    [7] (a) The Earth Atlas; (b) The Oceans Atlas, Dorling Kindersley: London, 1994.

  30. Forgot to mention that dark matter, as alternative to nuclear or fossil fuel, is also free because it fills up the whole Cosmos and consists of the basic constituent of matter, the superstring.For complete information on dark matter,view: Abstracts and Summarry of Publications on GUT, http://users.tpg.com.au/pidro/ – E. E. Escultura

  31. cameron says:

    I think clean coal is the most preferred alternative for most countries but yes, I have to agree that it is almost impossible to achieve because having that massive Co2 catchment storage area is just too difficult to accomplish, with limited space and hefty costs. Other than that, I feel that the patchwork method will work just fine and electricity supply should be transmitted occasionally instead of continuously. It takes time to adapt, but it will work somehow.

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