March 10 2008 / by Eriks Brolis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Energy Year: General Rating: 18
‘I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.’ Thomas Edison made that strong proclamation to Henry Ford in 1931. Edison’s confidence most likely stemmed from the fact that our sun is responsible for the propagation of life in addition to the vast majority of available energy on earth. (The most notable sub-surface exceptions being the energy potential of nuclear and geothermal which each come with their slew of challenges)
Wind is a “by-product” of the sun, created by the diurnal (day & night) effect of warming and cooling. Fossil fuels are simply what their name suggests – the fossilized remains of living organisms. Coal was the flora that photosynthesized the sun’s power; oil, natural gas, tar sands (collectively petrochemicals) the fauna. In short, the sun is responsible for the life and lifestyles here on earth both directly and indirectly.
If you believe that humans will be most effective by mimicking universal biological patterns and are already “regressing” in that direction (as I strongly do) this begs the question…What is the most direct way to sustainably harness the power of the sun? I assert that the two means that are most effective are (i) passive solar design and (ii) photovoltaic electricity production.