Originally posted by FabianFnas
Yes there is a limit, but the finansial limit is lower.
I mean, that we cannot afford building so many solar panels, wind tubines, or wave stations to affect the weather.
The greatest risque is to build hydroelectrical dams, and we are not near any problems, yet.
The biggest problem we have is not burning oil, the biggest problem is not to produce no ...[text shortened]... rgy (at our level), the biggest problem currently is to inject to much CO2 into the atmosphere.
For that to work, there would have to be strict limits on how much driving you can do, like I drive 32 Km to work one way, so 65 Km/day X5 325 Km/wk, 16000 km/yr. So even if I got 20Km/liter (47 MPG) =800 liters/year just for transport for one person. Now if we were forced to carpool, say then 200 L/yr/person for that car then suppose in the US there are 100,000,000 workers doing the same then we would use 20 BILLION (20,000 million) liters/year just for transport.
Now I used a pretty low petrol using vehicle with 4 people per car. That would be the same as if everyone using a separate car was getting 80 Km/liter of petrol or 300 miles per gallon. Sounds like a very low estimate of the amount needed just to get to work, assuming everyone drove 64 Km/day, which is probably not accurate, I would guess the average at more like 20 Km/day 10Km one way average, but even if so, that would still be 7 billion liters per year just for 100,000,000 people, so multiply that times ten, 1 billion drivers, you get 70 billion liters/year or 7 TRILLION liters/century. That's just for driving to work. So we would use that much even if we managed to use zero amount of fossil fuel for homes and that does not count industry.
So how do we get out of that bind? It would seem to me we would have to have a vast amount of chemical industry making H2 somehow, maybe using catalyst and solar combined and some form of adsorbing solid that would give us a way to store enough for say, 400 Km of driving. So we better get together and come up with SOMETHING or we are cooked. In our own juice! I did see a new technology that absorbs CO2 directly using nanotech and solar energy so maybe all is not lost. If we could come up with 70% efficient solar cells (my dream is solar cell paint, paint the car with it and the whole car absorbs sunlight to generate power when parked all day in the sun, maybe that alone could get you back and forth to work at least)
then depending on the cost of the cells, that's another thing: With all this talk of hyper stimulus from Pres. Obama, why not put 500 billion into solar cells, even present day things, the best ones we can make with present day technology, I bet that would go a long way to making us energy independent from fossil fuel. Haven't run #'s on that though. Well I did a search and there are at least two companies in the US now manufacturing solar cells for less than a dollar a watt. I assume that means 2 bucks a watt out the door, still half the regular price, but if a half trillion bucks was pumped into it I bet they would come way down from there, maybe 50cents a watt out the door, which would mean 500 gigabucks would give you a TERAwatt of energy. That is about 10% of the consumption of energy per year in the US. So at that rate, 5 trillion US bucks would take us totally off fossil fuels. The only question then would be is there enough raw materials to make that many solar cells, I think they are some kind of thin cell made of copper/indium/gallium something like that, so there may be a limit to the # of such cells you could manufacture due to lack of resources on the planet.