Some facts about the alternative energy resources - will biodiesel, hydrogen, photovoltaics, tide and wind save our way of life?

There is no substitute for energy. The whole edifice of modern society is
built upon it. It is not "just another commodity" but the precondition of
all commodities, a basic factor equal with air, water and earth.

-- E. F. Schumacher (1973)

If we could make a car that drives 700 km per single charge and is connected to off grid solution to power the house in a tiny garage size company, then big car producers could have done it faster, better and cheaper. But it seems there is no will...


We have passed the "peak oil", so we should act immediatelly!

Unfortunatelly what is written HERE might even be true!


1. Hydrogen

It is a well known gas being already used for many purposes in 19th and 20th century (baloons, rocket fuel). It is supposed that it will replace liquid fuels we use now for transportation (gasoline, diesel, kerosine). When I was a child I read about hydrogen cars that actually drove and had good performances, but.... there are two main problems that do not seem to be easily solved:

  1. Hydrogen does not occur free in nature in useful quantities. It has to be made, usually by splitting water H2O to get the hydrogen. This requires all the energy you are going to get from burning the hydrogen and a bit more on account of inefficiencies. Therefore, hydrogen is an energy transfer medium rather than a primary source of energy. Hydrogen is obtained by splitting water (H2O) into hydrogen and oxygen. So we need electric energy to get hydrogen. Where do we get it? Unfortunatelly most of the electric energy on this World is produced by burning oil, gas or coal, so we are again where we started - at fossile fuels.
  2. Hydrogen is the lightest of the elements with an atomic weight of 1.0. Liquid hydrogen has a density of 0.07 grams per cubic centimeter, whereas water has a density of 1.0 g/cc and gasoline about 0.75 g/cc. These facts give hydrogen both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that it stores approximately 2.6 times the energy per unit mass as gasoline, and the disadvantage is that it needs about 4 times the volume for a given amount of energy. A 60 liter automobile gasoline tank contains 50 kg of gasoline. The corresponding hydrogen tank would be 240 liters, but the hydrogen would weigh only 17 kg. Storage of hydrogen has still not been solved

 2. Biodiesel, biogas and ethanol

Biodiesel is produced from vegetable or animal oil, ethanol is produced from vegetable hydro-carbons (corn, potatoes, sugar cane) and bio gas is produced from all kinds of vegetable wastes and animal manure.At first glance it seems to be perfect, but we consume at the moment almost 2 tons of fossile fuels per every person living on Earth (85% of the commercial energy consumed in the World is constituted of fossil fuels). To get enough biofuel we would have to sow 1-2 ha of fertile soil with crops that are used to get biofuel. By simply multipliing 6 billions of people by 2ha we get 12 billions ha of  soil what is 120 millions of square km and it is a number far greater then all the land on this planet. Despite this, biofuels could be a good addition to our energy needs.

3. Electric energy

It has already be used for transportation in late 19th century and is still used by trains, trams and some exotic cars. It has again two main problems. The first is the fact that we get most of the electricity from fossile fuels, so if we replace fossile fuels in cars by electricity, we have to burn even more fossile fuels to get that electricity (like with hydrogen). The other problem is storing of electricity. Since 1950 we have not invented much in this field and the best we have now are LiPo batteries that still weight about 150 kg to get a range of 100 miles for a small family car. Electric propulsion is more effective thrn intrnal combustion engines and it can be produced from renewables. But if we contine using big and heavy cars to drive one passanger to work and back and if the demand for cars continue grow in developing countries, then our energetic problems will continue. Production of electric energy mostly from renewable sources is possible, but we need a global electric network, V2G technology and smart grids.


We must immediatelly change our way of life and start consuming less (not only fuel - everything!). On the same time science and industry should push renewable energy sources and new alredy developed technologies while fashon should encourage the ones that consume less and not more. So symbols and idols of youth should no longer be some actors driving Hummers and big motor boats but the ones that live good life without consuming much energy. So called "third world" should no longer follow the "American way of life" as it is a way to World's destruction but preserve its traditional habits with an addition of nature and resources preserving technology that should be offered for free by the countries that own it. No matter which race, religion, gender or social status we have we must unite to save our only World from the climate, environmental and social catastrophy that is appearing in the near future.
We do not have to quit transportation or start living in icecold houses during winter, but we MUST change our driving habits and way of life, change the design of personal cars, build energy efficient buildings and renew existing ones and reduce consumption of unneccesary goods

We will not have another chance!

Here is a sample of our today's fashion:

The question is: will the last barrels of oil be used to power SUVs, or will they
be used to make the renewable energy infrastructure that is
needed and avoid an energy catastrophy?