Sunday, March 20, 2011

Japan in the 21st century of limited energy

Every cloud has a silver lining. Japan's hand has been forced by the earthquake and ensuing tsunami. Japan will be the first developed country to improvise its way into the 21st century where there will be less and less conventional energy resources available. It had to happen first with a country that imports 90%+ of its energy.

They can do it. They have the technology and brains and money. They now have the will. Instead of wasting billions subsidizing conventional energy they can bring to the forefront alternative energies such as solar, wind, tidal, geothermal. In the future, active geothermal areas will be treasured like a newly discovered oil field. Just remember all that's done by oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear is boil water to turn a turbine. A turbine is also turned by water in a dam. We have an unlimited radioactive magma source below the crust that can be exploited. Another resource is tidal waves. A gate opens and water rushes in at high tide. The gate closes at the peak of high tide. Now all the water rushes back through a dam and turbine. Liquid water has a lot more force behind it than water vapor. In fact, dams are the biggest power plants in the world. The Three Gorges dam in China produces 18gw of energy, a dam in Brazil produces 14gw, and a dam in Venezuela produces 10gw. The Daiichi plant in Japan, with its 6 nuclear powered turbines only produces 4.3gw at peak. And look at all the trouble it causes. If those billions were invested in solar on top of everyone homes or win turbines in people's backyards, then maybe it would've produced 10-20% of the energy the nuclear plant produced. The people would, of course, need to be more miserly with electricity.

[MP3] Financial Survival Radio interview with James Howard Kunstler: Japan's forced hand with dimishing energy supply

[Article] Tokyo in the Dark: A beginning of a new era

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