What is/will be the best energy source for this earth?

Posted by: PetersSmith

There are many energy sources we can use, some clean, some not, and some that are very dangerous. However, which one is really the best that we should lean towards and put further research in?

Vote
17 Total Votes
1

Nuclear Fusion

In nuclear physics, nuclear fusion is a nuclear reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei collide at a very high speed and join to form a new type of atomic nucleus. During this process, matter is not conserved because some of the matter of the fu... sing nuclei is converted to photons. Fusion is the process that powers active or "main sequence" stars.The fusion of two nuclei with lower masses than iron generally releases energy, while the fusion of nuclei heavier than iron absorbs energy. The opposite is true for the reverse process, nuclear fission. This means that fusion generally occurs for lighter elements only, and likewise, that fission normally occurs only for heavier elements. There are extreme astrophysical events that can lead to short periods of fusion with heavier nuclei. This is the process that gives rise to nucleosynthesis, the creation of the heavy elements during events such as supernovae. Following the discovery of quantum tunneling by Friedrich Hund, in 1929 Robert Atkinson and Fritz Houtermans used the measured masses of light elements to predict that large amounts of energy could be released by fusing small nuclei   more
10 votes
1 comment
2

Other

Feel that there is an energy form that I missed? Post it in the comments and I might add it to the list.
3 votes
3 comments
3

Solar power

Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics, or indirectly using concentrated solar power. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunli... ght into a small beam. Photovoltaics convert light into electric current using the photovoltaic effect.Photovoltaics were initially, and still are, used to power small and medium-sized applications, from the calculator powered by a single solar cell to off-grid homes powered by a photovoltaic array. They are an important and relatively inexpensive source of electrical energy where grid power is inconvenient, unreasonably expensive to connect, or simply unavailable. However, as the cost of solar electricity is falling, solar power is also increasingly being used even in grid-connected situations as a way to feed low-carbon energy into the grid.Commercial concentrated solar power plants were first developed in the 1980s. The 392 MW ISEGS CSP installation is the largest solar power plant in the world, located in the Mojave Desert of California   more
2 votes
0 comments
4

Ethonol/Biofuel

In 1917, Alexander Graham Bell advocated ethanol from corn, wheat and other foods as an alternative to coal and oil, stating that the world was in measurable distance of depleting these fuels. For Bell, the problem requiring an alternative was lack ... of renewability of orthodox energy sources. Since the 1970s, Brazil has had an ethanol fuel program which has allowed the country to become the world's second largest producer of ethanol (after the United States) and the world's largest exporter. Brazil’s ethanol fuel program uses modern equipment and cheap sugar cane as feedstock, and the residual cane-waste (bagasse) is used to process heat and power.[15] There are no longer light vehicles in Brazil running on pure gasoline. By the end of 2008 there were 35,000 filling stations throughout Brazil with at least one ethanol pump. Cellulosic ethanol can be produced from a diverse array of feedstocks, and involves the use of the whole crop. This new approach should increase yields and reduce the carbon footprint because the amount of energy-intensive fertilizers and fungicides will remain the same, for a higher output of usable material. As of 2008, there are nine commercial cellulosic ethanol plants which are either operating, or under construction, in the United States. Second-generation biofuels technologies are able to manufacture biofuels from inedible biomass and could hence prevent conversion of food into fuel." As of July 2010, there is one commercial second-generation (2G) ethanol plant Inbicon Biomass Refinery, which is operating in Denmark   more
1 vote
1 comment
5

Zero-point energy

Zero-point energy, also called quantum vacuum zero-point energy, is the lowest possible energy that a quantum mechanical physical system may have; it is the energy of its ground state. All quantum mechanical systems undergo fluctuations even in thei... r ground state and have an associated zero-point energy, a consequence of their wave-like nature. The uncertainty principle requires every physical system to have a zero-point energy greater than the minimum of its classical potential well. This results in motion even at absolute zero. For example, liquid helium does not freeze under atmospheric pressure at any temperature because of its zero-point energy. The concept of zero-point energy was developed in Germany by Albert Einstein and Otto Stern in 1913, as a corrective term added to a zero-grounded formula developed by Max Planck in 1900.[1][2] The term zero-point energy originates from the German Nullpunktsenergie. An alternative form of the German term is Nullpunktenergie (without the s). Vacuum energy is the zero-point energy of all the fields in space, which in the Standard Model includes the electromagnetic field, other gauge fields, fermionic fields, and the Higgs field. It is the energy of the vacuum, which in quantum field theory is defined not as empty space but as the ground state of the fields. In cosmology, the vacuum energy is one possible explanation for the cosmological constant. A related term is zero-point field, which is the lowest energy state of a particular field   more
1 vote
0 comments
6

Harvesting lightning energy

Since the late 1980s, there have been several attempts to investigate the possibility of harvesting lightning energy. While a single bolt of lightning carries a relatively large amount of energy, this energy is concentrated in a small location and i... s passed during an extremely short period of time; therefore, extremely high electrical power is involved. It has been proposed that the energy contained in lightning be used to generate hydrogen from water, or to harness the energy from rapid heating of water due to lightning, or to use a group of lightning arresters to harness a strike, either directly or by converting it to heat or mechanical energy, or to use inductors spaced far enough away so that a safe fraction of the energy might be captured   more
0 votes
0 comments
7

Tesla coil

A Tesla coil is an electrical resonant transformer circuit invented by Nikola Tesla around 1891. It is used to produce high-voltage, low-current, high frequency alternating-current electricity. Tesla experimented with a number of different configura... tions consisting of two, or sometimes three, coupled resonant electric circuits.Tesla used these coils to conduct innovative experiments in electrical lighting, phosphorescence, X-ray generation, high frequency alternating current phenomena, electrotherapy, and the transmission of electrical energy without wires. Tesla coil circuits were used commercially in sparkgap radio transmitters for wireless telegraphy until the 1920s, and in medical equipment such as electrotherapy and violet ray devices. Today their main use is for entertainment and educational displays, although small coils are used as leak detectors for high vacuum systems   more
0 votes
0 comments
8

Human power

Human power is work or energy that is produced from the human body. It can also refer to the power of a human. Power comes primarily from muscles, but body heat is also used to do work like warming shelters, food, or other humans.World records of po... wer performance by humans are of interest to work planners and work-process engineers. The average level of human power that can be maintained over a certain duration of time, say over the extent of one minute or one hour is interesting to engineers designing work operations in industry. Human power is sometimes used to generate electricity that is stored   more
0 votes
0 comments
9

Antimatter

In particle physics, antimatter is material composed of antiparticles, which have the same mass as particles of ordinary matter but have opposite charge and other particle properties such as lepton and baryon number. Encounters between particles and...  antiparticles lead to the annihilation of both, giving rise to varying proportions of high-energy photons, neutrinos, and lower-mass particle–antiparticle pairs. Setting aside the mass of any product neutrinos, which represent released energy which generally continues to be unavailable, the end result of annihilation is a release of energy available to do work, proportional to the total matter and antimatter mass, in accord with the mass-energy equivalence equation, E=mc².Antiparticles bind with each other to form antimatter just as ordinary particles bind to form normal matter. For example, a positron and an antiproton can form an antihydrogen atom. Physical principles indicate that complex antimatter atomic nuclei are possible, as well as anti-atoms corresponding to the known chemical elements. To date, however, anti-atoms more complex than antihelium have neither been artificially produced nor observed in nature   more
0 votes
0 comments
10

Methanol Fuel

Methanol is an alternative fuel for internal combustion and other engines, either in combination with gasoline or directly. It is used in racing cars in many countries. In the U.S., methanol fuel has received less attention than ethanol fuel as an a... lternative to petroleum-based fuels, because in the 2000s particularly, the support of corn-based ethanol offered certain political advantages. In general, ethanol is less toxic and has higher energy density, although methanol is less expensive to produce sustainably and is a less expensive way to reduce the carbon footprint. However, for optimizing engine performance, fuel availability, toxicity and political advantage, a blend of ethanol, methanol and petroleum is likely to be preferable to using any of these individual substances alone. Methanol may be made from hydrocarbon or renewable resources, in particular natural gas and biomass respectively. It can also be synthesized from CO₂ and hydrogen   more
0 votes
0 comments
11

Coal

Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposu... re to elevated temperature and pressure. Coal is composed primarily of carbon along with variable quantities of other elements, chiefly hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen.Throughout history, coal has been used as an energy resource, primarily burned for the production of electricity and/or heat, and is also used for industrial purposes, such as refining metals. A fossil fuel, coal forms when dead plant matter is converted into peat, which in turn is converted into lignite, then sub-bituminous coal, after that bituminous coal, and lastly anthracite. This involves biological and geological processes that take place over a long period. The Energy Information Administration estimates coal reserves at 948×10^9 short tons. One estimate for resources is 18 000 Gt.Coal is the largest source of energy for the generation of electricity worldwide, as well as one of the largest worldwide anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide releases   more
0 votes
0 comments
12

Petroleum

The petroleum industry includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline. Petroleum is also the raw material for ... many chemical products, including pharmaceuticals, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, and plastics. The industry is usually divided into three major components: upstream, midstream and downstream. Midstream operations are usually included in the downstream category.Petroleum is vital to many industries, and is of importance to the maintenance of industrial civilization in its current configuration, and thus is a critical concern for many nations. Oil accounts for a large percentage of the world’s energy consumption, ranging from a low of 32% for Europe and Asia, to a high of 53% for the Middle East.Other geographic regions’ consumption patterns are as follows: South and Central America, Africa, and North America. The world consumes 30 billion barrels of oil per year, with developed nations being the largest consumers. The United States consumed 25% of the oil produced in 2007   more
0 votes
0 comments
13

Natural gas

Natural gas is a fossil fuel formed when layers of buried plants, gases, and animals are exposed to intense heat and pressure over thousands of years. The energy that the plants originally obtained from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bond... s in natural gas. Natural gas is a nonrenewable resource because it cannot be replenished on a human time frame. Natural gas is a hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly includes varying amounts of other higher alkanes and even a lesser percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and hydrogen sulfide. Natural gas is an energy source often used for heating, cooking, and electricity generation. It is also used as fuel for vehicles and as a chemical feedstock in the manufacture of plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals.Natural gas is found in deep underground rock formations or associated with other hydrocarbon reservoirs in coal beds and as methane clathrates. Petroleum is another resource and fossil fuel found in close proximity to, and with natural gas. Most natural gas was created over time by two mechanisms: biogenic and thermogenic   more
0 votes
0 comments
14

Hydropower

Hydro-power or water power is power derived from the energy of falling water and running water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydro-power has been used for irrigation and the operation of various mechanical devices... , such as watermills, sawmills, textile mills, dock cranes, domestic lifts, power houses and paint making.Since the early 20th century, the term has been used almost exclusively in conjunction with the modern development of hydro-electric power, which allowed use of distant energy sources. Another method used to transmit energy used a trompe, which produces compressed air from falling water. Compressed air could then be piped to power other machinery at a distance from the waterfall. Hydro power is a renewable energy source.Water's power is manifested in hydrology, by the forces of water on the riverbed and banks of a river. When a river is in flood, it is at its most powerful, and moves the greatest amount of sediment. This higher force results in the removal of sediment and other material from the riverbed and banks of the river, locally causing erosion, transport and, with lower flow, sedimentation downstream   more
0 votes
0 comments
15

Wind power

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to produce electrical power, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships.Large wind farms con... sist of hundreds of individual wind turbines which are connected to the electric power transmission network. For new constructions, onshore wind is an inexpensive source of electricity, competitive with or in many places cheaper than fossil fuel plants. Offshore wind is steadier and stronger than on land, and offshore farms have less visual impact, but construction and maintenance costs are considerably higher. Small onshore wind farms can feed some energy into the grid or provide electricity to isolated off-grid locations.Wind power, as an alternative to fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation and uses little land. The effects on the environment are generally less problematic than those from other power sources   more
0 votes
0 comments
16

Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. Thermal energy is the energy that determines the temperature of matter. The geothermal energy of the Earth's crust originates from the original formation of the planet (20%) and ... from radioactive decay of minerals (80%). Geothermal power is cost effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly, but has historically been limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries. Recent technological advances have dramatically expanded the range and size of viable resources, especially for applications such as home heating, opening a potential for widespread exploitation. Geothermal wells release greenhouse gases trapped deep within the earth, but these emissions are much lower per energy unit than those of fossil fuels. As a result, geothermal power has the potential to help mitigate global warming if widely deployed in place of fossil fuels. The Earth's geothermal resources are theoretically more than adequate to supply humanity's energy needs, but only a very small fraction may be profitably exploited. Drilling and exploration for deep resources is very expensive. Forecasts for the future of geothermal power depend on assumptions about technology, energy prices, subsidies, and interest rates. Pilot programs like EWEB's customer opt in Green Power Program show that customers would be willing to pay a little more for a renewable energy source like geothermal. But as a result of government assisted research and industry experience, the cost of generating geothermal power has decreased by 25% over the past two decades. In 2001, geothermal energy cost between two and ten US cents per kWh   more
0 votes
0 comments
17

Nuclear fission

In nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry, nuclear fission is either a nuclear reaction or a radioactive decay process in which the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller parts. The fission process often produces free neutrons and photons, and releas... es a very large amount of energy even by the energetic standards of radioactive decay. Nuclear fission of heavy elements was discovered on December 17, 1938 by Otto Hahn and his assistant Fritz Strassmann, and explained theoretically in January 1939 by Lise Meitner and her nephew Otto Robert Frisch. Frisch named the process by analogy with biological fission of living cells. It is an exothermic reaction which can release large amounts of energy both as electromagnetic radiation and as kinetic energy of the fragments. In order for fission to produce energy, the total binding energy of the resulting elements must be greater than that of the starting element. Fission is a form of nuclear transmutation because the resulting fragments are not the same element as the original atom   more
0 votes
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(Maximum 900 words)
PetersSmith says2014-07-06T18:30:46.1868203-05:00
Whoever votes other please describe the energy source, thanks!
PetersSmith says2014-07-06T18:38:10.9713402-05:00
Ben671176: Biofuel made from animal waste should just go under biofuel. It's a very general category. I recommend that you change your vote. Thanks anyway!
ben671176 says2014-07-06T18:49:32.6973953-05:00
According to RELIABLE stats from 2013: Oil will be gone in 40 years Natural Gas in 60 years Uranuim in 80 years Coal in 120 years
ben671176 says2014-07-06T18:50:04.3030031-05:00
Back to you PeterSmith
PetersSmith says2014-07-06T18:50:42.0550031-05:00
I meant change your vote to biofuel
PetersSmith says2014-07-06T18:52:03.3310031-05:00
Logical.Assasinator: While I agree with your approach, the "Other" category is there for an idea for a completely different form of energy. I would appreciate it if you chose one of the ones you want, but I can't stop you.
ben671176 says2014-07-06T18:52:11.0062031-05:00
Read my comment on the resources, though when I made it it was so more organized
PetersSmith says2014-07-06T18:53:24.4304685-05:00
Ben671176: Thank you, I didn't mean to offend in any way.
PetersSmith says2014-07-06T18:59:02.4041706-05:00
Reece: Thank you for your suggestion, I was not aware that zero-point energy can be used as a fuel and/or energy source, but I'll take your word for it.
reece says2014-07-06T19:02:45.7234031-05:00
@PetersSmith it's very theoretical though..
reece says2014-07-06T19:12:19.5511531-05:00
There is also cold fusion?
PetersSmith says2014-07-06T19:31:28.8830482-05:00
Reece: If you want to go that wild then just choose antimatter.
reece says2014-07-06T19:45:11.1133765-05:00
It's tempting but i think i'll stay with my ZPE.
ben671176 says2014-07-06T19:47:14.7317106-05:00
Numbers on a screen! That always helps.
Formerland1 says2014-07-07T00:27:28.7376147-05:00
And hydrogen will be gone never so fusion remain the best source of power
Criomorph says2014-07-07T11:20:27.0601931-05:00
Out of these several are WAY out of our reach, and Tesla Coils are in existence...They're just useless, as it is. Gas, coal and petrol have gotten us in to the mess that we are already, solar is good, but it still needs certain advancements to be made viable(like the power-cell and orbital solar-power stations, tougher cells and a better system to clean them - dust makes for havoc), human power is.....Basically it advertizes slavery, Fission is a good one, it's far cleaner than fossil fuels but...We need a better method of disposing or recycling the waste, the same goes for Fusion(which I voted for), wind power alone is inefficient and insufficient, and the same goes for pure hydropower(IE: Damns on rivers), biofuel is...Not as wasteful but still not that good and anti-mater, zero-point and lightning harvesting are still way our of our capabilities. Though, anti-mater could produce MASSIVE amounts of energy...Of the explosive variety. As for geothermal? I'm not so sure that it'd be best if we concentrated on that one, not enough output, frankly, Though, you missed at least one that I know of - a type of hydroelectric which harnesses the power of water currents and the tide in particular.
Criomorph says2014-07-07T11:21:07.4259948-05:00
In the end, I think a combo is probably best.

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