We used fire to release energy from the Sun stored in the wood from trees.
Then we discovered better things to burn.
Energy-packed ancient sunlight buried underground.
Burning that has set us free.
But fire has surely taken us as far as it can.
~ Professor Brian Cox
Since pre-history humans have relied on fire for energy, and for almost as long that fire has been fueled with biomass. Biomass is counted as renewable energy, and despite rarely featuring on magazine covers it is growing rapidly. It takes various modern forms and not all are positive.
Protected forests felled to meet EU renewable targets https://t.co/OiuAYtLwST Our brighter future lies in saying NO to mass biomass
— Ben Heard (@BNW_Ben) November 25, 2016
Seventy-four years ago scientists achieved the production of heat from an entirely different source which doesn’t need to burn anything. While more complex, energy-dense and rarer than fire, continued study revealed it to be just as natural. Putting this newest energy source to work as a direct replacement for combustion has now saved millions of lives and billions of tons of greenhouse gasses.
Awareness of these and other net benefits is spreading as the communication effort improves. A perfect example is this forthcoming documentary.
Please consider making a contribution to the documentary’s Kickstarter to support post-production efforts.
I’m about to get noise cancelling headphones when logging starts across the road. Apart from noise it will use large quantities of diesel for machines and trucks. These should be wood powered for starters then see how much energy is left over. Nutrients and carbon won’t be returned to the soil.
We’ll eventually need synfuel for planes, trucks and PHEVs. For something like Audi e-diesel we’ll need a cheap source of hydrogen like HTGRs.
Hey that could be an interesting project for ARENA to fund.