Prof Mark Jacobson of the University of Stanford believes that (for the USA) the best solution to the various problems of energy security, peak oil, and global warming lies in wind and solar thermal power:
The raw energy sources that Jacobson found to be the most promising are, in order, wind, concentrated solar (the use of mirrors to heat a fluid), geothermal, tidal, solar photovoltaics (rooftop solar panels), wave and hydroelectric.
In Prof Jacobson’s research paper he looks at how you could power every road vehicle in the USA using different methods and finds the best combination is wind power and electric battery vehicles.
[at Physorg][image from kevindooley on flickr]
Everyone knows the KISS principle, but too often it’s forgotten in an effort to build new gadgets. Typically, desalination requires large amounts of electricity, and operates at a low efficiency. Now, researchers from (where else) the Netherlands have skipped the electrical middleman and are using the mechanical energy created by a standard irrigation windmill to force water through a special reverse osmosis filter.
This will produce around 5-10 cubic meters of water, or roughly enough to satisfy 500 people, with a storage reservoir to save up for windless days. The prototype should be up and running soon on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. No word yet on when Los Angeles will get the 26,000 it needs to avert a crisis soon.
(via DailyTech) (image from press release)