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Thread: Free Energy

  1. #1 Free Energy 
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    Ok, very cheap solar panels or fusion would provide very cheap energy. In fact enough energy to power the earth and life all societies from poverty. But here's the thing so far solar panels are too expensive and controlled fusion that provides more energy than it uses doesn't work.

    Do you think that as a society sometime in the future we will overcome these obstacles and get free energy? Or will scarcity always dominate our energy needs ?


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  3. #2 Re: Free Energy 
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekib82
    Ok, very cheap solar panels or fusion would provide very cheap energy...

    Do you think that as a society sometime in the future we will overcome these obstacles and get free energy? Or will scarcity always dominate our energy needs ?
    Both of your statements ignore the cost of infrastructure construction and maintenance required the collect, concentrate, condition, store and distribute energy in the proper form at the point of usage. These aspects of energy consumption will never be free. All forms of energy we use today are "free" in the sense that they already exist in our environment. It is all of the above mentioned activities that contribute to the cost of energy - plus, of course, as much profit as can be levied.

    Chris


    It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.
    Robert H. Goddard - 1904
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  4. #3 Re: Free Energy 
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSMYTH3025
    Quote Originally Posted by shekib82
    Ok, very cheap solar panels or fusion would provide very cheap energy...

    Do you think that as a society sometime in the future we will overcome these obstacles and get free energy? Or will scarcity always dominate our energy needs ?
    Both of your statements ignore the cost of infrastructure construction and maintenance required the collect, concentrate, condition, store and distribute energy in the proper form at the point of usage. These aspects of energy consumption will never be free. All forms of energy we use today are "free" in the sense that they already exist in our environment. It is all of the above mentioned activities that contribute to the cost of energy - plus, of course, as much profit as can be levied.

    Chris
    As I said "Very Cheap Solar Panels", I am not ignoring the cost of infrastructure, I am assuming that infrastructure would be very cheap, thus rendering the cost of energy negligible. And this is what I am asking, whether the cost of extracting energy either from the sun or from water or I will also add even from hydrocarbons will become so cheap that the cost of energy will be free or almost free.

    Another way to ask the question is whether the day will come where we will live in a world of energy abundance?
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  5. #4  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
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    The more energy we have access to, the more ways we find to use it.
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  6. #5  
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    Probably the cost of solar panels will go down if they become widespread, due to economy of scale. The infrastructure to make them cheaply is just too expensive to be worth setting up if there's only going to be a few people ordering them.

    It's not unlike the computer industry. When SDRAM first appeared, it was crazy expensive. The factories that make SDRAM (or DDR RAM now) are so sensitive to contamination, that the workers have to wear plastic suits to prevent skin flakes from their bodies falling off and forming dust. But now that all the factories are already built, and the protocols to keep them running smoothly have been hammered out, the price is not nearly so bad. Both quality and performance have improved, but the price for the latest improved version is lower now than the price for low end RAM was in 2002.

    Probably the fate of solar panels will be similar if they become popular enough. They're really hard to make, so it's going to take a lot of consumer interest to get the factories built.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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