I've covered many of the alternative energy technologies here, Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Hydrogen, among others but one I haven't covered is what I feel may be the technology that will ultimately will resolve our energy issues, just is it is the ultimate source of energy on our earth.
Fusion is the source of energy for our sun and the stars above, and if you believe statements made in EcoGeeks - Fusion Power in the Next Five Years!, Fusions "Time in the Sun", pardeon the pun is is sooner rather than later. The article states that:
In a world where we're all used to hearing that "Fusion power has been twenty years away for twenty years" hearing that it's five years away is pretty remarkable.I hope the are right, but there are people in the know, notably, Wal van Lierop, CEO of Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital who are convinced that a five year estimate is not that far out of reach. Check out what he has to say about Magnetized Target Fusion in C/Nets - Nuclear fusion is coming, says noted VC:
General Fusion hopes to create small fusion reactors that cost around $50 million a piece and generate roughly 100 megawatts allowing for roughly 4 cent / kwh electricity. That's about the same cost as coal.
The fusion system the use, called Magnetized Target Fusion which uses lithium as a fuel. The lithium is heated and mixed with intensely pressurized plasma. The lithium then breaks down into tritium (hydrogen with two neutrons), which is then mixed with deuterium (hydrogen with one extra neutron.) In the high energy environment, the tritium and the deuterium fuse to form helium, and create a whole lot of heat.
The heat captured is significantly greater than the energy used to run the device and the only byproduct is helium and other harmless gas.
"Within five years, large companies will start to think about building fusion reactors. In three to four years, scientists will demonstrate results that show that fusion has a 60 percent chance of success."Sphere: Related Content
Other notes from van Lierop:
• Although onshore wind power is mature, companies building offshore wind turbines have to figure out a way to deal with corrosion and maintenance. It is going to be a big problem that we will hear more about in the next few years.
• Municipalities will soon begin to explore solar microgrids. In this scenario, neighborhoods will get a substantial portion of their power from local solar plants. By delivering power locally, utilities will save on the costs of transporting power.
• Tax breaks and tax holidays may replace solar subsidies in some areas. Electricity is taxed, but utilities offer subsidies to those who install solar power. By switching to microgeneration, cities will find it easier to just forgo taxation rather than try to run a subsidy program.
He's not a big fan of corn ethanol. "Corn ethanol is a scam," he said.