What are some examples of sustainable energy producing technologies? I’ve found that there is a myth that environmentally sustainable solutions are not economically viable. However, I have found this to be false, because the definition of sustainability is dependent upon a technology’s efficiency, therefore a truely sustainable tech would actually be more economically feasible.
I’ll give the example of Peak Oil . The basic concept as I understand it is that we will eventually reach a point where the energy required to aquire a barrel of oil will exceed the energy output of a barrel of oil, making the aquisition of oil undesirable.
So for a tech to be sustainable it needs to require less energy output to aquire it than it produces.
So I’m going to start us off with Biodiesel and Solar Paint. Now I won’t say much about Solar Paint as I can’t really find any examples of it being available to the public just yet, but it’s a neat idea that I feel is about to come to fruition as I found a couple links referring to people working on making it possible. However, in the case of biodiesel, I have heard people talk about it’s economic value, and the fact that it generally is more expensive than petrodiesel. This is something of a misnomer, as most biodiesel that is currently in production is produced from soybean oil which isn’t all that great for cooking. The soybean industry has been one of the main pushers of biodiesel. However, the problem with soybean oil is that it’s a very expensive way to produce biodiesel. Reclaimed frier grease from restaurants is a much cheaper way to produce biodiesel, as it is a waste product that has already been produced for another purpose and they are not producing it purely for this purpose. So if biodiesel were to be made from reclaimed vegetable grease, it would actually be cheaper than petrodiesel. The first diesel engine ran on Hemp and Linseed oil.
So what are some other sustainable energy technologies that aren’t really in use? I’ve been wondering specifically about ways to reclaim kinetic energy from the motion of the Earth, ourselves etc… Taking the self-winding watch concept much further. I had an idea for a boat that had a whole bunch of mercury switches inside it to reclaim energy from the tides.
I’ve been really interested in this for the past few weeks because I just took a trip on my friend’s veggie bus to the Rainbow Gathering. The bus itself has filters inside of it that filter the vegetable oil to get rid of particulate matter, and then has a line running from the radiator into the fuel tank to heat the oil in order to thin it so that a diesel engine can compress it as it would diesel fuel. It has a smaller diesel tank that is used to get it started. The bus also has a solar panel and battery system that can run a sound system for a party for a few hours.
So I’m interested in other such sustainable techs that I might not know about. I read the article in Wired about the guy reclaiming it from the bottom of the ocean, that was interesting in case any of you haven’t read it. So it seems to me like people are really on this tip right about now.