DailyDirt: Harnessing A Lot Of Energy Ain't Easy
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
We’ve mentioned some advances in fusion energy research not too long ago, and it looks like Germany is ready to take a few more baby steps towards figuring out how to control insanely hot plasma. Still, we’re a long way from plentiful fusion-generated electricity (not counting solar), but if we want to stop burning fossil fuels, we’re going to need to do some more research.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel flipped the switch on the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator to start testing its experimental plasma conditions that could lead to a fusion generator someday. Germany has spent over a billion euros and two decades building this experimental device which will never actually generate more energy than it consumes. Let’s hope they learn a lot from this facility — and maybe we’ll have a new source of clean, convenient energy in a few more decades. [url]
- Nuclear reactors using fission (not fusion) are relatively expensive compared to other sources of energy. The history of small or modular nuclear reactors also suggests that there’s not much advantage in small scale nuclear power plants. Dealing with radioactive waste also just scares people away from fission, too. [url]
- If Back To The Future taught us anything, it’s that a lightning strike has enough energy to send a car through time itself — if you only knew where lightning was going to strike. Unfortunately, 1.21 gigawatts isn’t as useful as you might think, and capturing the energy of a lightning bolt doesn’t get you all that much energy (unless you could do it continuously somehow). [url]
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