Stanford University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mark Z Jacobson, claims that worldwide re-powering with Wind, Water, and Solar (WWS) energy, rather than continuing the use of fossil fuels and nuclear power, would save millions of lives per year from pollution, help avert disasters related to global warming, and increase worldwide economic, social, and political stability. He has a plan to achieve this goal. [more inside]
"This system could produce hydrogen anyplace that there is wastewater near sea water," said Bruce E. Logan, Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering. "It uses no grid electricity and is completely carbon neutral. It is an inexhaustible source of energy." [more inside]
The "Laser Inertial Fusion Engine" (LIFE) is being developed at the National Ignition Facility. Stewart Brand blogs about its potential here and this video (.mov 128MB) is stunning. How LIFE works. Successful early test shots suggest that the NIF will achieve first nuclear fusion ignition within the next few months (+10 years to commercial).
A solar updraft tower generates electricity with nothing more than a greenhouse and a tall chimney. A 195 meter tall prototype in Spain cheaply operated at 50 kW for years. Now there are plans to build others, including a 40 MW tower, 750 meters tall (near twice as tall as the current tallest structure in the EU). Two others, a 200 MW tower in Australia (previously discussed) or a 400 MW tower in Namibia could become the tallest structure of any kind if built: 1km and 1.5km tall, respectively. Yet even those are dwarfed by the theoretical super chimney which could stand 5km tall and 1km wide. Such a tower would use the Earth's atmosphere itself as the greenhouse, could cause rain, reduce global warming and generate over 300,000 MW of "green" electricity. [more inside]