Demand for Alternative Methods of Electricity Generation Increasing
Even Exxon-Mobil the world’s privately owned oil and gas company admits that electricity production is the future of energy. This bodes well for alternative methods of electricity production such as low energy nuclear reaction (LENR).
Exxon is predicting that if no other sources of electricity appear around 30% of the world’s electricity will be produced by natural gas by 2040. The company estimates that around 25% of the world’s electricity is currently generated using natural gas. Like a number of energy companies Exxon hopes to cash in on this by exporting excess gas from North America (mostly the USA) to Europe and Asia where prices for it are much higher. Prices there are higher because nuclear power is being abandoned in those areas in the wake of the catastrophe in Japan last year.
Exxon is one of several companies that are betting that natural gas will pay off big in the near future. Mining giant Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) recently spent $10 billion to buy two big US oil and gas exploration firms. Freeport is betting that energy will actually be more profitable than copper and gold in the next few few decades and it might be right.
Total electricity consumption in the US is expected to increase from 3,841 kilowatt hours in 2011 to 4,930 kilowatt hours in 2040 according the US Energy Information Agency. This in itself is a frightening figure because the fuel burned to get electricity right now is coal. Burning coal of course creates greenhouse gases and leads to global warming.
If the energy situation doesn’t change radically between now 2040 around 35% of America’s power will be created by burning coal in 2040. It’s particularly bothersome because overall electricity generation will have to increase by around 30% to keep up with the demand.
If there is no major increase in coal or natural gas powered electricity production we will be facing major electricity shortages like those currently seen in India in the US by around 2030 probably earlier. Despite what some environmentalists think, current green energy technologies cannot make up the difference.
So this means a very rosy future for LENR companies if they can deliver a working system. If Brillouin and Andrea Rossi are correct in their claims and they can deliver some sort of working LENR device in a few years they are posed to make a huge amount of money.
The future also bodes well for Francesco Celani and the various researchers working on his cell. Particularly those at Kressan who are dedicated to developing an LENR device designed to power data centers.
Something else that we might point out here is that new technologies could skew the demand for energy in the near future. If electric cars become reliable enough to compete with gasoline powered cars then demand for electricity might greatly increase. Ellon Musk of Tesla is now betting that he can deliver a profitable electric car in a few years. I wouldn’t bet against Mr. Musk, he’s succeeded where others have failed in the past.
One other factor that might greatly increase demand for electricity are the widespread adoption of electric powered rail in the United States. Particularly if high speed rail in California is a success. Electric powered locomotives are faster and more efficient than diesels but they’re also huge users of electricity.
Another development might be the return of large amounts of manufacturing from China to the United States. This is likely to happen if China’s cheap labor costs disappear or the increased use of robots eliminates the need for cheap labor entirely, if that happens it’ll be cheaper for Apple to build iPods in Alabama than in Guangzhou. The company that really builds the iPods and iPads, Foxxcon is already talking about replacing works with robots.
Finally there’s no telling what other new technologies that use a lot of technology might appear in the near future. Therefore electricity use in the new future is likely to be far higher.
If it is and somebody can deliver a working LENR device expect to see high profits from it on the order of Google or Exxon. Something else the huge demand for more energy will fuel more research and development into alternative energy. That means we’re likely to several new energy sources appear even as the demand for energy increases. That means we’re likely to see greatly increased demand for energy and an energy glut at the same time in the near future.
- electricity consumption and alternative methods of energy