I de-cluttered my REZONE to New Urbanism page as the Principles section was very messy and needed extreme pruning.
Then I rewrote some of my REFUEL on RENEWABLES page and edited the section on a Worldwide grid to include the following, and I hope it is clearer.
Stable power supply.
Many scientists and sustainability campaigners take the view that a worldwide energy grid is the most efficient way we can use often intermittent renewable energy. Terrawatts.com and Geni.org both cover the emerging technologies and strategies for a world-wide renewable Super-grid. I love the sound of it, and hope it can happen soon, while we still have some oil with which to build it!
A grid of this size means that somewhere the wind will always be blowing and the sun will always be shining. Mix in a diverse energy grid also using 24 hour CETO wave energy, 24 hour Solar thermal power, 24 hour geothermal power, micro-hydro, smaller biomass power and even some energy storage methods, and we have the potential for a stable base-load renewable energy source!
Super-efficient High Voltage Direct Current transmission systems (HVDC) offer the hope of super-regional and even a global energy grid! These extremely efficient transmission lines are so good that “Losses are quoted as about 3% per 1000 km.” (See HVDC Wiki) This would allow us to transport electricity longer distances from a variety of sources. We are looking at image from the Australian TREC website which illustrates the shape of the future power grid in Africa and some of Europe. Note the multiple sources, but scattered over vast distances. The TREC Australia division have even written a piece on how HVDC could allow a 100% solar & geo-thermal economy by 2050, in a vision remarkably similar to Tim Flannery’s “Geothermia”. Just being able to extend a grid across a few time zones will drastically improve peak load management, let alone the ability to shunt power across continents! Indeed, Herman Scheer clearly argues that there is a conspiracy of misinformation by Big Oil, gas, and King Coal to deliberately misinform the public about the potential of renewable energy because hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake! (See Big Picture TV — about 3 minutes).
Imagine Africa supplying power to Europe, poorer Asian nations sending wind up to central Asia, and the United South America trading across its own continent renewed energy and economic independence. It can happen. The Dymaxion map of the earth (below) illustrates the possibilities. Much of it is already built, we ‘just’ need to connect America to Eurasia, and Australia to Indonesia. Now imagine a steady trickle of wealth slowly infused into the poorer southern nations rich in solar energy. It would provide sustainable industries, a great source of jobs, and good money.
Indeed, will the international energy agencies needed to set the international energy standards bring around a global economic agreement that gradually transforms the world into a global Federal Union? Imagine a global currency simplifying all trade issues and ‘runs on the dollar’, a global energy grid, global economic security all resulting in a stable global population? We could nudge these humble international renewable energy agreements along and gradually build upon them economic agreements, legal agreements, fostering universal human rights and democracy. How do I know it’s possible, and not just another case of beauty pageants mouthing ‘world peace’? Because it has happened before. Modern Europe evolved from the extremely basic foundation of the 1951 European Coal and Steel Community.