At the Monte Jade annual conference on March 7, Dr. Arun Majumdar of Berkeley gave a very interesting talk on energy use and the opportunities for improvement. He presented lots of data. I found 3 of his points especially interesting:
1. When looking at overall energy use, there are 9 sources of supply and 6 areas of demand. Even high growth rate in solar would take years to be of significant impact — that should not stop solar.
2. Abatement of energy use is the most efficient and effective way in the short term to solve the energy crisis. There are many ways, including changing the way we build buildings and how a building is put together. These savings are extremely significant.
3. Battery, energy storage, has improved little. Storage capacity has doubled in 60 years. New development in nanotechnolgy could help.
By focusing in these areas with new technologies and software, significant headway could be made in the next 3-5 years to improve the energy problem.
Copyright (c) 2009 by Waiming Mok