Cellphones, computers, social media. In todays world, everybody wants to be connected. We are constantly streaming stuff online, sharing huge amounts of data with each other and work on new ways to use all these technologies even more.
But where is this leading us to? The future should be green! What they mean is not actually painting the world in a British racing green, even though this would be cool, but rather use environmentally friendly ways of generating energy.
What is green energy?
Well, being an engineer I see the first problem in the definition of green energy. But let’s do not talk about boring stuff like this. Green energy is generally speaking a way to generate energy out of something, without having a negative impact on the environment. Normally using the sunlight, the wind, or water.
Ok, but why don’t we have more “green energy” then, if we can already produce it?
Because of numerous reasons! It is expensive, can not provide energy regularly and we are not willing to pay more for our energy.
Mhh… I see. So, we need to change our mindset and be willing to pay more for energy, than this gets more interesting for investors, they will build more power plants, that way we have more energy and we can even store some of it for times, when there is no sun and no wind. Looks like we saved our planet!!
Mhh…. not so fast. You forgot all those CO2 producing monsters, called automobiles. Ah right! How could I forget this! In fact, they are really “disastrous!”. At least in comparison with electric cars! Right?
The future needs to be green! The future needs to be electric! But wait a minute!
Why is an electric car supposed to be better than a combustion one?
Again, we are back with a definition problem! Compared to combustion cars, an electric driven car is better for the environment, if we do not care about the production of the car and where we do get the energy from. So, let’s assume, you get the greenest of all electric currents from the next charger. The vegan under the electric sources! Than, this will be better for the environment than my old combustion car, for example! That is correct! But for the manufacturing process of the car, including the batteries, you actually need to drive a while, to get this CO2 out of the equation. Of course, it depends on the definition. Some say you need to drive around 60 000 km and this is really not that much! But I say, you need to drive much more! Because the energy, electric cars consumes, can not be completely produced out of thin air and some sunlight. Oh, of course! You Mr. or Mrs. (insert your name if you are one of them), you have 100% green energy for your Tesla! Good for you! But we talk about this world, not your small one! If there are no “monsters” on the road, we all need electric cars! So, there are not just 20 000 electric cars, there are some million electric cars! Now, the sunlight, the wind, or the water can not possibly provide enough energy! And with possibly, I mean definitely! We are talking about so much energy, you wouldn’t believe it!
But … but … but they told us that this is the future!
Well, it is the future, as long as we talk about the next couple of years. Considering that this world is quite old, maybe we will have some millions of these cars in 10 years, but with “the current state of the art machinery, battery technology that is already public included” this is not going to help us to save the world!
But how do we save the world then? Have you a better idea?
The true and honest answer is no! It is just “No”! I do not have the answer! And it seems to me, that all the others, do not have an answer as well! Not the politicians, not the industry, no one!
Humans tend to life in groups! They do not like to stand alone, therefore we form different houses. The political opinion can be divided into the left wing, and the right wing and the middle and all those positions in between, and this is basically the same for our “current” problem. (Engineers joke, no problem if you do not get it!) We have some fanatics, going all the way back to the roots, while others just do not care! And all the others in between, some believe the media, some trust the industry, some their own understanding of the problem, and so on! But nobody is actually doing something productive! They are all just talking!
From my point of view, the solution isn’t a 100% turn around, nor a minor change in our daily life. The solution is something in between, that hits us all, but not that hard. It will not kill us, or break a nose, but maybe it will hurt for a couple of days or weeks.
But I guess, that’s it for today.
See you next time!