We need new ways to generate energy – methods that don’t damage and deplete the resources of our planet. In this episode, we look at two very interesting ideas: ocean thermal and space farm energy sources.
One of the defining problems of our age is energy. We need a lot of energy to live the lives that we live now, and we are using up the planet’s resources and heating the planet to generate all the energy that we need. In the meantime, there are lots of alternative energy sources that we could be accessing.
My name is Graeme Codrington, this is Throw Forward Thursday, and every week we jump into the future and see what’s going on there. And we’re looking at energy at the moment. We’re spending a few weeks looking at some options to do with the future of energy, just dipping into a topic which could be days and days of conversation and complexity.
So what I thought I’d do is just show you two things that have caught my eye as I’ve looked at the future of energy, two things that maybe, are really strange as you think about them. But the first is that we could use geothermal energy.
Now, we already know how to do that. Using energy from the heat in the Earth, we dig down into hot parts of the Earth, either digging very deep where the Earth’s getting hotter naturally or digging into hot springs or so on. But I saw recently, ocean thermal energy. Water in the ocean is at different temperatures at different depths and if we put together devices that can access that, that create movement, not just with the tides and the movement of ocean water, but deliberately tapping into the difference between different temperature stratus in the ocean, we could develop some remarkable ocean thermal energy sources. Fascinating stuff.
The second one to just point you to is a major solar space farm. This is probably putting solar panels, but this probably needs to be more complicated than that, but some way, whether it’s mirrors or solar cells, some outside of the Earth’s atmosphere to capture the sun without diluting any of that energy as it comes through the Earth’s atmosphere. You then gather that energy and you can beam that energy down to Earth. I suppose the non-scientific version is to just say a massive laser beam that comes down, gets captured down on planet Earth, on the land, and then gets converted into energy that we can actually use.
Neither of these ideas is going to happen in the next few years. Probably, they are pretty expensive. Will they be too expensive for the value that we get? By the time we want to introduce them, you would hope some of the costs could have been reduced, so we get real value. But both have huge potential to give us energy without destroying and depleting the Earth’s resources.
And coming to the end of the hottest year on record, the hottest year that human beings in all 125,000 years that humanoids have been on the planet, the hottest year we’ve ever experienced, we’ve got to be doing something. So, we need to be trying experiments and I think these two have some potential. Let’s see what happens.
Next week, we’ll come a little bit closer to reality and look at a few other options that are, in fact, already available as we look to develop alternative energies. Thank you, as always, for joining me in the Throw Forward Thursday studio. I look forward to seeing you next week.
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Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change. Chat to us about booking Graeme to help you Re-Imagine and upgrade your thinking to identify the emerging opportunities in your industry.
For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.