Top 10 Energy Sources of the Future

It’s a really exciting time to be alive.
We have a front row seat to the only known transformation of a world powered by dirty
fossil fuels, to a planet that gets its energy from renewable, clean sources. It’s going
to happen just once, right now. These are the top 10 potential energy sources of tomorrow. Every hour, more energy from the sun reaches
us than we earthlings use in an entire year. To try and save a lot more of it, one idea
is to build giant solar farms in space that will collect some of the higher intensity,
uninterrupted solar radiation. Giant mirrors would reflect huge amounts of solar rays onto
smaller solar collectors. This energy would then be wirelessly beamed to Earth as either
a microwave or laser beam. One of the main reasons this amazing idea is still just an
idea is because it’s, big surprise, very expensive. But it could become a reality in
the not so distant future as our solar technology develops, and the cost of launching cargo
into space comes way down, thanks to the work of companies like Space X. We already have human-powered devices [I’m
envisioning wind-up flashlights or the like], but scientists are working on harvesting power
generated from normal human movement. We’re talking about tiny electronics here, but the
potential when multiplied by billions of people is big. And with developers making electronics
that use less and less power, one day your phone may charge when it rustles around in
your bag, pocket or moves in your hand, or your fingers move on the screen. At Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory, scientists have even demonstrated a device that uses viruses
to translate pressure into electricity. Yes, it’s amazing as it sounds and no, there’s
no way I’m going to try and explain how it works–of course it’s linked below if
you want more info. There are even small body-worn systems that passively produce electricity
when you move. Human power isn’t going to solve global warming, but every little bit
helps. Harnessing all the energy in the motion of
the ocean could power the world several times over, which is why over 100 companies are
trying to figure out how. Because of the focus on wind and solar, the tidal energy industry
kind of got elbowed out of the early mix. But these systems are quickly becoming more
efficient. For one, meet Oyster, a 2.4 megawatt producing, hinged flap that attaches to the
ocean floor and – as it opens and closes – pumps high-pressure water onshore, where it drives
a conventional hydroelectric turbine. So, one of those could power a whole housing development
or a couple massive residential towers–roughly 2,500 homes. An engineer with the air force
academy has created the terminator wing-shaped turbine that employs lift instead of drag,
allowing it to theoretically harness 99% of a wave’s energy instead of the 50% that
current tidal projects can get. And Perth, Australia just got the world’s first-ever
wave-powered desalination plant that provides the city with enough drinking water for 500,000
residents. The element hydrogen – by far the most abundant
in the universe – is very high in energy, but an engine that burns pure hydrogen produces
almost no pollution. This is why NASA ‘s powered its space shuttles and parts of the
International Space Station with the stuff for years. The only reason we’re not powering
the entire world with hydrogen is because it only exists on our planet in combination
with other elements like oxygen. You know, good old H20. Russia even converted a passenger
jet to run on hydrogen in the late 80’s and Boeing recently tested small planes that
fly on hydrogen. Once the hydrogen is separated it can be pumped into mobile fuel cells in
vehicles that are able to directly convert it into electricity. These cars are now being
manufactured on a fairly large scale. Honda’s planning on demonstrating the versatility
of its new hydrogen fuel cell car by plugging it into a model home in Japan to power the
house–instead of the car sucking electricity from the building like its electric-powered
competitors have to do. Honda says one of these fully-fuelled cars could power an entire
house for a whole week, or drive 300 miles without refuelling.
The main obstacle right now is the relatively high cost of these vehicles and the lack of
hydrogen stations to refuel them, although California now has plans for 70 of these stations
across the state, South Korea’s expected to have a total of 43 soon and Germany’s
aiming for 100 by 2017. The method of converting the heat rising from
the depths of the molten core of the earth into energy – also known as geothermal – powers
millions of homes around the world, including the electricity usage for 27% of the Philippines
and 30% in Iceland. But an Icelandic deep drilling project may have recently discovered
the holy grail when it hit a pocket of magma, which had only happened once before in Hawaii.
The team pumped water down into the hole, which the scorching magma instantly vaporized
to a record-setting 842 degrees fahrenheit. This highly pressurized steam increased the
power output of the system tenfold, an amazing success that should lead to a giant leap in
the energy generating capabilities of geothermal projects around the world. Nuclear fission power plants are the traditional
reactors that have been in use around the world for decades and provide the US with
about 20% of our electricity. They use something called light-water technology to surround
the fuel rods with water, which slows the neutrons and allow for a sustained nuclear
reaction. Buuuut, the system is really inefficient–only 5 percent of the uranium atoms in the rod
get used up by the time it has to be removed. All that unused, highly radioactive uranium
just gets added to our growing stockpile of nuclear waste. But now, finally, there appears
to be another, more efficient way, called a fast reactor, where the rods are submerged
in liquid sodium instead of water. This allows 95 percent of the uranium to be used, instead
of the unacceptably inefficient 5 percent. Adopting this method would solve the huge
problem of getting rid of our 77,000 tons of radioactive waste because these new reactors
can reuse it. GE Hitachi has already designed a fast reactor called PRISM and is shopping
it to power companies, but the biggest obstacle is the high cost of building new nuclear power
plants. Plus, you have to overcome the political stigma that nuclear is a dangerous energy
source. Still, the benefits are huge—Its a proven technology that emits pretty much
no greenhouse gases. The big success story is France, which has 75% of its electricity
needs met by its 59 nuclear power reactors. With production and installation costs getting
cheaper by the day, solar power is taking off around the world. Europe is the best in
photovoltaics and is driven by its leader, Germany. On an average sunny day in 2012,
Deutschland got as much electricity from the sun as 20 nuclear power stations, enough to
power 50% of the country. Spain is now generating more than 50% of its power from renewable
resources like solar. A California desert is home to the largest solar power station
in the entire world, and the United States increased its solar capacity by nearly 500%
from 2010 to 2014. And if you think that that’s as fast as solar can possibly grow, listen
to this. Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico just made a significant
breakthrough in quantum dot solar cell technology that will allow highly efficient solar panels
to double as transparent windows. When this technology becomes cheap enough to hit the
mass market in the next couple of years, every sun-exposed window in the world will have
the potential to be converted into a mini power station. From 2002 to 2013, biofuels grew more than
500% in the U.S. as production of crop-derived ethanol and biodiesel became a mainstream
substitute or supplement to gasoline in our cars. In fact, back in the day when Henry
Ford first developed his Model T, he thought it would run on ethanol. The discovery of
vast amounts of cheap oil all over the world unfortunately made it the go-to energy source.
But renewable biofuels are making a strong comeback now. The only problem is that the
currently dominant first generation of biofuels use the same land and resources that have
traditionally been used to grow food, which is driving up the cost of food and causing
big problems in a lot of the developing world, so something has to change if biofuels are
going to give us a chance at replacing oil with something clean burning. That’s where
a plant like switchgrass comes in. It’s hearty, it grows like a weed just about anywhere,
and it isn’t food. But, if we wanted to run all the world’s cars on it, we’d need
to plant it on an amount of land equivalent to the entire countries of Russia and the
U.S., combined. So that’s not gonna work. This brings us to the 3rd generation of biofuels,
algae, which has all the right ingredients to replace oil once and for all. Algae’s
natural oil content is greater than 50%, which means it can be easily extracted and processed.
We can convert the remaining part of the plant into electricity, natural gas and even fertilizer
to grow even more algae without chemicals. Algae grows quickly and doesn’t need farmland
or freshwater. Just last month, Alabama became the world’s first algae biofuel system that
can also effectively treat human wastewater, this actually resulted in a carbon-negative
outcome. The 40,000 a day demonstration plant basically floated giant bags on a bay, pumped
wastewater water into them, added a little algae, and then let the sunlight do its thing.
Before long, algae had grown everywhere and cleaned the wastewater so well it could either
be released back into the bay or reused by people as drinking water. We’re already getting a lot of energy from
the wind, but with the Buoyant Air Turbine – or BAT – that floats 1-2,000 feet above
the ground where winds are stronger and more consistent, we could soon be getting that
energy much more efficiently. The system is simple: a ringed blimp with a wind turbine
in the middle is tethered securely to the ground. It’ll produce twice as much power
as similar sized tower-mounted turbines. It can even handle winds of more than 100 mph
and can be fitted with additional devices like a wifi unit, which would help bring the
Internet to parts of the world that don’t have it yet. The buoyant air turbine was designed
for bringing renewable wind energy to rural parts of the world where building a traditional
wind turbine was impossible and will first be deployed in Alaska. It can even automatically
detect and adjust its floating height to where the best wind speed is. When the wind speed
is dangerously high, the thing will dock itself, eliminating the need for manual labor. Flying
wind turbines like this should soon replace all the less efficient tower-based systems
and could allow for the construction of offshore wind farms that have until now been really
expensive to build. Unlike fission, nuclear fusion doesn’t create
any deadly nuclear waste because it fuses atoms together instead of splitting them apart,
so there’s no threat of a runaway reaction that could lead to a meltdown event. But,
this is easier said than done. One Nobel Prize-winning physicist described fusion as trying to put
“the sun into a box. The idea is pretty. The problem is, we don’t know how to make
the box.” The technical issue is that fusion reactions will produce material that’s so
volatile and hot, it will damage the reactor that created it. This isn’t stopping private
companies and governments from spending billions to research the technology and solve these
problems. And if the immense challenges can be overcome, fusion will provide virtually
limitless energy and power the world. That’s why the world’s wealthiest governments are
collaborating on the controversial International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor in France,
known as ITER. When was the last time Russia, China, Europe and the United States collaborated
on anything? That’s how important for humanity this project is. And because of its revolutionary
potential several powerful companies like Lockheed Martin are quietly working on their
own fusion reactors. Lockheed has a very optimistic timeline for their system, projecting that
they will meet global energy demand by 2050. Their optimism may be fairly justified. In
October, 2013, in separate research, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
in the United States achieved a huge milestone in fusion when, for the first time, a fuel
capsule gave off more energy than was applied to it. Thank for watching. Let us know if we missed
anything or if you disagreed with our rankings. If you liked this video, help the conversation
spread by sharing it. You can see a collection of our favorite videos from across the Internet
back on our website, For The Daily Conversation, I’m Bryce Plank.

Comments 58

  • VOTE to support alternative energy in the USA!!!

  • Geothermal looks the best option to me. Its most natural. We don't need to do anything it is just there for us to take.


  • Excellent

  • Corrupt politicians and oil maffia will not allow any energy production ,kill them first

  • More people need to see this and realize that we are NOT doomed to climate change.

  • This is a very uninformed educational video.. I don't even know where to start. How about how nuclear works? Fusion is not about containing the reaction, it's about keeping it going and last long enough to produce it economically. The conditions and methods for geothermal are drastically different around the world. I could go on but I won't.

  • Did you see the toilet biogas, every person living in a home should have a toilet bio gas unit, for heating and cooking and using Electric from the biogas. Hemp will save the planet.

  • Why not tap the never ending power of ocean currents and tides?

  • there is perpetual motion power why you do not mention

  • america have ultimate energy technology but they dont tell the world. because if world know it will be let disastrous results for the economy and the world could frightened.

  • I wish I was born 20yrs in the future

  • i live in new zealand.we have been useing geothermal power for over 70 years.from power stations to simple home heating.this is nothing new.

  • you forgot air pressure car running on compress air ,very important

  • Almost everything you said is wrong, not probable, or prohibitively expensive…

  • You left out one, air "Liquid Air" cryobattery. Air is free, renewable and it's everywhere !!!

  • Thanks for the Chopin. Nice touch. Nobody else would use that. 🙂🤙

  • Don't worry about what these happened, you won't see it ! untill the big Oil Companies bankrupted ,or they agreed the develop of these technologies, that's different story !

  • Takes too much energy to produce bio fuel

  • Awesome vid

  • Its All Possible But Dangerous | Nature Are More Powerful Than Humans

  • wicked video thanks, really interesting and useful

  • first it was global cooling then global warming now its climate change, i know fossil fuels are great by why has it change?

  • 0:30 another reason it hasnt caught on is it can be used as a weapon.

  • Fusion is dangerous. The most sensible and attainable renewable power source is off shore wind farms.

  • Im using Avasva instructions to make it and I do it already 🙂

  • Stop worrying. AI will solve the problem for us and far sooner than we anticipate. One can hope that "Skynet" buys into the human power alternative but it's more likely it will take the logical path and eliminate the root cause (us). All joking aside, CO2 may not be the biggest threat for the near future.

  • Damn I would never imagined this stuff! Humans are awesome!

  • This video has no information for positive or negative advantages

  • You missed algae for hydrogen production that can be used in fuel cells

  • Remember cost and practicality are the most important to implement these alternatives energies.

  • You forgot the Molten Salt Reactor fuelled by Thorium. Little remark: why do you think your public may follow your film better and more attentively with Chopin Concerto in the background? I for myself as a pianist tried to figure out, who is the pianist. Only Americans used to ear candies everywhere, in the elevator, pump station, toilet, restaurant think, that science needs background music, that people may understand the content better than without: please don't do that.

  • i feel like fusion is going to be the last step we take in advancement within this universe, but at the same time I feel like it'll be the first thing humanity does right before we reach a whole new era of science and understanding of the universe. Harnessing large amounts of energy like with fusion could give us access to so much crazier things in the universe. we could start messing with spacetime like it was solid matter, we might be able to play around with how the forces in the universe act under extreme temps like during the primordial age of the big bang. we could even find something so crazy that it puts our understanding of the universe to scale and show us that what we've been able to understand and observe was just the very tip of the iceberg and once we're able to harness greater power we'll slowly start being able move down that iceberg and see what the true inner functions of our universe are

  • 7:30 Fallout New Vegas Helios One

  • Seems to me like some body should share this video with Greta Thorn Burgers, because the Fake News is Strong with that one😑

  • Can the scientist develop a way to use thunderbolts as a source of energy?. Like if it's stores in a huge battery?

  • So it's been 5 years now… How about an update on where we are on these technologies and how much they have been implemented or if they have been killed off, and if so, why….?

  • the simple logic is impressive, we need photovoltaic preferably on all roofs, wind turbines and large inexpensive electricity storage
    like redox FLow batteries which are already successfully used in Japan (60 MWh).
    Fewer pollutants and less CO2, the goal of the whole can only be achieved if less is burned.
    We have proven technology:
    1. wind turbines
    2. photovoltaics
    3. solar thermal, heatpipes work even in winter with overcast skies
    4. heat pumps
    5. chemical battery such as redox flow
    6. other batteries
    7. simple energy storage devices such as hot water or ice water

  • Fusion deserves its spot at #1. Tidal should have been next since it's capacity is large and it is well proven. Geothermal is terrible and should not be here since it is so expensive to drill and has a 20% failure rate

  • You omitted Low Energy Nuclear/Neutron Reactions: No high energy radiation, no CO2; in fact it can transmute elements like Carbon into other elements. Low energy gammas originating in the process are converted into IR. It has been observed in the laboratory and explained by reputable theorists. It would be safe enough for every home to have a LENR unit (once developed commercially) for power.

  • How soon we forget about the massive sodium leak in 1959 by our government testing a sodium Reactor in California we still do not know how much radiation was leaked into the air it's a very dangerous process. The radiation around the area will be there for 18 to 20,000 years don't forget very dangerous

  • You forgot to mention the cheapest source of energy of all: negaWatts! finding ways to reduce energy use is the cheapest and least damaging to the environment.

    Also, your so-called tidal energy example was actually wave energy. And I have a better wave energy design than that one!

  • You forgot about Deuterium. Also a clean energy source as the by product is water. Large deposit is in the Philippines but the technology to extract it from the sea is currently non-existent

  • The piano music in the background is horrendous

  • What about hydrogen fusion reactors

  • The company who developed the Oyster wave energy converter(which isn't tidal but wave), Aquamarine power went out of business a couple of years ago. The main problems with this type of energy converter are large waves, once you can get this problem sorted, then you can get the energy from waves. As far as I know in 2019, many, if not all, the companies working on wave energy have gone out of business or are funded by government grants.

  • Searl Effect Generator from 1947 was way ahead of these expensive options. Each house would have its own unit. Power companies and govt dont like the idea because it wouldnt be under centralised control…cant let the plebs be independent.Unlimited power would enable people to derive their water supply from the air, which the govt would not be happy about either. Never mind all the 1000s of patents stolen from the public by govt agencies , wake up people , you dont need a centralised anything. Philo Farnsworth created a table top hot fusion generator in the 1960s…the list goes on…

  • I'm afraid the # 3 (bio fuel) pollutes the air, maybe not as much as the fossil fuels, but still, I would not be happy to see this technology replace oil. It would not be a great step forward for humanity and the planet we live on.

  • I hate the music in the background. stop the music. it distracts from understanding the voice.

  • If the heat is already leaking out of the Earth, go ahead and use it.

    But it seems a little bit lame brained to cool off the core of the Earth and have the magnetic field subside and have the atmosphere blow off into space.

    That just seems like a human way of doing things. not very well-thought-out.

  • Bad misinformation. Go away

  • Dont make video's without knowledge about science. Thanks.

    Perhaps invite a professor next time instead of self-investigation and come up with have truths and solutions that not work in real life or are just gimmicks.

  • You missed thorium reactors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I cannot believe this video came out FIVE years ago.

  • We have 500 years of fossil fuels. We will use it and solar and wind is pie in the sky.

  • Unless we get a handle on the US debt. None of this matters.

  • It's been 5 yrs since this video!!! Would've thought some of this tech would be already gaining momentum. This is a really a condemnation of the human condition. 5 years and little action, it's very sad 😥.

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