MANKIND’S FUTURE ENERGY DREAM
The GLOBAL ENERGY MOVEMENT (GEM) is a socio-technical global movement that addresses the construction of a worldwide interconnected electrical super-grid entirely based upon renewable resources only. In the line of sustainable socio-economic progress of human civilization on mother earth, there is no alternative to the best use of renewable energy sources. Hopefully, with the rapid evolvement in energy technology concentrating on efficiency and economics, the renewable sources will triumph over the conventional ones by the next thirty years. Then new challenges of energy distribution and resource allocation will arise in the energy arena since sustainable development will take sharp bends towards an integrated global approach. An interconnected Global Renewable Energy Grid can solve the eventual challenges with unlimited positive externalities.
As we are growing more humanized with our civilization, our human conscience is getting more concerned about broadening the horizons of humanism by eliminating the barriers of socio-political and socio-economic acumens based on territorial boundaries and other inequity factors. The most intelligent species of this planet has already comprehended the utmost necessity of forming a global partnership for sustainable development and agreed on it that was reflected in the Millennium Development Goals enunciated in 2000 at Millennium Summit of the United Nations. We have realized that without a universally inclusive and integrated approach by the entire race, true peace can never be achieved.
One of the ardent constraints of harvesting green energy is the diverse localization of its abundance. Solar energy, being the king among renewable sources, is distributed around the globe so erratically and unevenly due to climatic variables that the average solar energy available for use after power purposes in a demarcated zone is not considered consistent and reliable enough yet. At night the sun is down, clouds often cover it up, at dawn and dusk the intensity is beyond usability. Only 3-4 solar hours are there for optimum use. The scenario is even disappointing in polar states where the sunlight is always dimmer than that of tropical, sub-Saharan or Arab regions. On the contrary in the places like deserts where insolation is abundant around the entire year, millions of acres of land permanently dried to barren and residence of no people. Only the available solar energy from five tiny dots on five deserts of earth can fill up the demand of 18 terawatts of total worldwide energy demand. But the problem is solar power is not intermittent when one side of Erath is facing the sun, the other is in dark. Therefore, a continuous global energy network is needed to be established to overcome the inconsistency of solar power originated from earth’s rotational motion. For example, the time difference between the Taklamakan desert and Bangladesh is three hours. When the sun is down in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, the desert is still enjoying sun-shower. So, if these two regions can be connected through the global energy network, Dhaka can purchase energy from China to light up themselves. When the Taklamakan is in dark it has to seek power from the farther east zone like Tasmania or Arizona which is yet to get under dusk at the same instance. The sunny zones will light up the nightly ones. No extra storage devices like batteries will be needed. For this purpose, some points on earth are to be located where solar collectors will be installed for the optimum adjustment and balance of energy flow through the global network. Things are to be working like a domino way; the regions will light up one after another with the rotation of earth! The spatiotemporal dispersion of renewable plants will smoothen the variability of energy flow from erratic resources to the most desired level and eradicate the reliability problem of such green power permanently.
The global energy grid may also include other sources like wind, geothermal, hydro, tidal etc. For harvesting wind energy, the roaring forties and other windy locations are to be especially underscored. Land areas often have frequent obstacles that not only reduce the wind velocity but also make it erratic. It can be optimized by installing turbines on sea surfaces where wind flow is much steadier. The Roaring forties zone has the ability to deliver highly consistent wind force to rotate the turbines. But the problem is most of the zone is covered by the oceans. To overcome this challenge, we need to use large pontoons or rafts, on which thousands of wind turbines are to be installed. They would be anchored to the ocean beds with proper marine techniques. The transmission can be made possible along floating pontoons connecting to each other or submarine cables like optical fiber internet network. If needed the power poles may be erected on similar floats and power can be transmitted towards the ground. This may be required to smoothen up the shipping trails near the harbor. Geothermal sources need many complicated accessories to convert power making is harder to handle and maintain, unlike solar or wind technology. Still, they can be used in local premises since they can deliver intermittent flow.
The submarine internet cable network is great evidence of global data transmission and communication made possible by human around the entire world connecting all the states. In a similar fashion, a global power reticulum can be weaved too and thus energy can be distributed intercontinentally. A tiny piece of sunny desert full of solar cells directly can light up a dark city apart from thousands of miles without any energy storage system. High Voltage DC power transmission has already been proved pragmatic and feasible for such kind of actions. Besides, with the progress of wireless energy transmission technology, we can be aspiring for a revolution in transferring energy without any cable within the next thirty years. If that is made possible, the green dream of a global energy network is a matter of time only to come true.
Direct or indirect, most of the global crises and conflicts are still arising actually from energy issues. In this nexus, Global Energy Network can be an essential tool to promote mankind brotherhood all over the world since it will establish an energy dependency among the nations to each other. No country will risk blackouts by jeopardizing diplomatic relations which indeed will promote the environment for global peace that mankind always dreamt for.
Global energy network is enough to be based on two green sources namely solar and the wind. Even though the only solar seems more than enough, wind can be a reliable auxiliary backing against all odds. Other resources like tidal and geothermal can be added on localized preferences too. Considering all factors and parameters, this network is quite possible to realize within a couple of decades or even less. Now, the only thing needed is a global momentum in favor of this noble objective. All the political and technical leaders around the world are welcomed to think over the matter for the sake of a greener and sustainable mother earth making it livable for its children. Let us get one for the greenest earth ever!