Event Title

The Fourth Energy Era

Start Date

4-1982 8:00 AM

Description

The energy crisis has been with us for nearly ten years. We have grown numb to it while it changed the fundamental patterns of our lives. It no longer means long lines at the gas pumps, in fact, there has even been an oil glut recently. The crisis is not one of energy availability it is one of energy price which has driven the cost of energy to levels much higher than the inflation rates. This in turn has been a major driver of inflation because the cost of energy effects every aspect of our lives. As a result the nations economic strength is deteriorating and our standard of living is being eroded. This phenomenon has occurred before in history.

England experienced it several hundred years ago when they had depleted the wood supply on the British Isles and were forced to convert to coal as a substitute fuel. Coal became the energy foundation of the industrial revolution and made England the dominant economic power on earth. Oil burst on the scene at the turn of the century to propel the United States into the 20th century on a river of low cost energy. We have passed thru the era of wood and coal and are approaching the end of the third era of energy, the era of oil.

The question of what will be the energy source of the fourth era faces us now. This paper addresses that question and identifies the Solar Power Satellite as the best candidate answer to our future energy needs. This is based on its potential abundance, its environmental acceptability, its great flexibility and its low cost. The future economic and technological benefits are staggering, but do we have the courage as a nation to make it happen?

Comments

No other information or file available for this session.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 1st, 8:00 AM

The Fourth Energy Era

The energy crisis has been with us for nearly ten years. We have grown numb to it while it changed the fundamental patterns of our lives. It no longer means long lines at the gas pumps, in fact, there has even been an oil glut recently. The crisis is not one of energy availability it is one of energy price which has driven the cost of energy to levels much higher than the inflation rates. This in turn has been a major driver of inflation because the cost of energy effects every aspect of our lives. As a result the nations economic strength is deteriorating and our standard of living is being eroded. This phenomenon has occurred before in history.

England experienced it several hundred years ago when they had depleted the wood supply on the British Isles and were forced to convert to coal as a substitute fuel. Coal became the energy foundation of the industrial revolution and made England the dominant economic power on earth. Oil burst on the scene at the turn of the century to propel the United States into the 20th century on a river of low cost energy. We have passed thru the era of wood and coal and are approaching the end of the third era of energy, the era of oil.

The question of what will be the energy source of the fourth era faces us now. This paper addresses that question and identifies the Solar Power Satellite as the best candidate answer to our future energy needs. This is based on its potential abundance, its environmental acceptability, its great flexibility and its low cost. The future economic and technological benefits are staggering, but do we have the courage as a nation to make it happen?

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.