Turning sunlight into fuel

Simplest thing to my mind is to carpet equatorial deserts with solar panels, pipe the electricity to cooler northern latitudes (like ours in the UK) where it can be used either to meet consumption or to electrolyse water to produce hydrogen which can be stored until it's needed as fuel - e.g. in fuel cell cars, heating, electricity generation, blah-blah !

As all countries' electricity grids are linked you'd need one bloody big cable to hook up your solar carpet to the nearest grid, then daisychain the electricity to where the demand is !

Simples !!

And far more reliable with the resulting hydrogen fuel which we can use at night until the sun comes up over solar array the next morning.
Far more reliable than us in higher latitides pratting around with scraps of solar or wind which are as unreliable as politicians' election promises.

(Yes it's expensive to set up but there are more than a few corporations that would stump up the infrastructure in returm for the truly massive profits therever after.)
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
I was going to make a sincere post about how some chaps have been making petrol from exhaust fumes using solar furnaces in the Mojave desert since 2006 - but I just got back from the pub.
 

Vortex

Race Winner
I saw Horizon-Playing God a while back showing different genetic engineering projects. One example was they’d altered yeast to produce diesel instead of alcohol using DNA taken from apples believe it or not, they just needed to increase the scale. Amazing!
Kah-ching! $$$

Dunno what use it would be for tho, surly it would taste horrible! :dunno:
 
I saw Horizon-Playing God a while back showing different genetic engineering projects. One example was they’d altered yeast to produce diesel instead of alcohol using DNA taken from apples believe it or not, they just needed to increase the scale. Amazing!
Kah-ching! $$$

Dunno what use it would be for tho, surly it would taste horrible! :dunno:

That's disgraceful - wasting yeast on producing diesel when it's unequivocal in all the literature from the Bible onwards that yeast was put on the planet for one purpose only and that is for the production of booze.

(And bread, but as the bible says, "man cannot live on bread alone", so that's knocked out and we're back to only booze making as God's work for yeast on Earth.)

These Frankenstein scientists must be stopped in their tracks, I mean whatever next, diverting yeast into producing lipstick or nail varnish, I mean, where will it end unless we stop this madness NOW !!!:D
 

Josephiah

Podium Finisher
Simplest thing to my mind is to carpet equatorial deserts with solar panels
I remembered seeing this article in National Geographic - it's all an interesting read if you can spare 5 minutes, but the most fascinating nugget to me was this on the 5th page:
"Back in the 1980s, an engineer named Roland Hulstrom calculated that if photovoltaic panels—the other big solar technology—covered just three-tenths of a percent of the United States, a 100-by-100-mile square, they could electrify the entire country."
Which, when spread over lots of rooftops, old industrial sites and a few patches of desert is really not that big!

The beauty of the photosynthesis stuff in the original post is that you then have a portable fuel, as opposed to trying to cart around huge batteries like in today's electric cars.
 
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