Ashwin: Controlling the source directly has an enormous advantage for satiating real-time power needs that exist day or night rain or shine. It can be used in Fuel cell cars.
Me: I think fuel cell cars will be a big part of the future but the transition may take some time. Hydrogen fuel cell cars can meet most requirements of the consumer, whereas solar energy is not a practical to meet most needs of an the consumer at the moment because there is no practical or affordable way to store all energy needs for use at night or under cloud cover.
Ashwin: Solar PV integrated to a small extent works, but nowhere in the world does it power an entire city – even after 100s of billions of global subsidy and dramatically falling prices.
Me: If we are serious about fighting global warming we need to embrace the sources that work now – primarily nuclear energy which is completely scalable and has been creating the largest share of global clean energy for decades. I am not suggesting we stop research and support for solar, but the priority for deployment subsidy should shift to the tools that work best now – primarily hydro and nuclear. Also, Solar is forever a cleaner and safer approach than nuclear. There is no “solar waste” that has no disposal method, and a “solar accident” is a ground-based solar panel tipping over onto someone.
Ashwin: Nuclear waste can be utilized as fuel in fast neutron reactors and in its small government monitored volumes presents no threats to anyone.
Shrinidhi: Yes, the Sun releases enormous amounts of energy, but harnessing it on Earth is another thing altogether.
Me: Delivering that energy precisely when needed to our homes, factories, and automobiles is yet another challenge to utilizing solar energy.
Shrinidhi: You both are playing with my head!!!
Ashwin: Geothermal energy is nothing more than trying to collect diffuse nuclear fission generated heat. Solar energy is nothing more than trying to collect the energy from nuclear fusion. Simple. Ok Shreenidhi??
Me: More to the point an industrialized country cannot practically gain all of its primary energy needs from solar due to the rotation of the earth and unpredictable cloud cover. On the other hand several countries have successfully produced large shares of their energy from nuclear power.
Shreenidhi: We have so much to deal with in this world!! (Gasping)
Ashwin: Let’s take a break for Subway 🙂