Preface. Plans for hydrogen, wind, solar, wave and all the other re-buildable contraptions that use fossil fuels in every single step of their short 15-25 year life cycle and hence are non-renewable, are just as silly as the ideas below, yet these schemes with negative energy return that can’t make themselves without fossil fuels are written about in respectable scientific journals, unlike the proposals below.
I’ve been writing about this since 2001, now Michael Moore has made a film called “Planet of the Humans” that explains this as well.
Alice Friedemann www.energyskeptic.com author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer, Barriers to Making Algal Biofuels, and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Collapse Chronicles, Derrick Jensen, Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report
Mr. Buthune thinks the use of human fat as an energy source has some potential. “There’s an interesting business model: link a biodiesel plant with the cosmetic surgeons,” says Mr. Bethune. “In Auckland we produce about 330 pounds of fat per week from liposuction, which would make about 40 gallons of fuel. If it is going to be chucked out, why not?” (Schouten 2005)
At an Exxon conference, the Yes Men pulled a prank of giving a presentation of making a new fuel, Vivoleum, out of humans killed by climate change. Hundreds of candles made of human hair that smelled like dead people were handed out (Yes Men 2015).
Auckland, New Zealand, adventurer Peter Bethune plans to break the round-the-world powerboat speed record in a boat powered by biodiesel fuel partly manufactured from human fat. The lean Mr. Bethune had about three ounces of fat extracted from his body yesterday in a lipsuction procedure, and he is seeking volunteers to donate more (Schouten 2005).
The only place I could find this actually existing is in Ghana, Africa, where Empower Playgrounds provides merry-go-rounds to schools that generate and store electricity as they are spun around (Brownlee 2013).
Violates all the laws of physics and thermodynamics, even the patent office got wise and won’t accept any applications (Wikipedia, Park 2000).
Garbage and landfills turn can be turned into biogass. But as energy declines, there will be less and less garbage, not only because there won’t be the fuel to take it to a landfill, but people will be burning anything they can get their hands on to cook and heat with.
Solar Wind Towers (Slav 2019)
More than 30 years ago a giant tower was built in Manzanares, Spain, to produce electricity in a way that at the time must have seen even more eccentric than it seems now, by harnessing the power of air movement. The Manzanares tower was, sadly, toppled by a storm. Decades ago, several other firms tried to replicate the idea, but none has succeeded. Why?
The idea behind the so-called solar wind towers is pretty straightforward. The more popular version is the solar updraft tower, which works as follows:
On the ground, around the hollow tower, there is a solar energy collector—a transparent surface suspended a little above ground—which heats the air underneath.
As the air heats up, it is drawn into the tower, also called a solar chimney, since hot air is lighter than cold air. It enters the tower and moves up it to escape through the top. In the process, it activates a number of wind turbines located around the base of the tower. The main benefit over other renewable technologies? Doing away with the intermittency of PV solar, since the air beneath the collector could stay hot even when the sun is not shining.
But the cost of building one is simply too expensive, and investors are wary of the problems related to the very tall height required (the taller the better).
Brownlee, J. 2013. A Merry-Go-Round That Turns The Power Of Play Into Electricity. fastcompany.
Park, R. 2000. Perpetual Motion: still going around. Washington Post.
Schouten, H. 2005. Earthrace biofuel promoter to power boat using human fat. calorielab.com
Slav, I. 2019. The fatal flaw in a perfect energy solution. oilprice.com