Humanity consumes 15 terawatts of energy and this is projected to rise to about 30 terawatts. This is a tiny amount of energy compared to what is available around us: 72 terawatts of available wind energy at ground level, 150 terawatts in the jet streams, 44.2 terawatts of geothermal energy , 2 terawatts of easily-exploitable wave power and 174,000 terawatts of solar energy. We clearly have tens of thousands of times the energy we need, the key is our ability to harness this energy. This article explores existing and emerging technologies for doing this.
Steadily increasingdue to improved system design and increasing cultural awareness should become a significant factor in our energy usage.
The issue currently is monetary economics. The bottom line is that with the current economic framework it is still 'cheaper' to pump oil out of the ground and burn it to produce power than use other more plentiful, renewable and environmentally benign sources. These alternative energy sources are sitting right in front of us waiting to be harnessed. It may be that open-source methods can bypass the incumbent economic system to enable plentiful, environmentally-friendly power.