The architecture of energy density…

From William W. Braham in How Much Does Your Household Weigh?

The particular success of fossil fuels is itself a matter of scale, of the density or amount of power that can be concentrated in a small volume. None of the environmental energies — sun, wind, tide, biomass, etc. — approach that density, even when converted to electricity and stored in batteries. The annual electric usage for a nearly typical house (my house) would require about 700 square feet of photovoltaic panels, along with a room full of hardware and batteries. That same energy can be stored in 190 gallons of gasoline — not that you would want to power a house with gasoline — but at every level, the transition from fossil fuel to environmental energies will have this kind of spatial consequence.

More in Places (here)


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