Some friends and I are discussing this. What's the best way to reliably harvest sustainable energy after most of society has collapsed?
> The conversion of solar energy into a clean fuel (H2) under ambient conditions is one of the greatest challenges facing scientists in the twenty-first century.
> Another area of research within artificial photosynthesis is the selection and manipulation of photosynthetic microorganisms, namely green microalgae and cyanobacteria, for the production of solar fuels. Many strains are able to produce hydrogen naturally, and scientists are working to improve them. Algae biofuels such as butanol and methanol are produced both at laboratory and commercial scales. This approach has benefited with the development of synthetic biology, which is also being explored by the J. Craig Venter Institute to produce a synthetic organism capable of biofuel production.
I'd argue that it's dams, as long as someone doesn't fuck it up and they are kept clean. But if a turbine goes bad, you're fucked. Just getting a new turbine to the dam is gonna be hard.
Photovoltaics are probably the best candidate because they don't have any move parts and the only maintenance they really need is cleaning. Of course photovoltaics only last so long, like most things in life...
BUT if society has collapsed then it's going to be difficult to maintain an electrical grid,
does not work on an industrial scale yet.
algae needs a carefully controlled environment. Algae does not naturally make hydrogen, so can get out competed by stuff that doesn't make hydrogen.
It depends on where you live.
If you live where there are trees, then just cut down the trees, and build a wood gasifier to power a generator.
FEMA has instructions on how to build one http://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0302hsted/fema.woodgas.pdf
If you live in the desert then you are most likely fucked anyway, but if you have a good water supply then hydro or solar panels will do the job.
They know how to dig a hole before cell-phones existed. I'm sure you'll figure it out again.
That's like saying, you don't have a crane big enough to move 1 stone weighing 800 tons so it can't be done, yet the Romans did it 3,200 years ago. Maybe they still had gas for their teleporters?
I see you have never even gone camping. You can walk naked with just a pan into the middle of Montana in January and boil water. There are spots all over the planet where water boils are ground level on it's own due to geo-thermal activity. The geysers of Yellowstone, Just southwest of Death Valley, just 2 feet underground in LaBrea, New Barunfuls TX, Kansas City Missouri, Ft. Smith Arkansas, Pensacola FL, Cookeville TN, Fort Wayne OH, 7 miles south of Allentown PA, Saratoga Springs NY.
And thats just the ones I know of in America. I'm sure there are thousands more in North America alone.
> I see you have never even gone camping.
I've gone camping more times than I can count and I've had to make fires in a variety of ways and have had to boil snow.
Never have I been so lucky to find a geyser to heat anything up.
Not saying you can't do it. Just that it isn't viable in most places.
Because after society has collapsed there will be absolutely no sense in constructing a hard to build, difficult to sustain system when you could just dig up coal and burn it with like a quarter of the work and maintenance. For that matter there will probably be enough lying around to last you a thousand lifetimes.
You could go to Mud Lake. It's not very big but it does have an outflow, it's part of Lake Koshkonong, the pines in that region grow pretty fast, there are 3 (that i know of) abandoned missle silo's and 2 rather massive cold war dooms day bunkers around Fort Atkinson not to mention a seemingly intrusive deer population. Plant your crops on the north side of the lake to avoid early winter lake effect frost, Store your winter supplies on the south side of the lake because of the lake effect, and stay in the bottom of one of the silo's during winter. I believe the 2 north chutte's are close enough you could run a pipe from one that you leave open to collect snow and rain throught the year for a water supply. You'd just have to fence it off at the top to prevent wildlife from entering and keep caged snakes to keep the birds away.