Abundant Clean Energy Design Competition: You Can Compete

Reader Contribution by Toby Grotz

Nothing, Nothing, Nothing, BANG

HeroX, a subsidiary of the Xprize Foundation, has announced a prize design competition for  Abundant Clean Energy.   HeroX proposes that the world will be much better if global clean energy generation is dramatically improved beyond current choices – and that’s why they are developing this XPRIZE.

Key to this prize is the assertion that we live on a planet awash with energy, in a universe where all matter is made of immense amounts of energy (E=mc2), and we find ourselves in a society forced to make bad choices for most of our energy supply from a set of technologies as old as the transistor, not to mention fire. Because the vast majority of mankind’s current energy use is coming from unsustainable and damaging sources, HeroX suggests we need something better.  For this reason, they invite you to help design an Xprize to fund development of a new Abundant Clean Energy source or system. 

This design competition was inspired by a talk by Barry Thompson titled FORBIDDEN ENERGY.

The Sustainability Action Network of Lawrence, Kansas recently hosted Bryan Welch, the former publisher of Mother Earth News who presented a talk on using and designing Business as a Force for Good. In his talk he described the invention of the airplane,

“For 3,000 years, nothing, nothing, nothing, BANG!”  Then the Wright Brothers finally succeeded. 

For 3,000 years the best and brightest including geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci had pondered the question of how can man fly? Bygone Einstein’s, Plato, Pythagoras, and others did not see the solution.  Some of the smartest people ever to walk the Earth did not see the answer.  It took a couple of bicycle mechanics to do the job on December 17, 1903.

Where are We Now in Terms of Energy?

Energy conversion technologies invented in the 19th Century

Steam Turbines
Wind Turbines
Electric Generators and Motors
Fuel Cells

Nuclear fission and fusion do nothing more than produce steam to run turbines. Fusion reactors are 30 years in the future and always will be.

Physics has given us no new way to use energy since the 1800s. We are now in the 21st century using 19th century energy conversion technology.  We are in need of Wright Brothers moment for a new energy supply. 

A new physics and a way forward will allow us to fulfill Tesla’s Prophecy; 

Ere many generations pass,

mankind will attach his machinery to the very wheelworks of nature.

This is the intent of the HeroX Prize design competition.

Reference: Tesla’s Prophecy

Toby Grotz is an electrical engineer who has been involved on both sides of the energy equation: exploring for oil and gas and geothermal resources and in the utility industry working in coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants. He has been a community garden advocate and organizer ever since. Recent projects include lecturing for the Food Not Lawns classes sponsored by the University of Missouri, Kansas City Communiversity. He is a member of the Sierra Club and past officer of the Kanza Group. Read all of Toby’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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