Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have discovered how to harness solar power to turn carbon dioxide into fuel. That’s exactly what plants do every day with photosynthesis, but this newly discovered process does the job even better than nature does.
The idea is that the grid is operated during peak times by hydro-electric energy where the water is pumped back up during off-peak times.
Pumped hydro is widespread in Europe, especially in the alpine parts of Italy, Germany and France, and in Scandinavian countries like Norway. It is also widely used in Japan and the United States.
‘Australia could be fully electrified within two decades’
The researchers note that asteroids closer to the rocky planets (called S-type asteroids) tend to contain silicate, similar to the inner planets. By contrast, asteroids in the belt closer to the gas giants (called C-type asteroids) tend to contain more carbon, making them more like the gas giants. This, the researchers note, suggests that the asteroids actually came from the planets as they were forming—excess material was essentially kicked away into the asteroid belt, where it remains today.