For over 5 000 years mankind had only 2 main energy sources; wood & vegetable oils. All throughout the Egyptian, Persian, Greek, and Roman empires that ruled over the world, there were no other major energy sources apart from these 2, and this lasted a whole 5 500 years from the 1st written record of Man to 1700 AD when coal became the world’s major energy source. The vegetable oils were used for lighting in oil lamps and ancient torches, while wood was used for the production of heat. Animal draught was also used in transportation and agriculture, i.e. horse drawn carriages, chariots, and yoked oxen.
These were mankind’s sole energy sources for over 5 thousand years but then all of a sudden, in just a period of only 200 years, 4 new dominant energy sources emerged. First, coal, then petroleum, then gas, and finally electricity. Apart from just producing heat and light as did the original 2 energy sources, coal was used to create locomotion in steam powered engines for the first time, as well as to generate a new type of energy called electricity. The same goes for petroleum.
Today the world’s most important energy source is electricity and that’s why every other energy source is currently being used to create it. Why is electricity the most important energy source one may ask, well the answer is fairly simple: Apart from space travel, electricity can replace every other energy source in the world today. Electricity can produce locomotion through electromagnetic induction, it can produce heat, light, and everything else in between. Not only that, electricity also enabled every form of electronics known to man, i.e. computing, telecommunication, TV, Radio, Satellites, mobile devices, Internet, etcetera. Even transportation is inevitably moving toward electric drive trains.
Because electricity is the most important form of energy for the world today, it makes sense therefore that the goal of LENR should be to produce electricity, not heat. However, in the interim, just as rivers & streams were a transient energy source in the industrial revolution before the steam turbine was invented, or whale oil came before petroleum oil, LENR-to-Heat also has its own role to play.
The ultimate goal of LENR, however, is actually not even LENR-to-Electricity, but rather LENR-to-Light.
I submit to you today that an energy source even better and greater than electricity is on the horizon, maybe a few decades away but it shall come to pass none the less. The name of this new source of energy is called ‘Light’. Not light as we know it today wherein photovoltaics are used to convert the sun’s rays to electricity, or the lighting we produce in incandescent, fluorescent, or LED light bulbs, no. I’m talking about ‘Light’ as the primary energy form to replace electricity. I’m talking about photons powering our electronics instead of electrons and light itself producing locomotion without the use of electricity and without any photovoltaics involved.
Electricity has served us well and it still has yet to complete its work to the full. Because of electricity, new technologies were invented. So too shall new technologies be developed and new industries be created because of light.
Energy generation must be over-unity in terms of value, not quantity, for it to be meaningful and efficient. That’s why coal is used to produce electricity because the electricity produced is more valuable to us than the coal being used to produce it.
Hence, producing electricity via LENR is a very inefficient strategy in the long run because it takes electricity to run the LENR reaction in the 1st place. So we’re basically just using electricity to produce more electricity. Rather, generating light via LENR is best. This is for the future of course.
Already today, light can be produced directly from a nuclear reaction and it can be converted to electricity via photovoltaic cells but in the future light will not have to be converted to electricity, it will simply be used as is. Through things like solid state photonics, light shall be able to do all that electricity can and more.