Since the Nobles are being given out this week, I’ll do things a little simpler this time around and share my noble idea right away as opposed to after dressing it up with the nice graphics I had planned.

My main idea is this: combine solar, wind and hydro power on community level to provide renewable energy. In simple terms it goes like this:

In a closed smart grid of ANY size:

1.) wind power provides energy at all times but not all the time - hence power storage makes it much more efficient

2.) solar power provides energy during daylight

3.) hydro power provides energy whenever needed - especially if the fluid is in an artificial container.

4.) smart grid with a command control system determines the energy redistribution in the grid and excess power is used to pump fluid back up into the CLOSED hydro generator serving as a potential energy storage device (i.e. stores extra energy generated by wind and solar).

5.) when peek demand exceeds the current power level generated by solar and wind - such as during a windless night - hydro generates the required energy (this fluid is then pumped back into the reservoir when power generation exceeds power demand, so only a set amount of fluid is required).

This takes care of a sustainable renewable clean energy source for a community of any size. The system can be added to existing grids in stages or can be built as part of new infrastructure along with the grid for communities that are being developed.

Human waste should be used for fertilizer and as a source of fuel as in these Oxfordshire homes.

Smart electricity grids should be concurrently developed with high speed internet infrastructure taking Chatanooga as a model.

Urban planning should take into account local geographic features and climatic conditions. Those factors in synergy with

  1. a smart electric grid
  2. a basket of sustainable renewable energy  sources
  3. a recycling program for human waste and garbage
  4. a driver-less autonomous public transportation system (both car and rail) prioritizing pedestrians and cyclists
  5. local farming of fruits,  vegetables and synthetic meat
  6. local tourism and recreation

should make for sustainable, non polluting communities.

The final element is enclosing such a sustainable non polluting community to form a closed ecosystem. This can be done in a variety of ways - most immediate that comes to mind is a bio-dome enclosure, but it could be anything from underground, underwater, transparently roofed canyon settlement, canopied skyscrapers in a large city or even an air filled bubble in space formed around interconnected space station modules.

To avid science fiction readers I am all too transparent, but to those not in the know my point is this: not only such communities ensure the survivability of humans during global disasters on Earth (pandemics, asteroid impacts, nuclear wars etc) but more importantly they allow the colonization of a large number of places in the solar system: the Moon, Mars, Europa, various asteroids, or space in orbit of anything in the solar system where enough sunshine reaches to power the settlement.