Reverse Engineer posted his Energy Problem Solutions to the Doomstead Diner. After having lost track of a wonderful article about growing algae for oil using carbon captured from a biomass-burning combined heat and power plant, I want to make sure I don't lose this:
Here is my plan for a sustainable Homo Sap society that is not down at H-G level. I published it on OFW in the commentariat and it got about the same reception it would have received on NBL.
Energy Problem Solutions
I detailed in a prior post how to substitute distributed intermittent electric power for the current centralized on demand power grid for the public at large, as well as how to distribute out your factories and manufacturing in the places you can actually collect large amounts of renewable energy. Such places are near large hydro facilities, near the ocean where you can capture steady Wave Action and Wind Power, in the Desert where you can capture reliable Solar Power and in geological hot spots like Iceland and Yellowstone where Geothermal power can be captured in large quantities necessary for manufacturing.
However, these are not your only problems of course, the biggest one being transportation.
For this, you need to refurbish and upgrade the current rail systems. Main long distance lines need to be electrified, with the power supplied all along the line through large solar and wind arrays. Trains may not run continuously on these lines, they may have to wait for power to be supplied to the section of track they are on. In the FSoA, these are only the main E-W and N-S rail lines.
Subsidiary lines which run off these routes can be run with Diesel-Electric Locomotives, utilizing biodiesel. This brings goods within around a 300 mile radius to most locations in the FSoA.
Final transportation of goods is done with either animal power or small electrics which can be charged along the distribution route from wind and solar arrays. Again, the transporter may have to wait a day or two to get enough power to continue with the journey to the final destination.
For Ocean Transport of goods between continents, we need to go back to smaller ships, primarily Sail. However, there should be little need to move many goods between continents since all necessary items should be produced locally, such as food, clothing and shelter building materials.
The next area we are highly dependent on FF for is Agriculture, both for fertilizer and pesticides and for the machines necessary for large scale till farming of annuals. We need to convert to growing mostly perennials on small plots of land cultivated through permaculture by individuals. These biomes should be set up so there are competing insect predators to replace the pesticides. Along with the permaculture biomes, we need to set up large scale hydroponics and aquaculture farms that are water and fertilizer conservative, and we need to recycle humanure into these facilities as fertilizer.
Most metals and other basic elements can be acquired scavenging from the debris left over from the Age of Oil. What does need to still be mined can be done with electric heavy equipment periodically as power is available. Large scale smelting of metal can be done with Solar Thermal plants, utilizing large fresnel lenses to concentrate heat.
Precursors for organic molecules we currently get from Oil can be grown and converted and polymerized as necessary, utililizing renewable electric production.
Now, will this syste support the current 7.2B people? That is doubtful, but I do think it could support 700M.
The system will not be built from the top down, it has to build from the bottom up. As the grand monetary system collapses, individual communities will need to set up their own systems for internal commerce. Communities will need to be self-sufficient in food production for probably 50 years minimum before a larger food trading and distribution scheme could be worked out.