Chairman's summary we dealt with the simpler problem, namely, that of defining new and improved conversion devices from fossil and other fuels. Fig. 1 gives some perspective on the magnitude of the problem (a summary compilation of estimated non-renewable and renewable energy sources). The estimated power requirements for 10'0 people are lozo gm-cal./year. According to Fig. 1, utilization of the estimated uranium reserves in fission S. S. PENNER commented as follows: Perhaps the key ratio in determining the "civilization index" of human progress is the per capita energy consumption rate. This ratio may be increased by population control or by increasing the extent of utilization and efficiency of energy conversion devices. In our panel discussion A. NON-RENEWABLE ENERGY IN THE SEA I 024 1026 1028 I 030 I 032 gm cal Fossil fuels (ali) ii"" Thorium fission I Oranium fission I Deuterium fusion I I Hydrogen fusion I B. SOME RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES 1016 101s Iö20 1022 I 024 grn cal/yr decay (half-life = 1.4 x I O9 yrs) Tidal friction (all) potential (land) Available wind power (2000 hrs/yr) Marine organic (combusted) Sea-thermal reservoir (total) Feasible solar oower (1.7 land) I Latent energy in evaporation from se'a Solar energy input into sea I ~ Fig.1-Energy sources (after John D. Isaacs and W. R. Schmitt) 25 1 252 New Conversion Devices for Energy from Fossil Fuels processes would provide adequate power for about 106 years, of deuterium fusion for about 1010 years, of hydrogen fusion for about 1014 years, as compared with about 102 years for all fossil fuels. Complete utilization of all available tidal friction would take care of only about ten per cent of the needs of the 1010 humans indefinitely; however, adequate power would be supplied by one hundred per cent efficiency in the utilization of wind power, or by 10-4 of the solar energy input into the sea. In view of these and other possible alternatives, the best choice for energy conversion devices will clearly be determined largely by current economic considerations. Thus it is appropriate to stress in our deliberations the likely economic impact of new scientific and technological discoveries.
We have not been concerned with photovoltaic, thermoelectric and thermionic energy converters, which are finding widespread use in specialty applications (e.g., power units for spacecraft; low-power sources in remote areas for radio reception; weather stations; cathodic protection of pipelines; etc.). These devices generally produce power at a rate that is dependent on cross-sectional area and are not suitable for centralstation usage where designs producing power by volume-limited rate processes are preferred. In so far as fossil fuels are concerned, one of the exciting new pra