Added: 30.03.2011 10:35
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How to get sufficient energy to support the EU 2050 automobile plan?

Briefly the EU 2050 automobile plan sets forth the idea that by 2025 combustion driven vehicles would be decreased to 50% with the remaining 50% being eliminated by 2050 in all cities within EU. Therefore all EU cities would be dependent upon electrical energy to implement the new plan and where would they get it from?

1) According to the EU plan there will be a vast need for energy to charge the electrical vehicles. Our concern is with how the EU will go about providing sufficient energy sources to meet the high demand? In providing all the needed energy what will be the cost to our environment. For example if one option is to build nuclear plants, recently we have seen the adverse affects on commmunities when things go bad.

2) The risks of how to implement the plan; possible nuclear plants needed, natural resources in jeopardy, nature in danger,

3) Car manufacturers, Governments, All vehicle owners

4) Near future; 2025-2050

5) European Union

Research question: Where will EU get the sufficient energy from?

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The total associated expenses regarding to personal transport would be gathered, processed and displayed for the single user and a reliable estimation could be given to third parties looking at similar means of transport.

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Comments

That is usually the greatest problem. We decide something but the consequences are not thought to the bitter end. It is true what Henri404 said, there is vast unused potential in the renewable energy harvesting. This is partially caused by insufficient efficiency in the conversion to electrical energy or due to location of the natural source.

This is of course not a problem with solar energy (that dramatically) but starts to be visible for wind energy, ocean wave etc.
There is also a new potential source of energy, which is microalgae. These simple photosynthetic organisms grow 10times faster than higher taxons of plants and provide large species diversity. Forthermore, they use solar energy to produce large biomass...in fact we can understand this as a natural battery for solar energy... and at the same time they utilize carbon dioxide and work as a carbon dioxide sink.

This has been tested in laboratory scale and it seems to work well. I just have to thing, what would happen if we overshoot the demand and the production of microalgae. Will our future problem be competition for oxygen?
To be able to increase the harvesting efficiency we need to figure out how to transport the energy to great distances or to decentralize our energy production.

The next problem is usually the storage; how the recieved energy, for example from wind, can be stored for the time of the day when the energy demand is the greatest...or to cover the whole days energy demand?
(30 Mar 2011)
I hope that by that time we have improved sustainable solutions enough to leverege untapped natural resources in ways we can not yet imagine. For example volcanic energy is in abundance but its taken into use in only few places in the world currently. Or the energy of the sun should be harnessed more, in fact 10000 times more solar energy hits the earth every moment than we actually use in our current electric-fuel-wind-powered economy.

But in the other end, maybe we have forgotten by that time what it meant to drive a car because of some new way from getting from point a to b, or we dont need to go to somewhere at all.

A intresting point of view from a automotive engineering student aint it? :D

Have fun!