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Revived Cold War Tech for Long Duration Flights Could Solve Earth's Energy Crisis

February 13, 2017 | Source: Business Insider, Dave Mosher

Humanity is in a serious pinch for energy.

The world population may balloon to 9 billion people by 2040, up from 7.36 billion in 2016, and researchers believe this will translate to a 48% jump in energy consumption.

Fossil fuels could slake the world's thirst for energy, but burning more would exacerbate climate change and threaten millions. And it'd be temporary, since known reserves are expected to run out within a century or two.

Meanwhile, renewable energy like wind and solar, though key parts of a solution, are no silver bullets — especially if the world is to meet a 2050 deadline set by the Paris Agreement.

"You've got to be able to generate energy reliably. You've got to be able to generate energy on demand. And that's what wind and solar can't do, and will never be able to do," Kirk Sorensen, the CTO of nuclear energy startup Flibe Energy, told Business Insider in an episode of our podcast Codebreaker, produced with Marketplace.

Humanity is in a serious pinch for energy.

The world population may balloon to 9 billion people by 2040, up from 7.36 billion in 2016, and researchers believe this will translate to a 48% jump in energy consumption.

Fossil fuels could slake the world's thirst for energy, but burning more would exacerbate climate change and threaten millions. And it'd be temporary, since known reserves are expected to run out within a century or two.

Meanwhile, renewable energy like wind and solar, though key parts of a solution, are no silver bullets — especially if the world is to meet a 2050 deadline set by the Paris Agreement.

"You've got to be able to generate energy reliably. You've got to be able to generate energy on demand. And that's what wind and solar can't do, and will never be able to do," Kirk Sorensen, the CTO of nuclear energy startup Flibe Energy, told Business Insider in an episode of our podcast Codebreaker, produced with Marketplace.

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