More Thoughts On A Turbine Based Future
One of the major problems facing municipalities is waste. Sweden has begun a process of using waste to produce biogas which runs trains and buses. It is kind of gross in a way. Biogas can run any engine capable of running compressed natural gas. In Sweden they have run a train on methanol from sewage as well as buses. http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/05/27/business/greencol28.php
One of the major advantage of gas turbine engines is the concept of distributed generation. Turbines are simple enough in design where they can be scaled to a variety of sources for a variety of uses. The main idea of distributed generation is that you can bring the engine close to the source of energy.
My initial thoughts about this is something called an energy farm. It will essentially be a regular farm with some added features. Plug in some windmills evenly spaced around the fields. Put in digesters for cow and animal manure and you get an energy farm. Basically, you make the land use more efficient by processing animal waste and adding wind turbines. There is no reason farmland cannot house windmills if done correctly. There might also be feedstock for cattle like switchgrass.
There are already precursors to a system like this. http://www.e3biofuels.com/about/biofuel-facts.php E3 Biofuels. Another company is creating something rather odd. It is going to grow algae as a feedstock for cows. The cows produce milk and manure for fuel. http://www.xldairygroup.com/pressrelease.cfm?ContentKey=620
I know this may not seem to be part of the concept of turbine engines, but I believe it would be part of a future energy system that used turbines running on natural gas or methane. Both animal and human waste would be processed into fuel for either turbines to generate electricity, or transportation fuel.