At a recent Dept. of Energy (DOE) meeting Steven Chu and Bill Gates both agreed that cheap energy would improve the world. For many around the world, access to cheap and reliable energy is rare. Improvements in energy intensification (energy per GDP) has resulted in the improvements we see today. However, these improvements have not been equitable. To this point Chu and Gates see varying future energy pathways.
One pathway that these two overlook is the role of waste-to-energy systems in developed and developing areas. Many of these waste-to-energy systems incorporate some form of waste combustion to capture heat and other products that can then be used as forms of energy. These types of systems are popular and are in wide use today, however, would a system that not only produces energy, but biochar be feasible? Some researchers have already looked at this idea. Questions do still remain as to what the economic cost and impact on climate change would be.