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• You flip a switch.

你打開一個開關。

• Coal burns in a furnace, which turns water into steam.

煤在爐子裡燃燒，把水變成蒸汽。

• That steam spins a turbine, which activates a generator,

蒸汽帶動渦輪機旋轉，從而啟動發電機。

• which pushes electrons through the wire.

它將電子推過電線。

• This current propagates through hundreds of miles of electric cables

這種電流通過數百英里長的電纜傳播。

• and arrives at your home.

並送到你的家裡。

• All around the world, countless people are doing this every second

在世界各地，無數的人每一秒鐘都在做這件事。

• flipping a switch, plugging in, pressing anonbutton.

翻開開關，插上電源，按下 "開 "的按鈕。

• So how much electricity does humanity need?

那麼人類需要多少電呢？

• The amount we collectively use is changing fast,

我們集體使用的數量正在快速變化。

• so to answer this question,

所以回答這個問題。

• we need to know not just how much the world uses today,

我們需要知道的不僅僅是當今世界的使用量。

• but how much we'll use in the future.

但未來我們會用多少。

• The first step is understanding how we measure electricity.

第一步是瞭解我們如何測量電。

• It's a little bit tricky.

這是一個有點棘手的問題。

• A joule is a unit of energy,

焦耳是一種能量組織、部門。

• but we usually don't measure electricity in just joules.

但我們通常不只用焦耳來測量電。

• Instead, we measure it in watts.

相反，我們用瓦特來衡量它。

• Watts tell us how much energy, per second, it takes to power something.

瓦特告訴我們，每秒鐘需要多少能量來驅動某樣東西。

• One joule per second equals one watt.

每秒鐘一個焦耳等於一個瓦特。

• It takes about .1 watts to power a smart phone,

智能手機的電量大約需要0.1瓦。

• a thousand to power your house, a million for a small town,

一千塊錢給你的房子供電，一百萬給一個小鎮。

• and a billion for a mid-size city.

和一箇中型城市的10億。

• As of 2020, it takes 3 trillion watts to power the entire world.

截至2020年，需要3萬億瓦特的電力來為整個世界供電。

• But almost a billion people don't have access to reliable electricity.

但有近10億人無法獲得可靠的電力。

• As countries become more industrialized and more people join the grid,

隨著國家工業化程度的提高，越來越多的人加入到電網中來。

• electricity demand is expected to increase about 80% by 2050.

預計到2050年，電力需求將增加約80%。

• That number isn't the complete picture.

這個數字並不完整。

• We'll also have to use electricity in completely new ways.

我們還得用全新的方式來使用電力。

• Right now, we power a lot of things by burning fossil fuels,

現在，我們通過燃燒化石燃料來驅動很多東西。

• emitting an unsustainable amount of greenhouse gases

排放不可持續的溫室氣體的國家

• that contribute to global warming.

導致全球變暖的因素。

• We'll have to eliminate these emissions entirely

我們必須完全消除這些排放

• to ensure a sustainable future for humanity.

以確保人類的可持續未來。

• The first step to doing so, for many industries,

做到這一點的第一步，對於很多行業來說。

• is to switch from fossil fuels to electric power.

就是要從化石燃料轉為電力。

• We'll need to electrify cars,

我們需要讓汽車電氣化。

• switch buildings heated by natural gas furnaces to electric heat pumps,

將天然氣爐加熱的建築物改為電熱泵；

• and electrify the huge amount of heat used in industrial processes.

並對工業過程中使用的大量熱量進行電氣化處理。

• So all told, global electricity needs could triple by 2050.

所以說，到2050年，全球電力需求可能增加三倍。

• We'll also need all that electricity to come from clean energy sources

我們還需要所有的電力來自於清潔能源

• if it's going to solve the problems caused by fossil fuels.

如果它能解決化石燃料造成的問題。

• Today, only one third of the electricity we generate comes from clean sources.

今天，我們生產的電力中只有三分之一來自清潔能源。

• Fossil fuels are cheap and convenient, easy to ship,

化石燃料便宜方便，便於運輸。

• and easy to turn into electricity on demand.

並很容易變成按需供電。

• So how can we close the gap?

那麼，如何才能縮小差距呢？

• Wind and solar power work great for places with lots of wind and sunshine,

風力和太陽能對於風和陽光充足的地方來說，效果非常好。

• but we can't store and ship sunlight or wind the way we can transport oil.

但我們不能像運輸石油那樣儲存和運輸陽光或風。

• To make full use of energy from these sources at other times or in other places,

在其他時間或其他地方充分利用這些來源的能源。

• we'd have to store it in batteries

我們必須把它儲存在電池裡

• and improve our power grid infrastructure to transport it long distances.

並完善我國電網基礎設施，遠距離輸送。

• Meanwhile, nuclear power plants use nuclear fission

同時，核電站使用核裂變

• to generate carbon-free electricity.

以產生無碳電力。

• Though still more expensive than plants that burn fossil fuels,

雖然還是比燃燒化石燃料的工廠更貴。

• they can be built anywhere

遍地開花

• and don't depend on intermittent energy sources like the sun or wind.

而不依賴太陽或風等間歇性能源。

• Researchers are currently working to improve nuclear waste disposal

目前，研究人員正在努力改善核廢料的處理方式。

• and the safety of nuclear plants.

以及核電站的安全問題。

• There's another possibility we've been trying to crack since the 1940s:

還有一種可能，我們從20世紀40年代就開始嘗試破解。

• nuclear fusion.

核聚變。

• It involves smashing light atoms together, so they fuse,

它包括將光原子粉碎在一起，使它們融合。

• and harnessing the energy this releases.

並利用這釋放的能量。

• Accidents aren't a concern with nuclear fusion,

核聚變不需要擔心事故。

• and it doesn't produce the long-lived radioactive waste fission does.

而且它不會產生長壽命的放射性廢物 裂變做。

• It also doesn't have the transport concerns

它也沒有運輸的問題

• associated with wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources.

與風能、太陽能和其他可再生能源有關的。

• A major breakthrough here could revolutionize clean energy.

這裡的重大突破可能會給清潔能源帶來革命性的變化。

• The same is true of nuclear fission, solar, and wind.

核裂變、太陽能、風能也是如此。

• Breakthroughs in any of these technologies,

這些技術中的任何一項取得突破。

• and especially in all of them together, can change the world:

尤其是在所有的人一起，可以改變世界。

• not only helping us triple our electricity supply,

不僅幫助我們增加了三倍的電力供應。

• but enabling us to sustain it.

但使我們能夠維持它。

You flip a switch.

# 世界上需要多少電力來供電？ (How much electricity does it take to power the world?)

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林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 03 月 09 日