Perhaps a good plan is thus: keep everything the waty it is. By the time the oil fileds arre dired up, someone will have found a way to make large quantities of antimatter.
Here's an idea, much bette than transmitting solar electricity via microwaves or even waiting millions of years for oil or coal to develop or even the new H2-making algea.
Make a very, very large solar collector. You can have it in space or on the Moon. Use the electricity from it to power an accelerator. This is 2002 tech, I believe that its current implementation will be refined. Fermilab at Chicago makes 1.5 nanograms a year, most of which is used in experiments.
This idea is inefficient as hell, but let's run with it.
Anywhoo, let's say that you build an orbiting antimatter production platform. Let's be pessimistic in all our calculations and be happily surprised later (it's how I do my accounting
) . The solar energy in space is heavier than on earth, but let's ignore that (being pessimistic).
A commercial solar collector can produce a little less than 100 watts per square meter at high noon at the equator. I assume there are better collectors available, but we're being pessimistic. An orbiting sattalite will always be intentionally turned toward the Sun, so except when it's behind the Earth or Moon, it will be getting full power.
A collection of collectors will be, say, 10 kilometers on a side. 100 square kilometers or 10,000,000,000 square meters.
1,000,000,000,000 watts of solar power.
Let's assume that after all that electricity gets to the station on the ring of the accelerator (it will be on the night side, 9.9 kilometers in diameter), most of its energy has been dissipated (99%).
10,000,000,000 watts of useful power.
Let's assume that the accelerator tech is just as wasteful, and wastes 99% of the energy in the creation of antimatter fuel.
100,000,000 watts of power made into antimatter constantly.
Another 99% wasted in getting it down to Earth in useful fashion and distributing it where it's needed - perhaps to individual neighborhood electricity networks and automobile fillup stations.
1,000,000 watts of power available most of the time from a single orbiting power station.
A large nuclear power plant generates 1000 MW, or
1,000,000 watts of power.
<after much searching>
I can't find the electricity usage of a large city, like New York. I've found that a 400 MW generator feeds 1,000 homes, so
400,000 / 1,000 = 400 watts average usage
But that's by a home. Industry and cmmercial buildings not consdiered.
Let alone cars.
I don't know how many of those big nukes can power say NYC.