How can we have free electricity?

I was travelling on the bus. My thoughts were flying around doing their flights of imagination. “It would be wonderful to have electricity available everywhere.” Then came “It would be even more wonderful if it’s free. Or at least cheap.”

Then I wondered, “How can we have free electricity?”

“We would need something to generate it.” And my next immediate thought was “A dynamo!” I was remembering my physics lessons long ago, when we were playing with magnets. One of the interesting things I remembered was a spinning magnet as part of a dynamo to generate electricity.

So, we need an easy way to do rotation, preferably on a big scale. And the biggest thing that rotates? Earth.

I was thinking of building some structure to house some magnetic material along the equator. Earth is spinning at about 465 metres per second. That should count for something. As the Earth rotates, that structure “rubs” another supporting structure above it, using the theory of the dynamo, we’ll get electricity!

Geodynamo structure

I don’t even know if the theory behind it is sound. Assuming it is, what’s going to hold the upper structure? It can’t be supported by the Earth, because that would defeat the purpose, since it will spin along too. Then came my next breakthrough.

Supporting structures in space.

Geodynamo space supporting structure

There will be satellites holding up the structure. I thought of having just one single structure, but the mechanics of holding it steady might be tough. Have you ever played that game where you have to hold a rod of metal with a loop, and slowly pass it through a maze of metal wires without touching the wires? You need steady hands.

Metal zapper game
Ok, that drawing was bad… I hope you get the idea.

Anyway, several separate satellites to hold up the structure might be better. Now that I look at the diagram carefully, I’m not even sure if the structure would hold up… perhaps some super light material…

Assuming this works out fine, I imagine physicists (theory), engineers (building it), mathematicians (calculations) and other scientists would be involved. Programmers too, for the software used to run the satellites and the structure. Biologists too, for the effects of such a large scale of electromagnetic energy on living things near the equator. Particularly the marine biologists, since most of the structure is over the ocean.

Alright, fine. It’s probably not going to work. I’m just saying, what if it works? What if we can get cheap, even free electricity generated this way? What if you can come up with some other way?

What if…