What's the solution I hear you all cry - as an ex-British Coal scientist, I've thought a lot about it over the years. Of course the coal industry didn't want anyone to find a coal substitute! That's the world's problem - none of the power industries want to make themselves redundant. However I think there's a possible answer, and I'd like to hear your views on the feasability of it.
Most of the world's oil at present comes from desert areas of the world - energy is these people's only source of income. The amount of sunlight energy they get per square yard of what seems to be useless ground must be immense. So you convert the sunlight into saleable useful energy.
You cover large areas of desert with photovoltaic cells which generate vast amounts of electricity. This is cabled to the coast where it is used for the electrolysis of sea water - splitting it into hydrogen and oxygen. Both gases would be exported worldwide - the hydrogen for powering the world's vehicles etc - it burns to form water and nothing else. The oxygen would have countless industrial uses.
The OPEC countries must be very worried about the limited lifetime of their oil stocks - they could be using some of their huge profits now to ensure much more over the coming centuries.
So what do you guys out there think? Could it work? and if not, why not?