Finding an adequate form of doing something requires experimenting with many possible forms, which in turn consumes energy. Not reinventing the wheel requires remembering the previous experimentations or investigations, keeping records, making comparisons and classifications of the results. In other words, it requires information, knowledge, science, technology. In fact, some genetic and cultural information has evolved towards allowing life, particularly the human life, to squeeze out of its environment the matter and energy it needs for its propagation.
Today, satisfying the global energy requirement without increasing the environmental degradation is a crucial challenge. The damage to the environment is mainly caused by the massive, industrial agriculture and mining of fuels and other materials; the usually traumatic intervention of basins and natural reserves for the installation of large hydroelectric dams, lines and plants; the transportation, construction and final disposition of materials used by such prolific devices as wind towers, and the combustion emissions such as CO2.
Since energy is the product of mass and velocity squared (E = m v2), increasing energy requires increasing the mass in its same proportion, or the velocity in a minor, inversely quadratic proportion. The current technology has nearly reached the physical limits of the velocities of mechanical energies (water fall, wind and thermo-solar forces) as well as that of the chemical energies (combustion of fresh or fossil fuels; photovoltaic batteries potential). Only the nuclear energies offer a substantial velocity margin, about one million times that of any other energy known. But the current technology is still far away from safely controlling those enormous velocities and its risks of radioactive contamination.
This requires a revitalized nuclear R&D, which implies shifting investments from matter –especially row materials for massive mechanical and chemical energy chains– into information –especially IT applied to nuclear energy–. This means that the nuclear energy factor that makes the difference (velocity squared), becomes so tightly dependent on information that this could take its place in an infoenergetic version of the energy equation: E = m i, where i is information.
"Infoenergía: Una Relación entre Información, Energía y Ambiente,"
Revista Latinoamericana Y Del Caribe De La Associacion De Sistemas De Informacion:
1, Article 5.
Available at: http://aisel.aisnet.org/relcasi/vol6/iss1/5