Could lightning be used as a power source?
While spectacular, lightning isn’t dependable. It’s here one day in scattered, capricious bursts and absent in many others. Chicago sees only about 38 days with thunderstorms in a year. How would a power company capture and store such erratic discharges to meet daily power needs? Lightning produces lots of current over several millionths of a second while generating surprisingly little power. Power is the amount of energy transferred over time and a single lightning bolt produces enough power to light a 100-watt light bulb for a month. Even the 0.01 percent of lightning strokes that last longest and produce the most power don’t survive beyond 0.2 seconds, making it nearly impossible to capture them.