Power will never be free. We always have to make some effort to produce it, no matter how “secure” we are able to create the source. It doesn’t just fall there to take. It will cost money for the equipment and real estate needed to produce it. Those who work with these resources will have to pay. Etc. So “free energy” is a dangerous word that you should stop using. This is a fairy tale.
Now, you say “virtual” and that’s an important word in your question. The primary problem we have with energy today is that the resources we use to obtain it can be limited and potentially depleted. It’s a threat. I see it, there are only two ways.
I’ll start with the wind and solar tip my hat. These technologies work, and can make a reasonable contribution to our future needs. There is nothing wrong with them, and I don’t really understand why opposing them becomes such an emotion for some people. I think people just like to fight each other in secret and will do anything about it. You say blue, I’ll say red, and we can figure it out. Yes.
However, we should work on these. But I don’t believe they will suffice. I think people claim that they are dreaming and being intentionally blind about the reality of the situation. Although these technologies can help us, the only sure and definite way is nuclear.
Nuclear comes in two flavors – fission and fusion. It is possible to build what I would call a “passively safe” nuclear reactor. A furnace that you can turn on and off, and even if every “management system” you have failed, there will be no faults and no crises. That kind of furnace we should build. The military does not like them because they do not produce surgical output material. But O Allah, do we not have enough nuclear weapons? How many times should we be able to explode the surface of our planet?
So, fission has nuclear. It is available and it is now technically within our reach. And it will cover our needs … well, for a long time. Thousands of years. Unfortunately, this is not forever. As far as I can tell Fusion is the only “forever” game in town. Which we still don’t know how to do. But I think the main reason we haven’t mastered it yet is political – I don’t think the fusion research industry really wants to succeed. I think they want to get fat on the money of research to try. If they do it then that episode of things is over and they don’t want it.
Obviously even fusion requires some kind of input, and so one day we will run out of those inputs. But here we are talking about the distant, distant, distant future – millions of years. Millions. We master fusion and we have unlimited “virtual” power (to use your words).
However, it still won’t be “free” for the reason I mentioned at the beginning.
OK; I pushed long enough. Stay safe and well!
I do not agree with the various claims that we can never get free energy. Of course we can. We’re away from (slightly) more efficient solar and (slightly) better batteries, which will make a huge difference.
So, everything will become much cheaper (less expensive) because if energy is “free”, production will lose a great deal of cost and steel, plastic, glass, really something that requires a lot of energy to make, will become much less expensive.
Also, “free” energy treats saltwater (which is now a very expensive energy (which is why it is shipped, not on dry shoreline)) where it will provide fresh water to anyone who is no longer available. With unlimited (free) fresh water, the desert is harvested, prosperity comes and things get better.
Free energy would be great! BTW 1 sq-yd sunlight is about 1,000W if you can get it all. A sq-yd solar panel might get 100W, so 10%. The best panels for regular use are in the 20 +% range and some experimental things are a little more. Can you imagine 50%? 500W per square yard? And put it in a decent battery?
Sell Grandma’s Utility Stock …
Free energy generators are real, I have been using them to power my homes since 1980.
You can also get wind-powered types that are equally free the way they get their power input.
However, if you are talking about a device that has more power than what is kept in it, then don’t be fooled. If you insist, I own a large well-known public bridge that I no longer want, and are willing to sell it to you for a fraction of the replacement cost. You can get bridge light power with free power generator.