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In "practice", the charges could only be moved up to the ionosphere (potential difference less than 106 V), reducing the value of the stored energy by almost two orders of magnitude. In any case, the charge of the Earth, as well as the trophospheric current system, constitutes energy sources of very small magnitude, even if the more concentrated return flux of lightning could be utilised (multiplying the average power estimate by the area of the Earth, one obtains a total power of 3 x 1010 W).

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