By JonThm on YouTube.com Jonathan Thomason
The gentle buffeting of rain drops sets off molecular nuclear fusion. The OH- molecules falls to Earth, and the He+ rises to above the clouds.
So we build up a charge, and get a gentel upstrike. This is from a voltage of 300 kilovolts. Not that different from the mains voltage in the UK.
This produces an initial current 200,000 amps. I think this is so much of a guess. I think we get around 50 amps initially.
Bu then we get a massive upstrike, through the steam plasma formed from the warm air. This gives an average peak power output of a single lightning stroke is about a terawatt (1012 W) and the stroke lasts for around 30 microseconds.
So this gives us a power of about 180 MWatts – serious power. Buthe lightening strike gives arounf a terawatt (1012 W)
So we are missing 8 orders of magnitude! So that is what a steam plasma over ½ a mile can generate.
I advocate a steam plasma in a discharge tube, where a voltage of 2,000 V, and current of 0.3 Amps, will produce 150 K Watts of power.
All this is known to chemists of the world, who prefer the money from nuclear power to research the phantom science of Global Warming, to actually giving thew wordl nuclear fusion. And cut CERN out of the loop.
I have told all this to Sheffield University, so there should be some good PhD vacanties there! In 2009.
 Dr. Hugh J. Christian; Melanie A. McCook. "A Lightning Primer - Characteristics of a Storm". NASA. http://thunder.nsstc.nasa.gov/primer/primer2.html. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
Relayed through http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning#cite_note-GHCC_primer2-13