Alternative Energy Sources by RG

VIEWS: 187 PAGES: 28

									Alternative Energy Sources


Presented
by

The Community Solution
Yellow Springs, Ohio
www.communitysolution.org
Energy Plan A – Fossil Fuel Based

   So called “non renewables”

   Business as usual

   Develop tar sands, oil shale, nuclear

   Top Priority is “clean” coal
     (Bury CO2 in ocean and land)

     CO2 from coal – 2x natural gas



   Corporate/Government View

   President Bush, CEOs of Exxon, Cargill, GE, GM, BP, Ford
Alternative Non-Conventional Fossil Fuels
   Oil Shale
     Does not contain oil – basis is kerogen – add water/ heat to get oil

     Waste volume greater than ore volume – must be mined like coal

     Needs lots of water – found in water scare areas – Colorado Plateau



   Heavy Oil
     Very thick – limited uses (bunker oil)

     Major source – Venezuela



   Tar Sands
     Less than 1% of world oil production

     Located mostly in Canada



   Sizable but not huge potential – Currently about 4% of energy
Alternatives – Natural Gas
   Natural gas is used primarily for space heating, electricity generation

   Natural gas is the key ingredient in agricultural fertilizers

   Main material for hydrogen (natural gas – 48%, oil – 30%, coal – 18%)

   Not a viable replacement for oil – hard to ship – a regional fuel
     U.S. only imports from Canada and Mexico via pipeline



   One of the key solutions to the oil shock of the 1970s

   Can be used in automobile engines
     Honda selling a natural gas Civic with home gas dispenser
Alternatives – Natural Gas and Depletion




U.S. Natural Gas Production
   May deplete faster than oil – plateau followed by a sharp decline
   Natural Gas peaked in the U.S. in 1973, in Canada in 2001
   U.S. get 99% of its gas from North America
       Simmons & Co International
Alternative – Coal




    Major source electricity in the world – 40% of total
    Abundant but dirty and inefficient
    Less energy (1/2) per pound than oil/gas
    Source: World Coal Institute
Alternative – Coal




   U.S. and worldwide coal production may peak between 2020
    and 2030
Source: Energy Watch Group, “Coal: Resources and Future Production” (April, 2007)
Coal and Sequestration




   Carbon Sequestration – A potential holocaust for all life
   Remember nuclear waste ocean dumping?
   Shows our desperation – and our culpability
MIT Report on CCS




   Coal will remain the fuel of choice in America
   Clean coal programs like Future Gen fall far short of what is
    required to ensure coal remains a primary fuel in a
    carbon-constrained world
Coal and Climate Change




   Paradigm shift
     We dare not burn remaining oil

     Nor the coal, tar sands & shale!
Alternative – Nuclear
   Nuclear Energy – Only “new” (1945) energy source in centuries – U235

   Relatively “safe” when operating – No new Chernobyl or 3 Mile Island
     But accidents could be catastrophic

     Price-Anderson Act law in 1957 passed exempting liability
         Still in force – utilities won’t build new plants without it

   Uranium will be available for some decades – but not forever

   Fundamental issue is radioactive wastes – last for thousands of years

   Lots of hype – Fusion reactors, breeder reactors
     No successes after decades of efforts – $billions wasted
    

   Number of reactors needed to carry most of load is phenomenal
     One or two orders of magnitude over current installation
Current Reactors in the World: ~450
Alternatives – Dams
   Limited number of sites – U.S. “maxed out”

   Major ecological effect – destruction of species
     In third world they destroy many homes and natural
      processes

   Dams will eventually fill with silt – not “renewable”

   Forced relocation of people – heavy human toll

   Nobody in U.S. is proposing dams!
    Energy Plan B – Non-Fossil Fuel-based
    So called “renewables”

    “Environmentally” oriented

    Develop wind and solar
      Nuclear being debated



    Top priority is bio-fuels
      Burning of food



    Assumes new transportation options
      Mass transit, fuel cells, PHEVs


    Al Gore, Lester Brown, Carl Pope, Amory Lovins, James Lovelock
      Many Solar and Wind companies; many NGOs
Renewable Share




   Wind and Solar make up only 0.18% of total energy use
Alternatives – Wind and PVs

   Wind turbines the most efficient options – and fastest growing
     2/3 of projected alternative supply is wind

     Most of the rest is wood

     But turbines are an old technology



   Photovoltaics (PVs)
     PV prices decreased 90% in 1st 12 years – flat in last 13.

     PV efficiency went from 8% to 16% in first 10 years – little
      improvement since

   Most renewables generate only electricity
     Less flexible than oil or natural gas
The Law of Diminishing Returns
50                                                                                                                   1300

45                                               ROW
                                                                                                                     1100
                                                 Europe
40
                                                 Japan
35                                               U.S.                                                                900
                                                 PV Cost
30
                                                                                                                     700
25
                                                                                                                     500
20

15                                                                                                                   300

10
                                                                                                                     100
    5
            1990

                   1991
                          1992
                                 1993
                                        1994

                                               1995
                                                      1996
                                                             1997
                                                                    1998
                                                                           1999

                                                                                  2000
                                                                                         2001
                                                                                                2002
                                                                                                       2003
                                                                                                              2004
    0                                                                                                                -100


       Similar for wind – Basic steel, aluminum, glass, silicon
              Sam Baldwin, Chief Technology Officer, Office of Energy Efficiency and
               Renewable Energy, U.S. DOE Energy: A 21st Century Perspective,
               National Academy of Engineering June 2, 2005, Cleveland, Ohio
Understanding Net Energy
   It takes energy to process fossil fuels for usage

   Cheapest energy cost to process fuels is Saudi Arabia oil

   Most expensive energy cost to process fuels are the non-
    conventional fossil fuels

   Also energy costly to produce bio-diesel
     Negative net energy



   Vital to understand the concept of net energy
     Explains poor prospect for many alternatives

     Different than $$ cost
Biofuels – Unsustainable Burning of Food
   Net Energy Loser – it takes 43% more energy to produce
    ethanol than it yields. (Pimentel)

   Myth of oil independence
     20% of our corn in the U.S. is used for ethanol, which gives
      us less than 1% of total oil use.
     If 100% of the corn in the U.S. was used to make ethanol, it
      would only account for 7% of total U.S. oil use.

   Would exacerbate topsoil depletion – currently we are depleting
    the soil 20 times faster than it is being replaced

   Already resulting in skyrocketing food prices

   Cellulosic ethanol – Still technical limitations, takes about five
    times as much energy required to make cellulosic ethanol
    than the energy contained in the ethanol.
Energy Plans A and B – Common Points

   Fuels or new sources (A or B Technology) will save us
     Plan A – Clean Coal, Tar Sands

     Plan B – Switch Grass, Wind and Solar

     Nuclear Power supported by both to some degree

   Lots of overlap between two e.g. GE
     Biggest Wind Turbine Company

     Biggest Power Plant (coal, gas, nuclear) Company

   Agreement – Nation’s # 1 goal
     Increase economic growth by increased energy consumption

     We don’t have to consume less energy – just different energy

     Technology is the answer
But Can Technology “Save Us”?
   This is a belief issue – it is not at all obvious

   Technology = more efficient/innovative machines burning fuels
     Could technology exist without fossil fuels

     Will it continue when fossil fuels are gone?



   There are high energy and low energy technologies
     Cars, planes, power plants

     Bypass surgery, most drugs, better golf clubs



   We must consider an intermediate tech – low energy world

   Recent energy technology breakthroughs are not impressive
Alternatives Summary
   Bio fuels, solar, wind feasibility – all in question
     Proponents have not yet made the case

     Tabulating sun energy per sq foot is not enough



   Tar sands, oil shale not proven after more than 40 years

   Government is committing to biofuels, coal, and nuclear power

   Huge problem with both is poisonous waste
     Sequestration is the “sales pitch” of the coal advocates



   No new fuels are likely and old fuels still dirty
Problem of Lag Time




   “Peaking of World Oil Production–Impacts, Mitigation, Risk”
     Hirsch, Bezdek, and Wendling
Why Not Spend More on R and D?
   In a century of technologic process only one new fuel source
    discovered (but Uranium first discovered in 18th century)

   Nuclear power took decades to develop and commercialize
     1930-2003


   After seventy years nuclear still provides only 8% of U.S.
    energy

   All the other fuels (oil, coal, gas, biomass) were known for a
    long time
     Biomass (mostly wood) for thousands of years

     Coal for centuries!

     Oil and gas since late 1800s


   Early large dam was a marble structure built in 1660
    in India
Energy Investment Are Sizable




   No one likes the allocation – that’s politics
   Big private investments – GE $148B(rev) &
    Sharp $24B(rev)
The Shocking Possibility
   There may be no “satisfactory” alternatives
     Satisfactory – Maintain current energy consumption rate



   Eternal progress based on burning fossil fuels is not
    sustainable

   We must change to a different way of living without the dreams
    of eternal material and mechanical progress

   This may save us from ourselves
     Planetary degradation based on burning fossil fuels
Conservation – The Only Alternative




   Sustainable conservation efforts are imperative!
Plan C – Conserving in Community
   A view of only using enough
     Conserving, Sharing & Saving

     vs.

     Competing, Hoarding & Consuming



   Means Curtailment – Cutting back
     Not “token” conservation

     Sharing resources now and with

      people in the future

   Needs “Community”
     Context for a new “Way of Life”

     Cooperation Principle

								
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