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Alternative Energy Sources - Slide 1

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  • Alternative Energy Sources Today I’m going to review the oil alternatives that we have in this country and in the world
  • Alternatives – Natural Gas and Depletion This chart shows gas as compared to oil. In an earlier presentation, we saw the green curve which showed the demand in oil, seeing that it peaked in 1960 and it has been declining; we see natural gas came along much later than oil, and it grew much faster, peaked quicker, and it is also on its way down. So it quite possibly could deplete much faster than oil. The United States and Canada have huge supplies of it but they are using it very quickly.
  • Suggest a few commetns from the MIT report that just came out. Mayabe a picture of Future Gen plant and a comment on timing. Maybe also on IGCC of which we have only two plants in the US.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Alternative Energy Sources
      • Presented
      • by
      • Community Solutions
      • Yellow Springs, Ohio
      • www.communitysolution.org
    • 2. 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 CO 2 in ocean and land)
        • CO 2 from coal – 2x natural gas
      • Corporate/Government View
      • President Bush, CEOs of Exxon, Cargill, GE, GM, BP, Ford
    • 3. 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 
    • 4. 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
    • 5. Alternatives – Natural Gas and Depletion 
      • 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
      U.S. Natural Gas Production
    • 6. 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
    • 7. 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)
    • 8. Coal and Sequestration
      • Carbon Sequestration – A potential holocaust for all life
      • Remember nuclear waste ocean dumping?
      • Shows our desperation – and our culpability
    • 9. 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
    • 10. Coal and Climate Change
      • Paradigm shift
        • We dare not burn remaining oil
        • Nor the coal, tar sands & shale!
    • 11. 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
    • 12. Current Reactors in the World: ~450
    • 13. 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!
    • 14. 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
    • 15. Renewable Share
      • Wind and Solar make up only 0.18% of total energy use
    • 16. 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
    • 17. The Law of Diminishing Returns
      • 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 21 st Century Perspective, National Academy of Engineering June 2, 2005, Cleveland, Ohio
    • 18. 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
    • 19. 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.
    • 20. 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
    • 21. 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
    • 22. 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
    • 23. Problem of Lag Time
      • “ Peaking of World Oil Production–Impacts, Mitigation, Risk”
        • Hirsch, Bezdek, and Wendling
    • 24. 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
    • 25. Energy Investment Are Sizable
      • No one likes the allocation – that’s politics
      • Big private investments – GE $148B(rev) & Sharp $24B(rev)
    • 26. 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
    • 27. Conservation – The Only Alternative
      • Sustainable conservation efforts are imperative!
    • 28. 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