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Session 7   sustainability and fossil fuels
Session 7   sustainability and fossil fuels
Session 7   sustainability and fossil fuels
Session 7   sustainability and fossil fuels
Session 7   sustainability and fossil fuels
Session 7   sustainability and fossil fuels
Session 7   sustainability and fossil fuels
Session 7   sustainability and fossil fuels
Session 7   sustainability and fossil fuels
Session 7   sustainability and fossil fuels
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Session 7 sustainability and fossil fuels

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  • 1. Session 7 – Sustainability and Fossil Fuels
  • 2. Definitions of Sustainability One definition: • For renewables: Usage rate < generation rate • For non-renewables: Usage rate < sustainable use rate of substituted renewable • For a pollutant: Emission rate < rate of recycling, absorption, or neutralization The ideal requires complete reliance on renewables. Another definition related to GHGs: • Sustainability means meeting energy needs w/o adverse warming
  • 3. Sustainability – Who Cares? • Life is day-to-day in many countries • However, all countries face a global market for primary fuels – price is a force • Pie charts, p 264: China, Middle East/Africa will outpace US energy use by 2095 – will all three adopt the ideal? • If sustainability erodes economies, can we maintain or improve human condition?
  • 4. A Conundrum • Human Development Index (HDI) of United Nations: Humans need > 4 MWh annually of electricity for well being • Yet, the UN IPCC predicts temp rises of 1.4 to 5.8 °C by 2100 • Do we meet basic human needs and suffer climate change consequences, or leave needs unmet with a more stable environment?
  • 5. Assessing Technology for Sustainability • Engineering may yield an answer that is not mutually exclusive! • Comparing conversion systems is difficult • UN uses three general indicators to measure sustainability: • Environmental • Economic • Social • Let’s compare wind and nuclear using these indicators
  • 6. Cornerstones of Sustainable Energy Policy Customers (Regulatory or market-based?) Technology Capital (Technically feasible at required scale? Public or private development?) (Who will invest, what risk/return profile?)
  • 7. Fossil Energy • Recall: About 80% of US energy is fossil; 70% of US electricity is fossil based • Recall: Fossil = coal, natural gas, petroleum • P. 296: “A fossil fuel is a substance that releases energy by a chemical reaction.” – This is a necessary but not sufficient definition – Also needs to be organic, have covalently bonded Carbon, and be produced over geological time periods – Consider how biofuels meet parts of these definitions
  • 8. Fossil Energy Reserves Example from Sample Problem 7.1 They appear huge . . . for Coal, 290,000 Quads (roughly) World annual energy use in 1995 was 325 Q If rate stayed constant, and if coal used exclusively, Reserves would last for 846 years
  • 9. Fossil Energy Reserves Example from Sample Problem 7.1 However, with 2% annual growth in consumption, reserves shrink to 144 years. Are reserves increasing each year? Are countries and reporting entities trusted sources for national reserves?
  • 10. Fossil Energy Reserves North Dakota Lignite Reserves •351 billion tons of known lignite reserves •25 billion tons that are economically recoverable – good for 800 years •32 million tons produced annually – steady production for a decade or more •At 7000 Btus/pound, North Dakota reserves contain 4.8 E 18 Btus or 4800 Quads Enough to power the world for over 10 years. Source: North Dakota Geological Survey; Lignite Energy Council

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