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Gas versus Wind as an Energy Source - Indi


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A Year 12 student produced this slideshow as school assessed coursework for Unit 3 VCE Environmental Science.

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Gas versus Wind as an Energy Source - Indi

  1. 1. UNIT 3 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: SCHOOL ASSESSED COURSEWORK AREA OF STUDY 1 Indi A comparison of a fossil fuel and a non-fossil fuel energy source
  2. 2. Mortlake Gas Fired Power Plant VS Macarthur Wind Farm Mortlake gas fired power plant Macarthur wind farm
  3. 3. Mortlake Gas Fired Power Plant How a gas turbine works: The Mortlake Power Station uses natural gas to operate the two turbines, which work on similar principles to an internal combustion engine in a car: • Air and gas are mixed together and combusted within the turbine • this force causes the rotor of the turbine to turn • the turbine is coupled to a generator • as the turbine turns, the generator rotates and produces electricity •electricity from the generator is passed through a transformer and uploaded to the grid
  4. 4. Macarthur Wind Farm How wind energy is captured and converted to electricity: • Wind energy is captured using the wind turbine’s rotor blades. • When wind is passed through the blades, two aerodynamic forces are at work • These two forces cause the rotor blades to turn, depending on how much force the wind exerts on them • The turning of the rotor blades then converts the wind’s kinetic energy to mechanical energy • The turning of the rotor blades cause the shaft to turn, which is connected to the generator • In this process, the rotational mechanical energy of the shaft is converted to electricity by the generator
  5. 5. Fossil VS non-fossil fuel energy source Fossil fuel: Natural Gas Mortlake Gas Fired Power Plant Non-fossil fuel: Wind power Macarthur Wind Farm What is it? Natural gas is a flexible fuel that emits around half the carbon emissions of coal when used to make electricity. Gas is often referred to as ‘natural gas’ because it’s a naturally occurring hydrocarbon. It’s colourless and consists mainly of methane, which is the simplest hydrocarbon. Wind power involves converting wind energy into electricity by using wind turbines. How is it formed? Gas was formed over hundreds of millions of years from organic matter, such as plankton, plants and other life forms, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as a ‘fossil fuel’. Over time, sand, sediment and rock buried the organic matter and eventually large quantities of natural gas were formed and trapped underground. A wind turbine is made up of two or three propeller-like blades called the rotor. The rotor is attached to the top of a tall tower. As the wind blows it spins the rotor. As the rotor spins the energy of the movement of the propellers gives power to a generator. There are some magnets and a lot of copper wire inside the generator that make electricity.
  6. 6. Fossil VS non-fossil fuel energy source Fossil fuel: Natural Gas Mortlake Gas Fired Power plant Non-fossil fuel: Wind power Macarthur Wind Farm Where is it found? Gas is found in deep underground rock formations or associated with other hydrocarbon reservoirs in coal beds and as methane clathrates. Wind comes from atmospheric changes; changes in temperature and pressure makes the air move around the surface of the earth; all of which is triggered by the sun. How abundant and accessible is it? Natural gas is a fossil fuel which means it has been around for hundreds of millions of years and will therefore eventually run out. These days it is highly accessible although fairly expensive and it will in time run out. Wind power is one of the most accessible forms of energy as it reasonably easy to install, but it is difficult to find an accessible large space to place the wind turbines.
  7. 7. Extraction of energy sources Fossil fuel: Natural Gas Mortlake Gas Fired Power Plant Non-fossil fuel: Wind power Macarthur Wind Farm How is it extracted? Gas is extracted by drilling wells into the ground, through the geographical layers to reach gas deposits. Wind is collected and used straight from the environment without proper extraction because it is already part of the atmosphere. What energy conversions are involved? Chemical energy from natural gas can be transformed into heat energy. That heat energy can be converted into kinetic energy by gas turbines or into electrical energy by generators. None as wind does not need to be converted from one source to another. How efficient are these conversions? Natural gas has an overall energy efficiency of approximately 30% for electricity production and 90% for heating. The use of wind to produce electricity under current methods is approximately 40% efficient in terms of all energy. How much land is used? The Mortlake Gas Fired Power Plan covers100 hectares of land. The Macarthur Wind Farm covers 10,000 hectares of land.
  8. 8. Transportation Fossil fuel: Natural Gas Mortlake Gas Fired Power Plant Non-fossil fuel: Wind power Macarthur Wind Farm How can it be transported? Transporting natural gas through pipelines in the ground is the safest way to transport gas. There are three major types of pipelines along the transportation route: the gathering system, the interstate pipeline system, and the distribution system. The gathering system consists of low pressure, small diameter pipelines that transport raw natural gas from the wellhead to the processing plant Wind power itself is not transported, but the generators of wind power (the wind turbines) are transported by delivery trucks. The energy they produce is electricity, and this is then transported along cables into the grid. How efficient is this transport? The transportation system for natural gas consists of a complex network of pipelines, designed to quickly and efficiently transport natural gas from its origin, to areas of high natural gas demand. Electricity is transmitted at high voltages reduce the energy losses in long-distance transmission. Power is usually transmitted through overhead power lines. Underground power transmission has a significantly higher cost and greater operational limitations but is sometimes used in urban areas or sensitive locations. A key limitation of electric power is that, with minor exceptions, electrical energy cannot be stored, and therefore must be generated as needed.
  9. 9. Usage Fossil fuel: Natural Gas Mortlake Gas Fired Power Plant Non-fossil fuel: Wind power Macarthur Wind Farm How is the energy source used? Natural gas is used in homes for heating and cooking. And by industry for heating and manufacturing. It is used for electricity generation, both onsite and for transport to the grid. Wind power is also used to pump bore water particularly in rural areas. What percentage of Australian energy does it provide? Natural gas constitutes about 20% of Australia’s energy use. In 2011, wind power generated 6432gigawatt hours of electricity accounting for 2.4% of Australia’s total electricity demand and 21.9% of total renewable energy supply.
  10. 10. Economic impacts Fossil fuel: Natural Gas Mortlake Gas Fired Power Plant Non-fossil fuel: Wind power Macarthur Wind Farm What financial advantages/disadvantages are there? Advantages – • Provided extra jobs for people during the construction of the power plant • Transportation costs are low because of local facilities • They can be fired up and shut down quickly so there is not as much wastage Disadvantages – • Expensive to construct • Impacts on land acquisition • expensive to transport because it is low density which makes it bulky and prone to leaking Advantages – • Provided extra jobs for people during the construction of the wind farm • Wind power is a cheaper option in countries that have a mature industry Disadvantages – • Expensive to construct and run, funds to pay farmers for the borrowed land • Impacts on land acquisition • Can be unreliable
  11. 11. Social impacts Fossil fuel: Natural Gas Mortlake Gas Fired Power Plant Non-fossil fuel: Wind power Macarthur Wind Farm What social advantages/disadvantages are there? Advantages – • The power plant is situated in a rural area away from the public • The plant provides employment opportunities for the public Disadvantages – • Complaints of noise from the power plant and air quality • Origin Energy do not give out funding to the community • The public may not find the power plant visually appealing • Possibility terrorist attacks on large plants or pipelines in cities Advantages – • AGL are constantly giving out grants for numerous community projects • The wind farm provides employment opportunities for the public • Wind power can be owned by individuals or cooperatives Disadvantages – • Complaints of noise from the turbines • The public may not find the turbines visually appealing as they are situated near homes
  12. 12. Environmental impacts Fossil fuel: Natural Gas Mortlake Gas Fired Power Plant Non-fossil fuel: Wind power Macarthur Wind Farm What environmental advantages/disadvantages are there? Advantages – • It doesn’t release as much carbon dioxide as other fossil fuels • Constant reliable source of power Disadvantages – • Releases emissions that contribute to the greenhouse effect • Biodiversity- impacts on wildlife • The land has to be cleared before commencing construction Advantages – • Wind power does not release any greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere in operation • The use of land for the farm can still be used for agricultural purposes whilst the farm is in full operation Disadvantages – • Biodiversity – impacts on wildlife especially birds and bats • During construction there are greenhouse gases produced • The land has to be cleared before commencing construction • Can be unreliable
  13. 13. The Greenhouse effect/Enhanced greenhouse effect
  14. 14. The greenhouse effect The greenhouse effect is a natural process that warms the Earth’s surface. When the sun’s energy reaches the earths atmosphere, some of it is reflected back into space and the rest is absorbed and re-radiated by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapour, methane, nitrous oxide and some artificial chemicals such as fluorocarbons. The absorbed energy warms the atmosphere and the surface of the earth. This process maintains the earths temperature at around 33 degrees Celsius warmer than it would be otherwise, allowing life on earth to exist.
  15. 15. Enhanced greenhouse effect The enhanced greenhouse effect is the problem planet earth is currently facing. It is the impacts of human activities on earth such as the burning of fossil fuels including oil, coal and natural gas, and also agriculture and land clearing. These activities are all contributing to the enhanced greenhouse effect and are influencing the warming of the earth.
  16. 16. Contribution to Greenhouse effect Fossil fuel: Natural Gas Mortlake Gas Fired Power Plant Non-fossil fuel: Wind power Macarthur Wind Farm What greenhouse gases are produced? Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide, Methane, Sulphur Dioxide and Mercury compounds. There are no greenhouse gases produced in production, but during the construction of the wind turbines some greenhouse gases may have been produced such as Carbon Dioxide. How much greenhouse gases are produced compared to other fuels and energy sources? Natural gas does however produce emissions but are in significantly lower proportions compared to fossil fuels such as the burning of coal or oil. There are barely any greenhouse gases produced to create wind power because it is a non-fossil fuel, therefore the emissions are bare to none compared to fossil fuels.
  17. 17. International agreements Kyoto protocol The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement created under the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, in Kyoto Japan in 1997 and came into force in February 2005. On the 3rd of December, Australia signed Australia’s instrument of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol aims to reduce the collective greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries Parties by at least five per cent below 1990 levels during 2008-2012. Australia intends to join a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol covering 2013-2020. The Copenhagen Accord The Copenhagen Accord was agreed in December 2009 and was an important step along the global path forward on climate change. Under the accord, global leaders decided for the first time under the UNFCCC to:  hold any increase in global temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius  specify, side by side, emissions targets for developed countries and actions to reduce emissions by developing countries  a framework for national and international monitoring of what developed and developing countries will do  considerable financing to support emissions reductions and adaptation in developing countries.
  18. 18. National strategies The carbon tax The carbon tax is the idea that polluters will pay per tonne of carbon they release in the atmosphere. This cost will initially be set at $23, and increase gradually until 2015, when we will shift to a trading scheme that will let the market set the cost. This is thought of as the most effective and least costly way to reduce carbon output and reduce the level of climate change that is currently occurring.
  19. 19. State policies Environmental Protection Authority – EPA The environmental Protection Authority’s sole goal is to regulate pollution and has independent authority to make regulatory decisions under the Environment Protection Act 1970. Based on its regulatory risk model EPA prioritises its compliance and enforcement activity by addressing the biggest risk to the environment and health. EPA aspires to create a healthy environment that supports a liveable and prosperous Victoria. By effectively regulating pollution in Victoria, they strive to deliver clean air, healthy waterways, safe land and minimal disturbances from noise and odour for Victorians. In 2011 EPA unveiled a ‘5 Year Plan’ to 2016 which provides a blueprint to realise this vision. It features three strategic priorities:  1 Deal with past pollution.  2 Tackle current environmental issues.  3 Shape the environmental future. Each year an annual plan is released which details areas of focus for the regulator. EPA employs about 400 staff, based at seven locations across Victoria
  20. 20. Local strategies Cities for Climate Protection – CCP The Cities for Climate Protection Australia program assists local governments and their communities reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The CCP program assumes that whilst single local government efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions may be reasonably modest, by working together as a network of authoritative bodies, local authorities can significantly influence efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  21. 21. Bibliography   energy/   you/affect/natural-gas.html    tax/   Issues of sustainability VCE Environmental Science Units 3 and 4 3rd Edition textbook