Ken Zweibel, James Mason, and Vasilis Fthenakis “Scientific American”, January 2008, p. 64 Ken Zweibel is President of Prime Star Solar, Golden, Co; for 15 years, he was manager of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Thin-Film Partnership. James Mason is director of the Solar Energy Campaign and the Hydrogen Research Institute, Farmingdale, NY. Vasilis Fthenakis is head of the Photovoltaic Environmental Research Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory; he is also professor and director of Columbia University’s Center for Life Cycle Analysis.
Concept 250,000 square miles of land suitable for solar power in the Southwest 1,300 trillion kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar radiation falls on this land each year 2.5% of this radiation would supply all US energy needs for a year Cover 46,000 square miles of this land with photovoltaic panels and concentrated solar by 2050 High voltage, direct current transmission lines carry power across the US
Storing Energy as Compressed Air Energy storage by batteries is expensive and inefficient Electricity is used to compress air and pump it to underground caverns Air is released on demand to run turbines that generate electricity Compressed air storage plants have been used since 1978 in Huntorf, Germany and since 1991 in McIntosh, AL
DC Transmission Lines Present system uses high voltage AC transmission lines from power plants located close to delivery sites Reason is AC lines lose too much energy if power is transmitted much over 100 miles High voltage DC transmission lines lose much less energy so can carry power across the country DC lines are cheaper and require less land use than AC lines
Carbon Capture and Sequestration Sequestration.mit.edu Stabilization Wedges Game cmi.princetion.edu/wedges Remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
Limit the Rise of Temperature to One Degree This Century Massive industrial and economic shift that eliminates net CO 2 emissions from economy in 20 years; 50% in five years. Low-risk and reversible geoengineering actions to directly slow temperature rise.
Removal of six GT of CO2 from atmosphere every year for 100 years; long term storage of CO 2 in underground basins, soil, and biomass. Adaption measures to reduce hardship and instability (food shortages, forced migration, military conflicts over resources).
If successful, CO 2 goes below 350 ppm in 2100 after peaking at 440 ppm in 2050. Temperature goes above 1 o C at 2050, but below 1 o C in 2100. Sea level rises to 0.5 m by 2100 and continues to 1.25 m.
Actions Needed Cut deforestation and logging by 50% Close 1,000 dirty coal plants in 5 years Ration electricity with increased efficiency, building retrofits Retrofit 1,000 coal power plants with CCS Erect a wind turbine or solar plant in every town
Create huge solar and wind farms Eliminate waste (recycle and reuse everything) Ration use of dirty cars by 50% Biopower with CCS (not biofuels for vehicles) Capture or burn methane from agriculture Move away from climate-unfriendly protein Bury one GT of carbon in soil Reduce airline emissions by 50% in 5 years
SOLUTIONS? My suggestion……..Consider certain actions taken in WW2 in U.S. Consider climate change as great a national emergency as the war against the Axis: Invoke these WW2 precedents now.
To Begin 1. Gasoline was rationed---now we severely ration vacation air travel. 2. Dugway Chemical Weapons repository was created and stocked. ---- Now we start putting nuclear wastes in Nevada whether the people of Nevada like it or not. The windmills off cape cod will be installed even if they block the view of the ocean.
And More… 3. TVA eminent domain seized over a million acres over a seven state region…. Now we do the same kind of thing over the desert regions of the U.S. for solar arrays. 4. A person in Connecticut should be able to purchase solar panels – which are now down to $4.00 per installed watt – to be operated in desert regions and use these panels to pay electrical bills of the person in Conn. So we nationalize the power grid
Some final thoughts On the free market: Freedom for wolves means death to sheep! On the use of fossil fuels: The Stone Age did not end because we ran out stones!