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Can Energy Production Scale? Choices and Challenges for the Current Century Our Waveform of Consumption.

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Presentation on theme: "Can Energy Production Scale? Choices and Challenges for the Current Century Our Waveform of Consumption."— Presentation transcript:

1 Can Energy Production Scale? Choices and Challenges for the Current Century Our Waveform of Consumption

2 Three Main Challenges Electricity Production:  per capita consumption is increasing faster than energy efficiency Electricity Distribution:  Aging grid already at capacity Fuel Usage:  3.5 Billion gallons a day (would be more if not refinery limited)  400 million gallons a day in the US

3 Production and Consumption on the Century Timescale

4 A Century of Change (1900 (=1) vs 2000) Industrial Output: 40 Marine Fish Catch: 35 CO 2 Emissions: 17 Total Energy Use: 16 Coal Production: 7 World Population: 4 No More Fish by 2100 at this rate of Consumption

5 Waveforms of Growth

6 The Terrawatt Power Scale Currently we are a 14.5 TW Planet Currently we are a 14.5 TW Planet

7 The Earth Limited Scale  Scaling from the last century leads to the absurd: 235 TW of required Power  40,000 more of the largest concrete structure in the US  50 Million of these requiring a total of 75 billion tons of Steel (not that much left)  10 Million Sq. km of these  10 Billion of these (1 per person?)

8 The Earth Limited Scale  Scaling from the last century leads to the absurd: 235 TW of required Power  Well, what kind of facilities/infrastructure would need to be built to generate 235 TW of Power?

9 Option 1:  Build 40,000 more of these worldwide:

10 Hey What about World Wide Wind?  We would need to build 50 million of these 5 MW machines  This requires 75 Billion Tons of Steel  whoops, we ain’t got that much Steel left

11 Option 3: Pave the Deserts  We only need 30 million square kilometers spaced out continuously in each time zone.  Note that the entire Sahara desert is 9 million square km.

12 More Earth Limitations Total fuel cell production limited by amount of accessible platinum on the planet; 500 million vehicles  lithospheric exhaustion in 15 years Total fuel cell production limited by amount of accessible platinum on the planet; 500 million vehicles  lithospheric exhaustion in 15 years Higher efficiency PVs limited by accessible amount of Cadmium or Gallium or Indium Higher efficiency PVs limited by accessible amount of Cadmium or Gallium or Indium Conventional Transmission media limited by available new Copper Conventional Transmission media limited by available new Copper Clear need for Carbon based materials (fiber, nanotubes) to overcome this. Clear need for Carbon based materials (fiber, nanotubes) to overcome this.

13 Business As Usual Scenario Population stabilizes to billion by the year 2100 Population stabilizes to billion by the year 2100 Total world energy use from 2000 to 2100 is 4000 Terra Watt Years (Current world use is about 14.5 TW years) Total world energy use from 2000 to 2100 is 4000 Terra Watt Years (Current world use is about 14.5 TW years) 40 TWyr is compromise between current 14.5 TWyr and scaled 235 TWyr 40 TWyr is compromise between current 14.5 TWyr and scaled 235 TWyr

14 Ultimately Recoverable Resource Conventional Oil/Gas Conventional Oil/Gas Unconventional Oil Unconventional Oil Coal Coal Methane Clathrates Methane Clathrates Oil Shale Oil Shale Uranium Ore Uranium Ore Geothermal Steam - conventional Geothermal Steam - conventional 1000 TWy (1/4 need) 1000 TWy (1/4 need) ,000 20,000 30,000 30,000 2,000 2,000 4,000 4,000

15 Other Possibilities Hot Dry Rock Hot Dry Rock Sunlight/OTEC Sunlight/OTEC Wind Energy Wind Energy Gulf Stream Gulf Stream Global Biomass Global Biomass 1,000,000 1,000,000 9,000,000 9,000, , , , ,000 10,000 10,000 In Principle, Incident Energy is Sufficient  but how to recover and distribute it in the most cost effective manner?

16 Dollars Per Megawatt per unit Land use per unit Material Use 20 KW power buoy 20 KW power buoy 5 MW Wind Turbine 5 MW Wind Turbine LNG closed cycle LNG closed cycle Wind Farm Wind Farm PV Farm PV Farm Stirling Farm Stirling Farm Pelamis Farm Pelamis Farm 850 Tons per MW 850 Tons per MW 100 Tons per MW 100 Tons per MW 1500 MW sq km 1500 MW sq km 600 MW sq km 600 MW sq km 50 MW sq km 50 MW sq km 40 MW sq km 40 MW sq km 30 MW sq km 30 MW sq km

17 The US in milli-Chinas Steel Use: 1992 (1400) 1998 (1120) 2004 (320) Steel Use: 1992 (1400) 1998 (1120) 2004 (320) Coal Use: 1992 (923) 1998 (780) 2004 (670) Coal Use: 1992 (923) 1998 (780) 2004 (670) Oil Use: 1992 (5600) 1998 (3600) 2004 (2500) Oil Use: 1992 (5600) 1998 (3600) 2004 (2500) China: Adding 1 new 1000 MW coal fired power plant every 10 days China: Will exceed US GHG Emissions Summer 2008 China: Private Vehicle Fleet growing at least at 10% per year

18 The Need for BioFuels

19 India/China Growth  New Fuels Required

20 Total Possible Yield 10 kg of corn = 1 gallon of ethanol 10 kg of corn = 1 gallon of ethanol 1 ideal acre of corn = 850 gallons  but we need 200 billion gallons annually 1 ideal acre of corn = 850 gallons  but we need 200 billion gallons annually 1 practical acre = 2/3 of an ideal acre 1 practical acre = 2/3 of an ideal acre Required acreage is 350 million acres of crop land Required acreage is 350 million acres of crop land 450 million acres in the US so 78% needed for this enterprise  not feasible for grain based ethanol 450 million acres in the US so 78% needed for this enterprise  not feasible for grain based ethanol

21 100 Billion Gallons by 2050 Switchgrass as cellulosic ethanol: Current average yields are five dry tons per acre. Switchgrass as cellulosic ethanol: Current average yields are five dry tons per acre. With improved breeding techniques this could increase to 15 dry tons per acre With improved breeding techniques this could increase to 15 dry tons per acre 88 Million acres is then needed to produce the equivalent of 100 billion gallons of gasoline 88 Million acres is then needed to produce the equivalent of 100 billion gallons of gasoline

22 Requirements/Expectations 1 billion dollar annual investment in research and testing needed to get to 15 tons per acre 1 billion dollar annual investment in research and testing needed to get to 15 tons per acre 0.6 – 0.9 $ production cost per gallon by 2015 (compared to about $1.30 now for crude oil) 0.6 – 0.9 $ production cost per gallon by 2015 (compared to about $1.30 now for crude oil) If fuel economy improves to 50 mpg by 2030 and if we devote 10% of available crop land to grow fuel on then just about ½ of our fuel requirements will be met with “switchgrass” If fuel economy improves to 50 mpg by 2030 and if we devote 10% of available crop land to grow fuel on then just about ½ of our fuel requirements will be met with “switchgrass”

23 Summary Remember, we once went to the moon The scale of this challenge is large (~50 TWyr) and requires year implementation timescale Think seriously about using Hydrogen as a proxy for transmission of electricity (Aleutians; OTEC) Significant Increased fuel economy is absolutely essential (50 mpg pods) No one technological solution (e.g. fusion) yet exists  need Network of regionally based alternative energy facilities


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