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1Beijing_presentation_June 2014 The Future of Energy Carlo Rubbia IASS, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam, Germany GSSI-INFN, Gran.

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Presentation on theme: "1Beijing_presentation_June 2014 The Future of Energy Carlo Rubbia IASS, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam, Germany GSSI-INFN, Gran."— Presentation transcript:

1 1Beijing_presentation_June 2014 The Future of Energy Carlo Rubbia IASS, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam, Germany GSSI-INFN, Gran Sasso Science Institute L’Aquila, Italy Honorary Senator of the Italian Republic

2 A new phenomenon: the emergence of Anthropogenic Era The permanence of the warm period after the last inter- glacial period has been essential to create and to sustain life and civilization as they are today, an essential element for survival that we must preserve at all cost. As well known, we are presently facing a new phenomenon, coined by Eugene Stoermer and popularized by the Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen, the emergence of a man made Anthropogenic Era: for the first time human activities strongly influence the future of the earth’s climate. For instance, since 1750, about one million of millions tons, 1000 Gtons, of CO 2 have been injected into the air, to which many other pollutants have to be added. The first signs of an Anthropogenic Era may have been already detected. These effects should be curbed to avoid the irreversible effects of a major climatic change. Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 2

3 Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 3 From about 6 GtC/y in 1995, we are now at 9.5 GtC/y. By 2020 and at the present rate CO 2 will reach ≈ 12 GtC/y. Man made fossil CO 2 emissions are rising at a rapid pace IPCC A1B predictions of a fully uncurbed emission process

4 BUT, has the Anthropogenic warming slowed down ? Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 4 Average temperature and CO 2 emissions over the last 17 years show a small temperature drop rather than a significant rise, in contrast with more naïve previous extrapolations. ???? Expected IPCC A1B Observed

5 Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 5 Trend: -0,00 (-0.01) C°/century Hadcrut3 data

6 Energy related new technologies: The only key to success The current worldwide energy supply is based mainly on the availability of fossil fuels and they will remain indispensable in the decades to come. The transformation to energies with lower emissions and a quantitatively significant management of CO 2, are amongst the most important technological challenges of our times. In order to curb environmental changes, it is necessary to proceed simultaneously on two parallel lines: 1.a more efficient and friendly utilization of fossils fuels, curbing the effects of their anthropogenic emissions; 2.the development and progressive utilization of the renewable energy sources. Both novel methods of energy production are presumably the only practical way out to the Anthropogenic warming threat Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 6

7 Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 7 Continuation of massive fossil burning Small contributions from renewables (including hydro) Contribution to the growth Coal Nuclear Oil NGasRenew. Primary energy growth during the next 25 years (IEA)

8 Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 8 Unconventional Natural Gas resources NG (methane) it is the fossil fuel with the highest de- carbonization, whose full combustion produces ≈ 2 times less CO 2 than coal for the same energy. The process of progressive de-carbonization of fossils goes necessarily through an increased use and consumption of NG. NG could represent a practical alternative to the presently growing exploitation of Coal as main source of energy. In addition to ordinary production several other unconventional sources of NG are being developed. These new developments may be the precursory indications of a new, remarkable era of abundant and cheap energy production from fossils. But novel methods must also be developed in order to ensure on the same time also more substantial reductions in the GHG emissions.

9 The shale revolution in the US In 1967, Herman Kahn and Anthony J. Wiener published The Year 2000: A Framework for Speculation on the Next Thirty-Three Years. It predicted that by the year 2000, there would be "commercial extraction of oil from shale.“ “We conclude that the proven reserves of these five major fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal, shale oil and tar sands) alone could provide the world's total energy requirements for about 100 years, and only one-fifth of the estimated potential resources could provide more than 200 years of the projected energy needs." -- Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 9

10 The novel technologies: Shales and CBM Shales are sedimentary rocks formed from deposits of mud, silt, clay and organic matter. Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping of water mixed with chemicals at high pressure into a well that has been drilled. The fluid creates fractures in the rock, in order to get the gas out. Hydraulic fracturing Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 10 CBM is Coalbed Methane adsorbed into a solid coal matrix (macerals) released if the coal seam is depressurised. Methane is extracted by drilling wells into the coal seam. The water pressure is decreased by pumping water from the well. The decrease in pressure allows methane to desorb from the coal and flow as a gas up the well to the surface

11 The effects on energy prices in the US and elsewhere Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 11 Electricity production in the US (TWh ) The differences in natural Gas prices in the U.S. with respect to Europe and Japan are,as well known, remarkable There is an important shift in electricity production from Coal to NG Units are in Million BTU

12 Other impacts to US energy Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 12 Reduction of CO 2 emissions Primary energy production Petroleum production

13 Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 13

14 World-wide Shale resources are global & massive Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 14

15 CBM reserves Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 15 Units are in Trillion ft 3

16 China Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 16 China has 900 trillion ft 3 of potentially recoverable shale gas – enough to supply the country’s needs for nearly 200 years at current levels. The goal is to produce 0.25 trillion ft 3 of shale gas annually by 2015 and 2.5 trillion ft 3 annually by 2020, a huge leap from today. Conversion: 1m³ = ft³

17 European resources Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 17 Trillion ft 3

18 The main pillars of the European energy policy During as many as twenty years, the energy policy has been determined by two main priorities :  The first strategic priority for the European Union has been the one to prevent dangerous climatic changes  The second consideration is based on the assumption that the energy prices will rise inexorably as global energy demand rises and the resources become scarce and this will necessarily make renewable energies competitively the winners The resulting energy policy by 2020 is based on the so-called EU " " climate and energy package, namely:  20% reduction of CO 2 emissions from 1990  20% of EU energy produced from renewables  20% improvement in EU energy efficiency. By circa 2040 about 80% of the EU primary energy should eventually come from renewables Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 18

19 European Energy System based on renewable Sources Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : t CO 2 eq – 95% Greenhouse Gas Neutral Germany Greenhouse gas emission reductions is a top priority. The goal of German energy policy is to reduce such emissions by at least 40 percent by 2020 and by 80 to 95 percent by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. Hydrogen electrically produced by PV, Hydro, Wind, Geoth. and Solar are the main energy sources of Industry and Transport Electricity Hydrogen Heat

20 A new situation but social acceptability as a main challenge North America, India, China, Africa and Latin America will all have access to cheap and abundant shale gas and oil. The EU has to decide between CHEAP and EXPENSIVE energy Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 20 US chemical trade surplus could jump to US$46 billion by 2020 from 800 million in 2012 and 2.7 bn in 2013 NG for EU industry are more than 3x higher than in the US Natural Gas EU industry pays twice as much for its electricity Electricity EU prices are four times higher than US ethane Chemicals

21 Ethylene Chemical industry boom Renewed US competitiveness: the United States is now a low-cost producer, thanks to shale gas. For instance US ethylene production costs are a third of those in Europe Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 21

22 Can we reconcile NG production with global warming ? The global warming potential of CH 4 over a 20 year time period is 86 times the one of CO 2, accounting for 20% of the total radiative forcing of globally mixed greenhouse gases. These huge amounts of natural gas which are becoming available will no doubt spur an increased demand. In order to economically harvest this immense energy wealth it is essential that the effects of a progressive global warming are kept under control, curbing both the emissions of NG (CH 4 ) and of CO 2.  Leaks of NG should be kept under strict control.  However the ordinary combustion of NG is inevitably emitting CO 2, although roughly at one half of what compared to Coal. The CO 2 production could however be avoided with a different NG alternative decomposition – at sufficiently high temperatures CH 4 -> 2H 2 +C (hydrogen gas + solid black carbon) This promising process is under active experimental investigation. Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 22

23 Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 23 Comparing reforming and pyrolysis of NG for H 2 production Reforming and CO2 sequestration Spontaneous pyrolisis without CO2 emissions Carbon structure 3 µm

24 Clathrates: the largest reserves of hydrocarbons on the crust Methane hydrate is a natural form of clathrate, a chemical substance in which molecules of water form an open solid lattice that encloses, without chemical bonding, appropriately-sized molecules of methane. At high pressure methane clathrates remain stable up to 18 °C. One litre of methane clathrate contains as much as 168 litres of methane gas. Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 24 Burning Ice

25 The very vast experimental evidence of clathrates Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 25

26 Conclusion: a new age of Abundance One of the best available solutions to meet the rising demand in energy lies in the ability to economically develop unconventional gas resources, initially (1) coalbed methane and shale gas and in a more distant future (2) methane hydrates. Methane hydrates are the largest reserve of hydrocarbons in the planetary crust. The methane hydrates in sediment considered part of U.S. territory alone could supply U.S. natural gas needs for > 10 3 years. The US Energy Information Administration estimates that methane hydrates contain more carbon than all other fossil fuels available on Earth combined. They hold anywhere from 10,000 trillion to more than 100,000 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. With both environmental sensitivities and gas consumption on the rise, the question is how to recover these huge resources and to economically harvest this immense energy wealth in the most efficient and cost effective matter and with a minimal environmental foot print. Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 26

27 Beijing_presentation_June 2014Slide# : 27 Thank you !

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