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Energy for tomorrow Dwindling supplies Global warming The race for alternatives: what, when and how much?

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Presentation on theme: "Energy for tomorrow Dwindling supplies Global warming The race for alternatives: what, when and how much?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Energy for tomorrow Dwindling supplies Global warming The race for alternatives: what, when and how much?

2 Facts about fossil fuels Any carbon based energy source that is derived from the decomposition of organic matter –Natural gas –Oil –Coal It is a remarkable energy source It is not renewable It contributes to greenhouse gases

3 The Big Three of energy Fossil fuels have always dominated energy production – and continue to do so Nuclear has made slow to no progress Hydro and others are at the trace level

4 The challenge: fossil fuels are great energy sources Easily transported Flexible High energy density The energy content of 500 gallons of gasoline is equivalent to –~ 3 short tons of coal –~ 60,000 cubic feet of natural gas –~ 450 gallons of diesel fuel –~ 991 gallons of methanol –~ 1925 gallons of liquid hydrogen gas (that’s pretty cold) –~ 6060 gallons of high-pressure hydrogen gas

5 A change is gonna come Fossil fuels are not replaced and reserves are finite – particularly gas and oil Carbon deposition in the atmosphere is associated with global warming – societal pressure to change Increased demand is beginning to outstrip supply Alternatives to fossil fuels are required but what and when?

6 Energy problems part I: sources Traditional sources will not keep up with demand –They are finite in quantity –More people want them Millions of Barrels per day (“Oil Equivalent”)

7 The illusion of energy independence Oil imports were 35 % in 1973 In 2003 imports were 55 % Other major industrialized nations are worse off Reduced imports will not reduce prices: oil is a global commodity, the price of which is determined by global markets

8 Energy problems part II: sinks Hazian logic and global warming –Increased CO 2 causes global warming –Fossil fuels produce CO 2 –Fossil fuels produce global warming

9 People in glass houses… Consumption of fossil fuels produces CO 2 –Greenhouse gas – absorbs IR radiation Higher energy radiation (UV and visible) penetrates the atmosphere It is released as lower energy radiation (IR) which does not escape 90 % likelihood that climate changed is man- made (increased CO 2 )

10 CO 2 : the three bears of climate control Venus: way too much Mars: way too little Earth: just right (about 300 ppm) –But there’s a fine edge

11 Greenhouse gases: it’s not all CO 2 Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) Methane (CH 4 ) Water vapour (H 2 O) Nitrous oxide (N 2 O) Ozone (O 3 ) CFCs

12 Climate change: what we know Temperatures have been rising CO 2 levels have been rising Connect the dots...

13 Climate change: what we speculate Models make predictions for the future based on assumptions If global warming is entirely due to CO 2 then… –Educating Rita –But what if it’s not…

14 Pascal’s wager: it’s safer to bet on it than against it Alternative energy sources Reduction of CO 2 emission from fossil fuels Biomass – grow your own gas –To be continued

15 Alternative energy sources Wind Solar Wave Hydroelectric Biodiesel Ethanol Nuclear fission Nuclear fusion Hydrogen

16 Kicking the fossil fuel habit Beyond the problem of providing alternative fuels for transportation is the broader question of providing alternative means to generating energy Fossil fuels represent a remarkable energy source: –Almost 600 car batteries are required to store the energy contained in one 15 gallon tank of gasoline

17 Alternative fuels to petroleum LPG – liquefied petroleum gas (fossil fuel) – clean burning Compressed natural gas (fossil fuel) – plentiful, clean burning – requires compression Ethanol – biomass, renewable, efficient, expensive, limited capacity Methanol – clean, efficient, corrosive, some products are hazardous

18 A pact with the devil Nuclear power accounts for 70 % of non- fossil power It does not contribute to greenhouse gases Proven technology Waste disposal an enduring issue Connections with weapons and terrorism are concerns

19 Let’s conserve our way out Current automobiles use 60 % of the fuel used by 1972 models Refrigerators use 33 % of the electricity Current GDP requires about 50 % of the energy required in 1973 Demand has still increased overall by 30 % Did you know that plasma TV uses 10x more electricity?

20 We will sacrifice for green? Perception: petrol prices are too high!! Reality: current energy costs are only 5 – 6 % of personal income –In the 1980’s the costs were 8 – 9 % Perception: $2 gallon is too high Reality: $2 gallon is too low –Hybrid vehicle sales are 1 – 2 % –SUV sales are 25 %

21 The hydrogen economy: in our lifetime? Hydrogen has the best energy content by the pound: compare kcal/g of common fuels Ethanol Bituminous coal Gasoline Natural gas Hydrogen Clean green: combustion product is water “The Department of Energy's plan shows that it will take decades to fully realize the benefits of hydrogen.” quote from C&E News August 22, 2005

22 Hype or hydrogen Hydrogen is an energy storage system – not a source Hydrogen does not grow on trees (or come out of the ground) It must be extracted from some other source –Electrolysis of water (uses electricity) –From decomposition of natural gas, coal or other biomass (needs energy) The hydrogen economy still demands a solution to the energy problem; it does not solve it by itself

23 Caging the beast Hydrogen is a gas, a small molecule and diffuses rapidly through leaks It is flammable Hydrogen storage is a major issue

24 Hydrogen and the fuel cell Fuel cells are like batteries except reactants are supplied from without rather than within 2H 2 + O 2 = 2H 2 O Electrical energy powers the car H 2 O is the only emission Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will not achieve volume until 2030 (it at all)

25 Hybrid vehicles: compromise Hybrids combine gas and electrical engines to improve gas mileage Not a total solution to carbon deposition but a practical intermediate Direction of resources to hydrogen fuel cells has reduced emphasis on this technology Counterpoint: increased investment is required in hydrogen technology to ensure success

26 Blowin’ in the wind Windpower costs have fallen 80 % Solar power costs have decreased Hydroelectric: rather depends on the rivers Total markets for wind/solar/fuel cells projected to increase from $16 bn in 2004 to $102 bn in 2014

27 Want to know more? Hydrogen economy –http://www.hydrogennow.org/ –http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/ Solar power –http://www.solarpower.com/ –http://www.eere.energy.gov/RE/solar.html Windpower –http://www.awea.org/ Biomass –http://www.nrel.gov/biomass/ Fuel cell and hybrid vehicles –http://www.hybridcars.com/ –http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fcv_whatsnew.shtml


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