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Future Energy L. David Roper Professor Emeritus of Physics Virginia Polytechnic Inst. & St. Univ.

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Presentation on theme: "Future Energy L. David Roper Professor Emeritus of Physics Virginia Polytechnic Inst. & St. Univ."— Presentation transcript:

1 Future Energy L. David Roper Professor Emeritus of Physics Virginia Polytechnic Inst. & St. Univ.

2 Future Energy   Population is high because of availability of large fossil-fuels energy, but is trending to level off below 8.5 billion.   World extraction of crude oil is peaking, natural gas will peak soon and coal will peak in about 50 years or less.   Nuclear energy cannot come close to making up the energy shortfall after fossil- fuels peaking.   Renewable energy is coming on very fast and can make up the fossil-fuels shortfall.

3 World Population World population appears to be leveling off, as shown by the fact that the increase in population has been decreasing (see next slide).

4 World Population Change The change could go negative if renewable energy is not developed to make up the fossil-fuels shortfall. That is, population could decrease.

5 Assume Energy Consumption Levels Off This assumes that leveling off of world energy use is similar to the apparent leveling off of world population. It corresponds to an asymptote of about 350 MBtu per person per year or 12 kilowatts per person, assuming that world population levels off to about 8.3 billion. USA: 350 Mbtu/person/year (12 kW/person) Industrialized countries: 200 MBtu/person/year (7 kW/person) World: 75 Mbtu/person/year (2.5 kW/person) Developing countries: 35 MBtu/person/year (1 kW/person)

6 Calculation Procedure   Fit depletion equation to the extraction-rate data for coal, crude oil and natural gas.   Calculate the energy-versus-time curve for coal, crude oil and natural gas and their sum.   Compare the fossil-fuels energy versus time to the projected energy usage.   Show that there is not enough uranium to help.   Calculate the percentage increase of renewable energy required to make up the difference. It is doable!

7 Depletion (Verhulst) Function This provides a peaked curve with possible asymmetry. Q  = amount already extracted + amount left to be extracted = total amount to be extracted n > 1 allows asymmetry.

8 Peak Oil Oil discoveries will not allow higher average extraction. Read Twilight in the Desert book by Matthew Simmons.

9 You can’t extract it if you have not discovered it! The areas under the two curves are the same: ~2x10 12 barrels.

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11 “Drilling for the dregs” not “Drill baby drill” There is a drilling-rig shortage.

12 Oil prices will rise in the long term! The last drops will cost the most!

13 Gas discoveries will not allow higher average extraction. Read High Noon for Natural Gas book by Julian Darley.

14 You can’t extract it if you have not discovered it! The areas under the two curves are the same: ~8x10 15 cu. ft.

15 Sorry, Mr. Pickens!

16 Double known coal Unlikely! Known existent coal Peaks at about Recent analysis of energywatchgroup.org indicates that the actual existent coal may be half of the “known existent coal”.

17 Energy Content of Fossil Fuels  1 ton (2000 lbs) of coal yields about 25.2 MBtu.  1 barrel (42 gallons) of crude oil yields about 5.8 MBtu.  1 tcf (thousand cubic feet) of natural gas yields about 1 MBtu.

18 Energy from Fossil Fuels Peaks at about Even though coal peaks at about 2065, the peaking of oil about now and of natural gas soon makes the fossil-fuels energy peak at about Assumes that 75% of each fossil fuel is burned for energy.

19 World Population Projection Fit of population to available fossil-fuels energy Population without renewable energy Population with renewable energy

20 Energy From Fossil Fuels & Consumption Fossil-fuels energy World energy use of 12-kW/person Fossil-fuels deficit! World, we have a problem!

21 Energy From Uranium Net energy from nuclear reactors is not very high. Low-grade ores yield negative net energy. See: Known existent net-energy uranium Double known net-energy uranium Unlikely!

22 Energy From Uranium Uranium Energy is not the answer! If we waste fossil fuels to develop it, that will delay developing renewable energy.

23 Energy Deficit from FF & Uranium Fossil Fuels & Uranium Other Energy Sources needed

24 World Growth Rates for Renewable Energy  Wind energy: about 21% per year  Photovoltaics: about 48% per year  Biodiesel: about 40% per year Good News!! Bad news: U.S. is far behind other countries!

25 Renewable Energy Assumptions for a Rough Calculation  Wind energy will supply about ½ of renewable energy  Direct solar energy will supply about ¼ of renewable energy.  Biofuels will supply about ¼ of renewable energy.

26 Renewable Energy Other constant in time. Fossil Fuels & Uranium Solar & biofuels

27 Renewable Energy Growth Rate Doable with Effort! 6.6% Work hard! Relax a bit.

28 World Growth Rates for Renewable Energy  Wind energy: about 21% per year  Photovoltaics: about 48% per year  Biodiesel: about 40% per year

29 Coal Moratorium Possibility Possible decision to quit burning coal because the pollution is killing too many people and the carbon released into the atmosphere is causing too much global warming. Also, about the same as reduced coal reserves according to

30 Coal Moratorium Possibility Reduced coal burning Peaks at about 2015.

31 Coal Moratorium Possibility Fossil Fuels & Uranium Other

32 Coal Moratorium Possibility Doable with Effort! 7.2%

33 How Much Land is Needed?  12 kW/person x 8.3 billion people = 96 x watts ≈ 100 terawatts. Current = ~15 TW.)  Solar energy = ~342 watts/m 2 at surface.  Land area needed at 10% efficiency = ~2.8 x 10 6 km 2.  Earth land area is ~1.48 x 10 8 km^2.  So, ~1.9% of land is needed. Use roofs of buildings, parking lots, highways & railways (1.1 x 10 5 km 2 ) for solar and use agriculture land and offshore sites for wind. 1.1 x 10 5 km 21.1 x 10 5 km 2

34 Future of Energy for the U.S.  The calculations are for the entire world.  The U.S. is far behind many other countries in developing renewable energy.  The U.S. has wasted the last decade in making the needed changes.  The U.S. must move quickly to use the remaining fossil-fuels to develop the infrastructure for renewable energy.  The biggest need is for personal & political will to make the necessary changes!

35 Peak oil/gas/coal is challenging our Homo- sapiens brain to recognize the truth of it, make plans to mitigate it and put the plans into action. We are having trouble doing all three. Global Warming is still a huge problem even though fossil-fuels depletion will keep it from growing into the far future. (I have another talk about that.)

36 This lecture is on the Internet, along with other related lectures:   ingPrediction.ppt (Energy and Global Warming) ingPrediction.ppt ingPrediction.ppt  MIA.ppt (Energy, Global Warming and the Next Major Ice Age) MIA.ppt MIA.ppt

37 Global Warming Due to Fossil Fuels Worst case approximation including carbon emissions from thawing Arctic tundra and saturation of ocean and vegetation absorption of atmospheric carbon. See Six Degrees book by Mark Lynas.

38 Mitigating Global Warming   Cutting carbon emissions by not burning so much fossil fuels will increase the needed % increase of renewable-energy growth, but is still doable.   Emphasize Lovin’s negawatts more than kilowatts.   Advocate incentives for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.   Advocate an electric Interstate Railway System.   Advocate about “carbon dumping fees and fines”, not “carbon tax”; frame the issue!

39 Next Major Ice Age with Global-Warming Blip Accounting for fact that Earth average temperature changes are about half Antarctica average temperature changes. Extrapolation of a model fitted to the last two Major Ice Ages.

40 Planning for the Next 1000 years   It appears certain that, after fossil-fuels have depleted in the next few hundred years, the Earth will plunge into the next Major Ice Age for about 100,000 years.   It would help humans to adjust to the plunge into the next Major Ice Age if the carbon- dioxide that is sequestered to reduce global warming were available for release to slow down the plunge.

41 Future Energy L. David Roper Professor Emeritus of Physics Virginia Polytechnic Inst. & St. Univ.


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