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Alternate Energy Sources for the 21 st Century Mike Ewert Houston Renewable Energy Group.

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Presentation on theme: "Alternate Energy Sources for the 21 st Century Mike Ewert Houston Renewable Energy Group."— Presentation transcript:

1 Alternate Energy Sources for the 21 st Century Mike Ewert Houston Renewable Energy Group

2 Problem & Opportunity  Several Problems –Air & water pollution –Health effects of pollution –Oil depletion/ imports –Global warming from CO 2  One Solution –Renewable energy sources cause minimal pollution, don’t cause global warming and are locally available

3 Pollution  US power plants emit 18 million tons of SO 2 per year + NO x, particulates, carbon monoxide, mercury and lead  Energy production & use also contribute to Water pollution  Houston has been in violation of federal air quality standards since they began in the 1970’s  The Houston/Galveston area must be in compliance by 2007 because we were designated as a "severe" ozone area.

4 Some Energy Statistics  The US uses ¼ of the world’s energy  The US pays more than $5 billion for imported oil each month

5 Global Warming  Throughout history, the earth has been much colder, and at times warmer, than it is now –But climate change is occurring 100’s of times faster than these natural changes –CO 2, CH 4, N 2 O, O 3 and soot all cause warming  Global average air temperature has risen 1°F in the past 50 years  But, this has already resulted in melting ice sheets, migration of animals and more severe weather

6 What’s the Alternative? And what’s the hold up?  Renewable energy generally cost more than conventional fossil fuel energy systems Solar 11 - 40 ¢/kWh depending on the technologySolar 11 - 40 ¢/kWh depending on the technology Wind 5 - 15 ¢/kWh from large wind turbinesWind 5 - 15 ¢/kWh from large wind turbines But what if you consider the big picture?

7 There are lots of Alternatives  Nuclear  Hydroelectric  Wind  Solar  Wave  Tidal  Geothermal  Bio-mass  Helium 3 (from the moon)

8 Wind  Wind turbines – modern windmills have become quite efficient and cost effective in windy areas

9 Solar Electric  Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels generate electricity directly from sunlight with special materials  Solar electricity can also be generated from the sun’s heat instead of burning fossil fuels

10 Solar Thermal  Heat from the sun can be used to heat water, houses, pools, in industry and to generate electricity

11 Passive Solar  Uses sun angles, shading and thermal storage  Daylighting is using natural sunlight instead of electric lights

12 Solar Cookers  Many different designs  Can improve health & reduce deforestation in developing countries

13 Solar Cars?  Hybrid and Electric cars are coming  Why not solar charge them?

14 Water Energy Hydro-electric, wave, tide

15 Geothermal & Bio-mass

16 A Future Hydrogen Economy?  Solar energy can split water into hydrogen & oxygen  A fuel cell can make electricity from hydrogen and oxygen, making water  A completely clean, renewable cycle

17 2 Last Thoughts  ELECTRIC CHOICE  You now have a choice of electric providers in Texas  Providers must provide an electricity facts label, so the source is something you can consider  It has been estimated that we can improve the way we use energy by a factor of 4!

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