Global Warming, Renewable Energy, Costs, Benefits, Energy Integration


1970’s Oil price rise and shortages, US energy policy for Mideast oil independence

Carter encourages conservation, sets policy for coal, nuclear, alternate fuel expansion

Differences in 2008: Global warming, 70% vs 30% oil imports, $150 vs. $36/bbl 1979

Nuclear standstill, coal expansion, little auto mileage progress, shale/sands to biofuel, peak oil


Current crisis: Global Warming and Energy Cost/Independence priorities, tradeoffs

Renewables energy small: < 7% of total, <1% wind, geothermal, solar; costs, benefits

Coal, nuclear, hydro costs at <$.02/kwh are 1/3 gas or oil for electricity

High renewable cost: wind $.03/kwh, geo .04, biomass .06, solar thermal .08, PV .20

Limited capacities of hydro, geothermal locations, high capital costs of solar thermal, photovoltaic, biomass, wind

Disruption factors of wind (land, noise, aesthetics), biomass (land, grain prices, carbon)


CO2 emissions increasing rapidly, mostly US, EU, China, other emerging countries

CO2/energy: 200g/kWh coal, 150 oil, 100 gas, biomass 50; 250,000,000 US tailpipes. 2500 msjor US electric power plants

CO2 total: Petroleum largest (transport, industry), Coal (elec), Gas (elec, heat)

No option to oil for transportation, enormous financial imbalance implications, $700 billion /yr at $135/bbl for 20 mmbpd imports

Petroleum and biofuels for transport, all other fuels for electricity


Coal reserves large, US, China, Asia Pacific, EE wealth creating economies

Oil reserves 70% ME, other problem areas Africa, Venezuela, peak oil, wide cost range

China coal expansion plans: CO2 must be solved or renewable costs dropped

Imperative of electricity in transport to curtail financial imbalances, global warming

Powder R. coal: $10 mine, $30 plant, CCS $30-40 for capture, same for transport, storage

Algae to bio diesel, CO2 to hydrocarbons with sunlight: technology hurdles, scale, % capture

Europe leads US in wind, solar research, investment, installation: Germany, Spain

Costs of electric source vs. level of CO2 emission, note CCS

Variations in capital, operating, fuel costs and implementation time for electricity fuels

Windmills on land from 1980, now larger, more efficient, plans for storage, offshore, sails

Tidal hopes, limited locations, harness waves, turbine options to dams

Geothermal established, but limited to plate tectonic borders

Solar thermal mirror, parabolic, tower: water or reflect for heat transfer, intensity varies

Large scale, deserts, mechanical: moving mirrors, pipes, fluids, utilities, large capital

PV similar to computer chips: scale, cost reduction potential, thin films, Nanosolar, others

Symbiotic potentials and past technology successes to help energy and food solutions

Wind and solar complement to smooth downtimes, Niagara NY, storage

Similarity of photovoltaic, computer chip advances and photosynthesis

Algae coal symbiosis, artificial photosynthesis for fuel or food

Battery evolution to solve electric storage problem, chemical processes

Chemistry breakthroughs for energy to follow Baekeland, nylon, petroleum cracking, fertilizer milestones of past