Renewable Energy Solution

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The Consumer Voice for Renewable Energy Activities Meet Quarterly Internet Yahoo Chat Group Annual Houston Solar Tour Earth Day Booths Educate Houston Non-profit, local section of the Texas Solar Energy Society (TXSES) The Renewables Energy Solution written by Chris Boyer 2006 Houston Renewable Energy Group

US Energy Demand Growing: 

US Energy Demand Growing

The Energy Problem: 

The Energy Problem Rising cost of fossil fuel extraction Trade deficit War over finite resources Pollution and climate change Threat of nuclear proliferation and waste disposal

The Renewables Solution: 

The Renewables Solution Direct Solar Wind Hydro Biomass Geothermal Its Plentiful Its Everywhere It lasts “forever” Its Healthy Its Safe

All the energy we use could be supplied by Renewables!: 

All the energy we use could be supplied by Renewables!

Solar Energy: 

Solar Energy 80,000 Terawatts of Solar Power fall on the Earth constantly, compared to 14.5 Terawatts current used for human power. Solar Electricity – Photovolatics (PV) Solar Thermal Heating Hot water – residential and commercial Utility Steam & Electricity Cooking Solar Building Design Shade & venting Solar heating

Solar Thermal: 

Solar Thermal

Solar Thermal: Hot Water: 

Solar Thermal: Hot Water Hot Water roof systems subsidize hot water. $500 to $6,000 for system Last ~20 years 1 to 2 ft2 of panel for each gallon used per day. 4 yr payback If hot water use does not match solar availability, economics is not so attractive. Panels Pump Tank Controller

Solar Thermal: Utility Electricity: 

Solar Thermal: Utility Electricity $1million/MWp Capital Investment 20-60% Capacity Factor (100% with N.G. Hybrid) 5000 acres for a 1 GW plant

Solar Photovoltaic: 

Solar Photovoltaic

Solar PV Integrated into Structures: 

Solar PV Integrated into Structures

Solar PV: Grid Connected: 

Solar PV: Grid Connected $6000 to $10,000 per kWp Power Installed 50% Modules 25% Inverter 25% Installation $1 to $0.18/kWh Sun Hours/day Interest Rate Incentives 1 kW ~ 100 ft2 @ noon Goal is $3000/kWp installed, or ~$0.10/kWh by 2025

Advancing Solar PV Technology: 

Advancing Solar PV Technology Silicon Crystalline Polycrystalline Amorphous Ribbon Nanocrystalline CdTe GaAs CIS/CIGS Dye-Sensitized Organic Wafer P-N Junction Thin Film P-N Junction Multi-Junction Quantum Dots Photoelectrochemical New Materials New Structures Related Technologies -digital camera -LEDs -Solid state lasers

P-N Junction Solar Cell Structure: 

P-N Junction Solar Cell Structure

Photochemical Cell Structure: 

Photochemical Cell Structure Structure for high-efficiency (50%) organic PV cell based on a nanostructured substrate onto which thin layers of molecular multi-junctions are grown and anchored onto the nanostructure surface. The red circle denotes an electron acceptor; the blue square, an electron donor; and the yellow circle, a metal nanoparticle.

PV cost as a function of Efficiency: 

PV cost as a function of Efficiency

Improvements in Cell Efficiency: 

Improvements in Cell Efficiency

Solar PV: What & Where: 

Solar PV: What & Where

Solar PV: Who: 

Solar PV: Who in 2005 (Ever-Q)

Learning Curve for PV Production: 

Learning Curve for PV Production

Potential US Solar PV Growth: 

Potential US Solar PV Growth Actual World Growth 44% Prediction based on 20 to 25% annual growth. Note: Capacity factor is 0.2

Wind Energy: 

Wind Energy 60 GW Installed in the world by 2005 Growing 20%/yr worldwide $1million/MW Cost Capacity factor 0.47 Clean; no water needed Dual Land Use 1000 GW possible in the US Each tower is 1 to 3 MW.

Tale of 2 GW: 

Tale of 2 GW Nuclear Wind

Too Many Wind Towers?: 

Too Many Wind Towers? One coal plant equals about 1500 Wind towers. Over a Million oil and gas wells were drilled in Texas at a cost of ~ $1 Million each. The same as the price of a wind tower. A Million Wind Towers would equal over 600 coal fired plants. There are ~50 coal plants in Texas

Wind: Who & Where: 

Wind: Who & Where Company Country Data from year 2004: BTM World Market Update

Potential US Wind Growth: 

Potential US Wind Growth

Biomass Energy: 

Biomass Energy Sources: Energy crops Crop residue Animal manure Municipal Solid Waste Forrest waste 1/2 the energy/lb of coal. 10 Quads/yr available in US Crop considerations: water usage fertilizer requirements soil depletion. Corn is bad Switchgrass is good

Biomass Energy Pathways: 

Biomass Energy Pathways Direct Combustion Solids  Heat Solids  Combined Heat & Power (CHP) Direct Extraction Oils & fats  Esterification  Biodiesel Certain plants  Solvent Extraction  Isoprenoid hydrocarbons Biochemical Plant matter  Hydrolysis  Fermentation  Ethanol Organic sludge  Anerobic digestion  Biogas  CHP or H2 Thermochemical Organic matter  Pyrolysis  biogas or bio-oil Organic matter Gasification  Syngas  CHP, FT Liquids, MeOH/DME, EtOH, or H2 BEST! FAIR POOR POOR


Ethanol US produced 3.4 billion gallons in 2005. 85 US Companies, most sized at 20-60 million gal/yr, ADM has over a billion gal/yr capacity. Brazil made 4.2 billion gal in ‘05. China & Europe made 1 billion gal in ‘05 Produces a fuel compatible with existing infrastructure Energy Return is ~4 out : 3 in. Solar land efficiency of ethanol is very low at < 0.1%. Competes for water and land use.

Hydro Energy: 

Hydro Energy Cheapest source of Electricity $0.02/kWh 200 GW in US by 2005 US developed about 40% of potential; inhibited by environmental concerns. Capacity factor 0.5 Tidal Wave Hoover Dam

Hydro Production Cycles in US: 

Hydro Production Cycles in US

Geothermal Energy: 

Geothermal Energy Free heat Environmental concerns Non-sustainable – ground cools. The Earth’s core is hot from decay of nuclear materials.

US Energy Flows 2002 (Quad): 

US Energy Flows 2002 (Quad) Source: LLNL, EIA-DOE 56.2 Wasted 35.2 Used

The Renewable Energy Solution: 

The Renewable Energy Solution US Practical Potential for RE energy by 2025 to 2050 with existing technology. Source GWp Cap.Fact. Quads of Work/yr Solar 2000 0.2 10.7 Wind 1000 0.47 12.6 Biomass 336 0.25 (effic.) 2.3 Hydro 300 0.5 4.0 Geothermal 100 0.8 2.1 TOTAL 31.7 RE can cover 90% of the 35 Quads of Work used today. Note: 1 Quad of Fossil Fuel is ~0.3 to 0.1 Quad of useful work. 1 Quad of Renewable Electricity is 0.9 Quad of useful work.

Other Energy “Solutions”: 

Other Energy “Solutions” Unconventional Oil Tar sands Shale Oil Stranded Natural Gas Coal Nuclear The Future Value of Such Investments is NEGATIVE! Polluted water Polluted air Habitat destruction Climate change Limited Resources Compete for water Easy terrorist targets Monopolized markets Waste of capital Expensive energy

Pathway to Sustainable Energy: 

Pathway to Sustainable Energy Phase I Achieved! 1975-2005 Economical Renewable Energy Solutions Realized Incubation of the RE industry. Phase II Achievable by 2025-2050 Up to 25% of electric load can be supported by renewables without energy storage. Shift transportation from oil to electric. Technology improvements lower RE cost. Phase III Achievable by 2050-2100 Incorporate energy storage to achieve 100% R.E. Disruptive renewable energy inventions bring costs lower

Action Items – For NOW: 

Action Items – For NOW Practice Energy Conservation Switch to a “Green” Electric Provider. Buy Electric Vehicles and Biofuels Make investments in Solar and Wind projects/ companies. Vote for politicians with platforms promoting “Sustainability” Inform the public about the wind and solar energy solution.

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