New Ways to Solve the Energy Problem |


how to solve energy problems

The culminating energy project is introduced and the technical problem solving process is applied to get students started on the project. By the end of the class, students should have a good perspective on what they have already learned and what they still need to learn to complete the project. Apr 04,  · Thinking about energy within a homogeneous construct is not only confusing, but makes it difficult to put our finger on exactly what the problem is and how to solve Yossie Hollander, Fuel Freedom Foundation. Jun 23,  · When it comes to our energy needs, there are three main problems. We have confused needs and desires, cheap energy and not educated ourselves enough on understanding energy. Let me explain. Need is a word that gets used out of context all the time, it Author: Mike Haydon.

The Seven Ways To Solve The Energy Problem - Business Insider

I have dished out a healthy share of criticism about the paths we are taking into the energy future, how to solve energy problems perhaps it's time I offered some paths of my own. I will outline them as simply as possible, since the data and thinking behind them could fill a book. Credible models show that by the end of this century, essentially all of the fossil fuels on earth will be consumed—oil, natural gas, and coal.

Cumulative peak of fossil how to solve energy problems energy is By the end of this century then, a mere 90 years from now, we'll need to have an infrastructure that runs exclusively on renewably generated electricity, biofuels, and possibly nuclear energy.

That's where we're going. Fortunately, there is more than enough available renewable energy to meet all of our needs, if we can harness it. We are currently at peak oil, a short, roughly 5-year plateau which goes into terminal decline around All fossil fuel energy combined peaks aroundless than a decade from now. All strategies for accommodating the fossil fuel decline require decades to have any significant effect, how to solve energy problems. Therefore, we are going to have to accomplish most of the renewable energy revolution in how to solve energy problems scenario of ever-declining fuel supply.

In just 50 years, we'll be working with about half our current energy budget. So in fact we may only have about 50 years to build most of the new renewable energy and efficiency capacity we will need to get us through the end of the century. Another important factor is that exports will fall off much faster than total supply. See my article on the oil export crisis from last year.

Foucher and Brown have shown that the world's top five oil exporters could approach zero net oil exports by around Net energy importers like the US could be increasingly starved for fuel as decline sets in and accelerates, and net energy exporters could wind up shouldering much of the burden of new manufacturing.

This factor means that we will have to front-load as much of our development as possible. The final and most important factor is population. The few population models that actually take fossil fuel depletion into account assume that global population increases roughly out to the global fuel peak, and then stabilizes at that level or declines naturally while economic development promotes lower fertility rates and renewables and energy efficiency increase to fill the gap of declining fossil energy.

I understand why this assumption is made—because the alternative is too ghastly to contemplate—and for the immediate purpose of this article I will go along with it. I will note however that history and scientific observation of populations suggest some sharp episodes of decline are more likely, and in my estimation we will end this century with a considerably smaller population than anyone forecasts, at some level well below today's.

A proper model for achieving this goal would be a very large undertaking, how to solve energy problems, the sort of thing that should be done by a team of experts with a budget. Is anybody at the Department of Energy listening? But I can identify some key pathways that are, in my estimation, no-brainers. Because the solutions going forward will be quite different for each country, I will limit my recommendations to the US.

Rail should be Priority 1, and should be granted the largest portion of public funding. Utility scale projects like giant solar farms in the desert and giant wind farms in the Midwest or offshore all face serious hurdles in siting, permitting, environmental impact, and transmission capability, how to solve energy problems.

Rooftop photovoltaic PV solar systems face no such issues and can be deployed right now, building capacity incrementally over time. Since reconfiguring our urban topology around transit and deploying light rail will take decades, we will need some transitional solutions that still allow us to get around in cars for a good many years.

Most of the efficiency gains we can make are thermal: reducing the energy it takes to heat and cool buildings. We'll need large solar plants across the Southwest, and huge wind farms in the Midwest and offshore. The good news is that we already have most of the technologies we need in this area. All that we lack is the will and the funding to put it in place.

If we back off too much too soon from oil and gas production, it could leave us without adequate or reasonably priced fuel to accomplish this transformation, and sink the entire effort.

This post originally appeared on GetRealListand has been reprinted with permission. We should begin as quickly as possible with light urban rail, and work over the next 40 years to build a comprehensive high-speed long-distance rail system. Rail is by far the most efficient form of overland transportation we know, and moving people out of their cars and freight off the roads will yield real and immediate savings in liquid fuel consumption.

Not only will this help alleviate America's need for rapidly declining oil exports, it is a proven, fairly low-tech, sustainable and workable solution that would allow renewably generated electricity to be phased in over time with minimal disruption.

Rooftop PV also has a capital advantage. Whereas utility-scale solar and wind projects need to secure large power purchase agreements in order to raise enormous amounts of capital that will be tied up for how to solve energy problems, small rooftop PV systems are purchased outright by the end-users, assisted by ratepayer-funded incentive systems.

Simply getting projects done is considerably easier. From a funding perspective, rooftop PV is arguably one of the easiest sources we can develop, and options are proliferating. Cities like Berkeley and San Jose are offering municipal bonds to finance local projects, which keeps the financing small, local, and low-risk. Third-party financing companies are springing up all over the country, making it possible for home and business owners to put solar on their roofs with no out-of-pocket expenses and pay them off at the same rates or less than they're already paying to utilities, with nearly zero risk to all parties.

End-users enjoy an additional benefit of having a known, fixed cost for their future power, even as fossil fuel prices skyrocket. Another very important advantage is that rooftop PV is distributedwhich contributes to the resiliency and robustness of the grid. In most modern neighborhoods, no grid upgrading is needed to support rooftop solar systems.

More distributed power generation also means fewer points of failure: a cloud over here is compensated by clear sky one mile away. It also enables micro-islandingwhich would allow most of the grid to stay up when there is how to solve energy problems outage, instead of taking vast chunks of the country's grid down along with it as we have seen in the recent past.

Utilities also win with rooftop PV, because it means they don't have to spend an enormous amount of effort and money in search of enough clean, green kilowatt-hours to meet how to solve energy problems renewable portfolio standards, nor spend it on beefing up their grids. It essentially costs utilities zero to take up energy produced this way; in fact it can be a net benefit to them because the homeowner ends up paying for the new smart meters they plan to deploy across their grids anyway at a cost of tens of millions of dollars.

Feed-in tariffs FiTs that pay a premium for kilowatt-hours generated by rooftop PV have been employed with great and immediate success in Germany and Japan, to the point where both programs will be largely phased out within the first decade. Support for a national FiT in the US is still weak, but I believe it could become a reality if the public were educated about the success it has enjoyed elsewhere in the world.

All-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are a two-fer: They can take advantage of growing renewable electricity supply, and they can function as a giant, distributed battery for intermittent renewable sources using vehicle-to-grid V2G technology.

In time, V2G could provide the final link that allows renewable energy to fully displace fossil fuels, how to solve energy problems. We will need to begin building the electric vehicle charging infrastructure as quickly as possible to accommodate these new vehicles, but it needn't be any more complicated than deploying a new row of parking meters. This I think is a good and proper use of public funding, how to solve energy problems.

The automakers themselves should be able to find adequate funding via the private sector, with perhaps a modicum of federal support for research to jump start next-generation development of batteries and propulsion systems.

Compressed how to solve energy problems gas vehicles are another transitional solution that would take advantage of domestic gas supply while cutting demand for imported crude.

Biofuels may also play a role, how to solve energy problems, although I continue to be skeptical about how much they can truly achieve once net energy EROI and food-vs. Corn ethanol fails these tests, but to the extent that cellulosic biofuels pass them, they could take a substantial bite out of our demand for petroleum.

Still, it will take a decade or more to scale it up to significant levels. Before the global economic downturn, our replacement rate was about 14 million new cars and light trucks per year.

We have about million such vehicles now. At that rate we're well down from it nowit would take 18 years to replace the fleet, but we probably won't maintain that rate while the economy shrinks and fuel prices how to solve energy problems. Therefore we should concentrate on a rapid, near term how to solve energy problems of alternative vehicles, before it gets prohibitively expensive and difficult to do so, even if they wind up having all the sex appeal of a mass how to solve energy problems WWII Jeep.

Ideally, we will only have how to solve energy problems replace a fraction of the current fleet, with the rest of the traffic having been moved to rail. These gains ultimately translate into less coal and natural gas demand, so they will do little to reduce our demand for oil, which must be our first priority. In the long run however, efficiency must make up for any shortfall in renewable energy production, so it must be pursued continually over many decades.

More efficient regular gasoline and diesel vehicles also belong in this category, and may reduce our dependence on oil if they are sufficiently efficient and the gains aren't nullified by the Jevons paradox. In my view, anything under 25 MPG is simply pathetic at this point, and undeserving of any federal support. Incentives for more efficient ICE vehicles should be geared to produce the greatest possible gains in fuel economy, not the watered-down "Cash for Clunkers" bill we got, how to solve energy problems, which will ensure another several years' worth of inefficient SUV production, how to solve energy problems.

Rooftop PV may be able to fill the short-term supply gap if aggressively pursued, but in the how to solve energy problems term we'll need every renewable kilowatt-hour we can get. Geothermal and marine power can also make major contributions in time, but they're babies now, and will need public guarantees and funding to reach the level where they are commercially viable technologies. In order to carry all the new renewable power, we're going how to solve energy problems need a bigger, more resilient, and smarter grid.

In the same way that it took federal funding and initiative to create the interstate highway system, the grid will also probably need to be nationalized and its enhancement funded publicly in order to meet this challenge. A key element of the new grid will be long-distance high-voltage direct current HVDC power lines to transmit the power from the large utility scale projects to the cities where it's needed.

This must be on the short- to medium-term agenda since it must be ready to take on real capacity within 20 years and be nearly full-blown within 40 years, how to solve energy problems. I think we'll need as much oil and gas and to a lesser extent, coal as we can possibly produce in order to pull it off. Just imagine how difficult it will be to produce a solar panel or a large wind turbine using only renewably generated electricity to mine the raw ores, crush them, transport them, smelt them down and turn them into stock, transport them again and turn them into end-products, then transport them a final time and install them.

I think it's safe to say that we have no idea how to do all that without liquid petroleum fuels. The twilight years of hydrocarbon fuels are essentially upon us, but we'll need them more than ever as they peak out and decline.

We will have to keep drilling, and the oil business will have to be able to turn a fair profit. At the same time, I have long maintained that after a nearly a century of commercial operation, how to solve energy problems, the petroleum businesses should be able to get by on its own, without public subsidies of any kind.

If that means the price of fuels goes up, then so be it. We're going to how to solve energy problems to start paying a fair value for those finite, rapidly disappearing resources some day, and price increases will only encourage efficiency and alternatives.

Turning these conceptual pathways into action will not be easy, and we may be forced into action before we have perfect clarity about where we're going and what it's all going to cost. Yet I have no doubt that if we move on these seven pathways as quickly as possible, we will make progress in the right direction. There will be time to fine-tune it later.

Over the long term, the economics of energy are clearly in favor of renewables. The costs of producing and burning fossil fuels can only increase, and the costs of renewable energy will fall for decades before stabilizing. Finding the money to rebuild so much of our infrastructure will no doubt be a challenge. I have no doubt that the money would be better spent on building an energy infrastructure that will actually sustain how to solve energy problems. The successful pathways are the profitable pathways.

Think rail, small solar PV, alt vehicles, how to solve energy problems, efficiency, utility renewables, grid, and drill, baby, drill. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options.

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Solving Energy Problems - Activity - TeachEngineering


how to solve energy problems


Jun 23,  · When it comes to our energy needs, there are three main problems. We have confused needs and desires, cheap energy and not educated ourselves enough on understanding energy. Let me explain. Need is a word that gets used out of context all the time, it Author: Mike Haydon. Jul 04,  · The Seven Ways To Solve The Energy Problem. Chris Nelder. Jul. 4, , AM Net energy importers like the US could be increasingly starved for fuel as decline sets in Author: Business Insider. Apr 04,  · Thinking about energy within a homogeneous construct is not only confusing, but makes it difficult to put our finger on exactly what the problem is and how to solve Yossie Hollander, Fuel Freedom Foundation.