Urban Heat IslandPilotProject Figure 4.23
Solar Cooking Solution Figure FS 4.1.1
Solar Energy Figure FS 4.1.2
Coal Energy • “But also, we're advancing clean-coal technologies. The goal is to have a zero-emission coal-fired plant.” – President George W Bush
Coal Energy • One trillion tons of recoverable coal in the world, by far the largest reserve of fossil fuel left on the planet • The United States has over 25% of the world’s recoverable coal reserves • Figure quoted by the coal industry is 250 years of reserves • Coal liquefaction expensive, uses lots of water, produces double the carbon dioxide when compared to regular petroleum use and produces diesel when the vast majority of the U.S. car fleet runs on gasoline
Coal Energy • Our use of coal leads to ravaged mountains, air pollution from acidic and toxic emissions and fouled water supplies • Coal mining is massively more invasive than oil or gas drilling • Coal burning power plants account for more than two-thirds of sulfur dioxide, 22% of nitrogen oxides, nearly 40% of carbon dioxide and a third of all mercury emissions in the United States
Coal Energy • Each year coal plants produce about 130 million tons of solid waste, about three times more than all the municipal garbage in the U.S. • The American Lung Association calculates that around 24,000 people a year die prematurely from the effects of coal fired power plant pollution.
Carbon Sequestration • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated in 2005 that it is highly likely that geologic locations worldwide are capable of sequestering at least two trillion metric tons of CO2 - more than is likely to be produced by fossil fuel consuming power plants this century
Carbon Sequestration • Carbon sequestration is not without risk. The two main risks are sudden escape and gradual leakage of carbon dioxide. • In 1986 at Lake Nyos in Cameroon, Africa carbon dioxide originating from a volcano killed over 1,700 people • However according to IPCC this is unlikely for engineered CO2 storage in carefully selected, deep porous geologic rock formations. In regard to gradual leakage the IPCC estimated in 2005 that in excess of 99% of carbon sequestered is “very likely” to remain in place for at least one hundred years.
Nuclear Energy • “Well, if you're really interested in global warming and climate change, then it seems like to me that we ought to promote technologies to advance the development of safe nuclear power. It's a renewable source of energy, and at the same time has no emissions to it.” –President GWB
Nuclear Energy • Nuclear power produced by the reaction of uranium inside a nuclear reactor. The reactor uses uranium rods, the atoms of which are split in the process of fission, releasing a large amount of energy. The process continues as a chain reaction with other nuclei takes place. The heat released heats water to create steam, which spins a turbine, producing electricity.
Nuclear Energy • The process of nuclear fission allows for the production of tremendous amounts of energy from a small amount of fuel. • The cost of making nuclear power is about the same as coal, which is considered very inexpensive • Nuclear power does not produce any air pollution or release carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. Therefore, it does not contribute to global warming or acid rain
Nuclear Energy • Waste produced from nuclear fission of uranium is poisonous, and highly radioactive, requiring maintenance and monitoring at the storage sites. • There can be connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapon proliferation, since both require large-scale uranium enrichment facilities. • The operation of an uncontained nuclear reactor near human settlements can be catastrophic, as shown by the Chernobyl accident in the Ukraine (former USSR), where large areas of land were affected by nuclear fallout.
Ethanol • “And then, in the State of the Union, I talked about another aspect of economic security and environmental quality, and that is changing the habits – or changing how we power our cars. And I want more people driving automobiles with, you know, ethanol, for example, or biodiesel.” –President GWB
Ethanol • Ethanol is an alcohol-based alternative fuel produced by fermenting and distilling starch crops that have been converted into simple sugars. • Ethanol is most commonly used to increase octane and improve the emissions quality of gasoline
Ethanol • Direct combustion without emissions filtering generally leads to air pollution similar to that from fossil fuels. • Producing liquid fuels from biomass is generally less cost effective than from petroleum, since the production of biomass and its subsequent conversion to alcohols is particularly expensive. • Some researchers claim that, when biomass crops are the product of intensive farming, ethanol fuel production results in a net loss of energy after one accounts for the fuel costs of fertilizer production, farm equipment, and the distillation process.
Wind Energy • Wind power produces no water or air pollution that can contaminate the environment, because there are no chemical processes involved in wind power generation. Hence, there are no waste by-products, such as carbon dioxide. • Wind generation is a renewable source of energy, which means that we will never run out of it.
Wind Energy • "When you look at a wind turbine, you can find the bird carcasses and count them. With a coal-fired power plant, you can't count the carcasses, but it's going to kill a lot more birds."-- John Flicker, National Audubon Society, president
Wind Energy • This type of energy harnesses the power of the wind to propel the blades of wind turbines. These turbines cause the rotation of magnets, which creates electricity. Wind towers are usually built together on wind farms • For every 10,000 birds killed by human activities, less than one death is caused by a wind turbine
Wind Energy • Wind is unreliable • Wind farms are ugly • Bats • Ground-nesting birds