Chapter

1 World Energy Consumption www.solcomhouse.com worldenergy.htm 2 Brockris, J.O'M., Energy Options. Taylor Francis Ltd., London 1980. 3 Tickell, O., Kyoto 2 How to Manage the Global Greenhouse. Zen Books, London, 2008. 4 Breaking the Climate Deadlock. G8 Report, Japan 2008. 5 The Future of Nuclear Power. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003. web.mit.edu nuclearpower 9 Bressand, F. et al., Curbing global energy demand growth the energy productivity opportunity. McKinsey Global Institute,...

The Unknowable

From the miniscule scale of nano-engineering, where molecules are massaged to form novel materials, to electrical engineering on the macroscopic scale where massive components are manipulated to build power stations and other large electrical systems, in general the technical problems that are encountered by scientists engineers, have known or knowable solutions. Because of this most technologists would probably aver that engineering in the physical world is largely 'child's play', by...

Towards a Wired World

There is probably a multitude of possible routes that governments could follow in attempting to hasten the transition to renewable energy. From a rational standpoint, if maintaining modern standards of living is the goal, it seems inescapable that their obligation is to do everything possible to achieve sustainability. In the event that politicians and governments are brave and wise enough to make the huge commitment that is called for, their deliberations about how they may intervene to...

Diverging Supply and Demand

If one could imagine, and this is probably quite easy for many people, that 'business-as-usual' were possible to the end of the century, and that population numbers were to plateau at 10.5 billion, as is generally predicted, then consumption trends 1 suggest that we will require to find 25-30 TW of power in 2050 to feed the seemingly 'unquenchable thirst for energy' of industrialised, and modernising, societies. The trend is shown in Fig. 5.1, where the uppermost curve (solid line + diamond...

The Ecogrid

This gentle trawl through the highways and byways of massive energy storage has, if nothing else, clearly underlined one stark fact. Namely this - because of the piecemeal approach to renewable energy, there has been a negligent lack of commitment to MES from governments around the world, and a serious absence of investment from business. Consequently, a significant range of technologically challenging solutions to the renewable energy storage dilemma still exists, despite the best efforts of...

Nuclear Backup

The expending of serious and meaningful research and development time and money is clearly needed to bring MES systems up to a level which matches the progress that has been made in establishing the technology for renewable power generation. From a strictly engineering standpoint, it is difficult not to accept that the lag between storage and generation can be ameliorated by employing nuclear power generated electricity, to furnish base load when MES systems are found wanting. However, as is...

Technofix Junkies

The obvious, but uninformed, response to the 'warming' dilemma, which is being strongly pushed by the financial community and by our political leaders, is a switch away from our reliance on fossil fuels through the agency of a market led expansion of power generation from so called renewables, such as wind power, wave power, tidal power, hydro-electric power, solar power and geo-thermal power. Nuclear power is usually included in the mix but it is not really renewable unless scientists can...

The Transport Crunch

As our freedom to burn fossil fuels becomes increasingly constrained by critical levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, travel by road and air, in vehicles and aircraft that are wholly dependent on these fuels, represents an activity, which eventually and unavoidably, will be possible no longer, in its present form. It is taken for granted, in saying this, that with a global population in excess of 10 billion the use of land area for bio-fuels is unlikely to be tolerated by hard pressed humanity....

The Grid

The final element in the electricity supply 'jig-saw' is transmission and distribution. In the electricity supply industry transmission and distribution are viewed as quite separate activities. In the industry, when they talk of transmission, the bulk transfer of electrical power from several power stations to towns and cities is being considered. Typically, power transmission is between one or more power plants and several substations near populated areas. The transmission system allows...

How the Power Is Extracted

Trough Reflector Cleaning Segs

Several technologies are actively being pursued with the aim of exploiting solar radiation photovoltaic PV methods, solar thermal electric or concentrated solar power CSP techniques, passive solar design PSD and active solar. However, since only photovoltaic and solar thermal electric methods have the object of generating electricity, it is clear that our attention should be directed toward these technologies. Photovoltaic technology has, rather stealthily it seems, been becoming more and more...

Power and Entropy

An ideal pendulum, which is not subject to air friction e.g., pendulum in a vacuum , and which also possesses frictionless hinges perfect bearings , would oscillate in perpetuity, if allowed to do so, with perfect transference of energy between the potential and kinetic forms. The total energy the sum of the instantaneous potential and kinetic energies for the ideal isolated pendulum is, however, fixed. No matter how long it is in motion there is no change in the total energy for this closed...