According to Times Higher Education Supplement (30 March 2007), UK universities use 5.2 billion kWh per year. Shared out among the whole population, that's a power of 0.24 kWh per day per person.
So higher education and research seem to have a much lower energy cost than defensive war-gaming.
There may be other energy-consuming public services we could talk about, but at this point I'd like to wrap up our race between the red and green stacks.
Transporting stuff: 12 kWh/d
Food, farming, fertilizer: 15 kWh/d
Gadgets: 5 Light: 4 kWh/d
Heating, cooling: 37 kWh/d
Jet flights: 30 kWh/d
Geothermal: 1 kWh/d
Tide: 11 kWh/d
Deep offshore wind: 32 kWh/d
Shallow offshore wind: 16 kWh/d
Biomass: food, biofuel, wood, waste incin'n, landfill gas: 24 kWh/d
Solar heating: 13 kWh/d
Wind: 20 kWh/d
Figure 17.1. The energy cost of defence in the UK is estimated to be about 4 kWh per day per person.
100 military energy budget. The UK budget can be found at [yttg7p]; defence gets £33.4 billion [fcqfw] and intelligence and counter-terrorism £2.5 billion per year [2e4fcs]. According to p14 of the Government's Expenditure Plans 2007/08 [33x5kc], the "total resource budget" of the Department of Defence is a bigger sum, £39 billion, of which £33.5 billion goes for "provision of defence capability" and £6 billion for armed forces pay and pensions and war pensions. A breakdown of this budget can be found here: [35ab2c]. See also [yg5fsj], [yfgjna], and www.conscienceonline.org.uk.
The US military's energy consumption is published: "The Department of Defense is the largest single consumer of energy in the United States. In 2006, it spent $13.6 billion to buy 110 million barrels of petroleum fuel [roughly 190 billion kWh] and 3.8 billion kWh of electricity" (Dept. of Defense, 2008). This figure describes the direct use of fuel and electricity and doesn't include the embodied energy in the military's toys. Dividing by the US population of 300 million, it comes to 1.7 kWh/d per person.
- The financial expenditure by the USA on manufacturing and deploying nuclear weapons from 1945 to 1996 was $5.5trillion (in 1996 dollars). Source: Schwartz (1998).
101 Energy cost of plutonium production. [slbae].
- The USA's production of 994 tons of HEU... Material enriched to between 4% and 5% 235U is called low-enriched uranium (LEU). 90%-enriched uranium is called high-enriched uranium (HEU). It takes three times as much work to enrich uranium from its natural state to 5% LEU as it does to enrich LEU to 90% HEU. The nuclear power industry measures these energy requirements in a unit called the separative work unit (SWU). To produce a kilogram of 235U as HEU takes 232 SWU. To make 1 kg of 235U as LEU (in 22.7 kg of LEU) takes about 151 SWU. In both cases one starts from natural uranium (0.71% 235U) and discards depleted uranium containing 0.25% 235U.
The commercial nuclear fuel market values an SWU at about $100. It takes about 100 000 SWU of enriched uranium to fuel a typical 1000 MW commercial nuclear reactor for a year. Two uranium enrichment methods are currently in commercial use: gaseous diffusion and gas centrifuge. The gaseous diffusion process consumes about 2500 kWh per SWU, while modern gas centrifuge plants require only about 50 kWh per SWU. [yh45h8], [t2948], [2ywzee]. A modern centrifuge produces about 3 SWU per year. The USA's production of 994 tons of highly-enriched uranium (the USA's total, 1945-1996) cost 230 million SWU, which works out to 0.1kWh/d per person (assuming 250 million Americans, and using 2500 kWh/SWU as the cost of diffusion enrichment).
Was this article helpful?
Your Alternative Fuel Solution for Saving Money, Reducing Oil Dependency, and Helping the Planet. Ethanol is an alternative to gasoline. The use of ethanol has been demonstrated to reduce greenhouse emissions slightly as compared to gasoline. Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know why choosing an alternative fuel may benefit you and your future.