RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ALTERNATIVE FUELS

September 1, 2014


There is absolutely no doubt the entire world is dependent upon the generation and transmission of electricity.  Those countries without electrical power are considered third world countries with no immediate hope of improving lives and living conditions and yet there just may be alternatives to generally held methods for generating electricity.

If we look at the definition for renewable energy, we see the following:

Renewable energy is derived from natural processes that are replenished constantly. In its various forms, it derives directly from the sun, or from heat generated deep within the earth. Included in the definition is electricity and heat generated from solar, wind, ocean, hydropower, biomass, geothermal resources, and biofuels and hydrogen derived from renewable resources.

POWER GENERATION:

We are all familiar with current methodologies for power generation.  These are 1.) Hydroelectric, 2.) Nuclear, 3.) Coal-Powered, 4.) Oil-Fired, and 5.) Generation using Natural gas.  The graphic below will indicate the percentages of each generation type by technique.  This is for the United States.  Other countries use generation methods relative to the availability of resources, political pressures and cultural pressures.   Germany is in the process of abandoning their use of nuclear energy for power generation.  This is a cultural and political decision and not entirely based upon scientific considerations.

Generation of Electricity by Type

You will notice that renewable energy was approximately 12.9 percent of the total generation within the United States in 2013. Please note also that hydroelectric is considered to be a source of renewable energy.  This is show by the graphic below.  To break this down even further, we look at the following:

EIA TOTAL GENERATION BY ENERGY TYPE(2)

Renewable energy is represented by five (5) categories:

  • Hydroelectric
  • Wind
  • Solar
  • Geothermal
  • Biomass

One additional possibly is generation of electricity by virtue of tidal processes.  This technology is in its infancy with work being accomplished on a “demonstration” scale.  It is an up-and-coming methodology but right now does not enjoy a place within the list above.

Just how much energy results from each renewable category?

RENEWABLE ENERGY BY TYPE

From above we see there has been growing dependence upon renewable technology as a source of electricity.  Wind and biomass production are increasing while hydroelectric decreasing.  Geothermal and solar remain about the same.   The increase in energy production by biomass is significant. Very significant.

The Energy Information Agency (EIA) has collected the following data:

EIA Numbers for Renewable Energy

Why should governments and independent companies continue to consider renewable energy as a source of power?  There are compelling reasons.

BENEFITS:

  • ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS— For the most part, renewable sources of energy have minimal negative impact on our environment.  They are paramount in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.  Millions of people are exposed to toxic fumes from cooking fuels and kerosene lanterns, emissions from automobiles and energy sources for generating electricity.  All result in chronic eye and lung conditions.   Countries such as China and India have days where atmospheric particulate requires masks or face coverings when prolonged periods of outdoor activity are needed.
  • ENERGY FOR THE FUTURE—Coal, oil, natural gas, and even nuclear energy are expendable non-renewable sources of energy.  Once exhausted—gone forever.  Prolonging their use is paramount.  We will never completely remove ourselves from being a petro-based economy.  Too many bi-products are made from petroleum.  It is fantasy to suspect total elimination of petroleum usage.
  • JOBS AND ECONOMY—Investments in hardware and infrastructure for renewable energy use requires money but can creates jobs.  If you have been following the insanity relative to approval of the Keystone Pipeline you know the argument.  On a global basis, we can see the following: (PLEASE NOTE:  The numbers are in billions of US dollars )

GLOBAL NEW INVESTMENTS

The point with this graph is showing the increasing investment dollars for R & D efforts and   production of infrastructure in allowing generation of energy.

  • ENERGY SECURITY— The U.S. imported approximately 10.6 million barrels per day of petroleum in 2012 from about 80 countries. We exported 3.2 MMbd of crude oil and petroleum products, resulting in net imports (imports minus exports) equaling 7.4 MMbd. Net imports accounted for 40% of the petroleum consumed in the United States, the lowest annual average since 1991.

“Petroleum” includes crude oil and refined petroleum products like gasoline, and biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel. In 2012, about 80% of gross petroleum imports were crude oil, and about 57% of all crude oil that was processed in U.S. refineries was imported.

The top five source countries of U.S. petroleum imports in 2012 were Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Russia. Their respective rankings vary based on gross petroleum imports or net petroleum imports (gross imports minus exports).  Net imports from OPEC countries accounted for 55% of U.S. net imports.

DISADVANTAGES:

One disadvantage with renewable energy is that it is difficult to generate the quantities of electricity that are as large as those produced by traditional fossil fuel generators. This may mean that we need to reduce the amount of energy we use or simply build more energy facilities. It also indicates that the best solution to our energy problems may be to have a balance of many different power sources.

Another disadvantage of renewable energy sources is the reliability of supply. Renewable energy often relies on the weather for its source of power. Hydro generators need rain to fill dams to supply flowing water. Wind turbines need wind to turn the blades, and solar collectors need clear skies and sunshine to collect heat and make electricity. When these resources are unavailable so is the capacity to make energy from them. This can be unpredictable and inconsistent. The current cost of renewable energy technology is also far in excess of traditional fossil fuel generation. This is because it is a new technology and as such has extremely large capital cost.

CONCLUSIONS:   It remains right and proper that the Unites States and other countries continue research and development relative to renewable sources of energy.    The cost of power generation is increasing and depletion of non-renewable sources is of great concern.  We must continue efforts to improve technologies of renewable power to reduce the cost of infrastructure and delivery.

I would welcome your comments: bobjengr@comcast.net

Advertisements

22 Responses to “RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ALTERNATIVE FUELS”

  1. Jacinto Says:

    What i don’t realize is in truth how you’re no longer really much more neatly-preferred than you might be now. You are very intelligent. You understand therefore considerably in relation to this topic, made me in my opinion believe it from numerous various angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be interested except it’s one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs great. At all times take care of it up!|

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Jacinto–Thank you so much for your very kind comment. I write about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and have a very dedicated number of readers. No Hollywood, no politics, no entertainment–just STEM. Again, thank you so much and I certainly hope you will visit again. Take care. Bob

      Like

  2. Robby Bayus Says:

    Hi there it’s me, I am also visiting this web page daily, this web site is actually nice and the people are in fact sharing good thoughts.|

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Robby. Renewable Energy and Alternative Fuels is fascinating to many many people. Everyone wishes to know what is possible. Thank you for taking a look. Take care. Bob

      Like

  3. blog Says:

    I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and amusing,
    and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is something which not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy that I found this during my hunt for something concerning this.

    Like


  4. How do I copyright articles and newsletters that I am wanting to publish?

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Workshop. For all things legal, i.e. patents, incorporation, copyright, etc etc. I always consult an attorney. I do NOT do the on-line download and use a template. I don’t think the paper trail is sufficient. Some use online but I am very “old-school” with these efforts. Hope this helps.

      Like

  5. IMDb Says:

    I have not checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Play;; The last thing I want to do is bore my readers. Thank you so much for your very kind comments. I work hard trying to provide posts that I feel a certain segment (the thinking segment) of the population will enjoy. I really appreciate you taking a look and please do come again. Take care. B.

      Like


  6. “Quality is a main feature of this blog, I recommend it to all visitors, come back! xd”

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Outlook Account–I certainly appreciate the kind words and happy you enjoyed Renewable Energy This is one post that has gotten a great deal of traction and one I thought very informative. I try very hard to make reading my posts beneficial. Thank you so much for taking a look and please come back. Take care. Bob J.

      Like


  7. I love to write. I am talking about, I really love to write. It can probably the only passion I have stronger than love. Yet I need to understand what university to go to… What college should I go to for Innovative Writing?.

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Noma, I would recommend the following actions: 1.) READ–read all the books, articles, creative writing fiction and non-fiction you can. 2.) Notice the writer’s style, how they use words in an intricate fashion, how they put sentences together. 3.) Look for creative writing seminars close to you. Try those first to get the feel for what is required, then–4.) Write. Start. Don’t worry about how professional your writing is–just do it. Learn as you go. Most universities and colleges have summer seminars and creative writing courses you can audit for a fraction of the cost. YOU CAN DO THIS. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering–the furtherest thing from writing but I love to blog and write training documents for professional engineers. I have been posting blogs through WordPress for seven years now. It’s a great mental exercise and keeps me engaged. Hope this helps. Bob

      Like


  8. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all people you actually understand what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also talk over with my website =). We will have a link alternate agreement among us!

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Sokkia. I certainly appreciate the kind words and happy you enjoyed my post. I try very hard to make reading my posts beneficial because I hate wasting my reader’s time. Renewable Energy is one of the most-read post I have written. Thank you so much for taking a look and please come back. Take care. Bob J.

      Like


  9. More and more writings just have words in them that mean little to nothing. You have written an article that is very deep in meaning and kept it simple for the average reader to understand.

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      As you can see, I write about only STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects. I stay away from those topics I know little about. Thank you so much for taking time to log in to my post.

      Like

  10. google.com Says:

    This is the bestest website in the worlds!

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Thank you for your very kind comment. Renewable Energy is definitely one of the most-read post I have ever written. I’m very happy nice people such as you have taken a look. Hope you will come back soon. Take care.

      Like


  11. I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I found this in my search for something relating to this.

    Like

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Jacquiline, Thank you so much for the very kind comment AND for taking a look at my site. Hope you got “value-added” from the post. Please take care. Bob

      Like


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: