Posts Tagged ‘nuclear’

13 May

The Sun and Wind Are The Future

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Sun Through Cloud

Sun Through Cloud (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

In an earlier post about a recently released book, The Great Transition (by Lester Brown, Janet Larsen, Matt Roney, and Emily Adams), there are seven realities some may find surprising, behind the global transition (to clean, renewable energy away from nuclear and fossils). These facts are listed below and certainly worth more in-depth attention:

The Great Transition by Lester Brown and co-authors Janet Larsen, J. Matthew Roney, and Emily E. Adams

The Great Transition by Lester Brown and co-authors Janet Larsen, J. Matthew Roney, and Emily E. Adams

  1. Global adoption of solar appears unstoppable now that solar is so cheap.
  2. Wind power adoption is rapidly altering energy portfolios around the world.
  3. National and subnational energy policies are promoting renewables, and many geographies are considering a price on carbon.
  4. The financial sector is embracing renewables-and starting to turn against fossils and nuclear.
  5. Coal use is in decline in the United States and will likely fall at the global level far sooner than once thought possible.
  6. Transportation will move away from oil as electric vehicle fleets expand rapidly and bike- and car-sharing spreads.
  7. Nuclear is on the rocks thanks to rising costs and widespread safety concerns.

For more detailed facts and figures, (<–click, please ).  Lester Brown and his co-authors have carefully gathered and analyzed the data from the past and provided us a glimpse of what our future has in store. Finally, the inertia from the past is unearthed and we can see the dark curtain is being lifted from the horizon. Our glorious Renewable and Solar/Wind Future has finally arrived! The Dawn Is Here!

I would also like to invite you to view the video below, to listen to Lestser Brown’s urging for us to mobilize to save our civilization and be further informed of various data and information availed to us based on the careful gathering and analyzing of data by Lester Brown and his co-authors.


Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

~have a bright and sunny day~

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11 February

Are We Moving Fast Enough Toward Solar-Wind-Water-Geothermal-Biomass?

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below)

Allow me to share with you the finalized data from FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) for U.S. Energy Infrastructure Update for 2013.  Some of the key findings from Office of Energy Projects-Energy Infrastructure Update of U.S. by 2013 from FERC are presented in the two tables below:

U.S. New Generation In-Service Power Capacity During 2013, Data Made Available By FERC

1. U.S. New Generation In-Service (New Build and Expansion), Jan.-Dec. of 2013 Chart: On horizontal axis, 10 top sources of new U.S. power capacity (in 2013) are ranked in terms of Newly Installed Capacity (MW) during 2013, in the order from: 1st being Natural Gas (7,270 MW), 2nd is Solar (2,936 MW), 3rd is Coal (1,543 MW), 4th is Wind (1,129 MW), 5th is Biomass (777 MW), 6th is Water (378 MW), 7th is Waste Heat (76 MW), 8th is Geothermal Steam (59 MW), 9th is Oil (38 MW), 10th is Nuclear (0 MW).

Even though Solar’s rank of 2 is impressive from the above chart, in reality the actual solar power capacity generated during 2013 is much greater than 2,936 MW. If you’d refer to FERC’s key findings from Office of Energy Projects-Energy Infrastructure Update of U.S. by 2013 from FERC , you would realize that the 2,936 MW did not include the distributed solar (rooftop solar power systems) installed in 2013. Various sources indicated that California added more rooftop solar capacity in 2013 than in the past 30 years combined . As the distributed solar will continue to play an increasingly significant role in solar capacity generation, such data needs to be included in the calculation in the future in order to provide a more complete picture.

U.S. Total Installed Operating Generating Capacity (GW) By Dec. of 2013, Data Made Available By FERC

2. U.S. Total Installed Operating Generating Capacity By December of 2013 Chart: On horizontal axis, 10 top sources of total U.S. power capacity by 2013 are ranked in terms of Total Installed Capacity (GW) up to December of 2013, in the order from: 1st being Natural Gas (487.21 GW), 2nd is Coal (333.43 GW), 3rd is Nuclear (107.32 GW), 4th is Water (97.88 GW),  5th is Wiind (60.29 GW), 6th is Oil (47.03 GW), 7th is Biomass (15.74 GW), 8th is Solar (7.42 GW), 9th is Geothermal Steam (3.83 GW), 10th is Waste Heat (1.13 GW).

The second table above reminds us that despite how much renewable energy has grown in U.S., the total installed operating generating capacity from renewable such as solar, water,geothermal, biomass, and wind only add up to about 15% of the total U.S. installed operating generating capacity as of 2013.  Solar only represents 0.64% and wind represents 5.2% of the total U.S. installed operating generating capacity as of 2013.  Renewable Energy is still in its early stage of its evolution. In 2014 solar power is projected to have another year of record growth. To this I say: we surely need it!

Flood at Key Heaven as a result of Hurricane Wilma (Author Marc Averette, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Flood of Toowoomba (Author Kingbob86, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of my friends, acquaintances, and relatives find it puzzling why I would be so anxious while optimistic about the Solar/Renewable future.  The two tables above truly reflect my state of mind toward current state of affair: optimistic with exponential growth of Solar Capacity (table 1) while anxiously worried about millions of people who will be losing their homes as a result of climate change (this would be the case if Clean and/or Renewable Energy takes up such a small percentage of the overall total power capacity as demonstrated in table 2 above )….we need to move toward Renewable…toward Solar-Wind-Water-Geothermal-Biomass much faster….in order to avoid more of what is likely to come……for millions and millions of people on planet earth…..

Let’s maintain our optimism in moving forward. We need to optimize the most effective incentive policy to drive all Renewables forward…be it Solar-Wind-Water-Geothermal-Biomass….in order to prevent millions and millions of people in becoming homeless in the decades to come…..

~may we all have a bright and sunny day~

Written, gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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28 May

Hurray For Germany’s New Solar Power Record of 22 Gigawatts !

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Dear Readers,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much.

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Dear Readers & Fellow Solar Enthusiasts,

With the continued rising fuel costs,  infrastructure costs, environmental costs, and security costs, I would like to give the world a shout and applause for Germany for setting a new solar power record:

In addition to  seeing the German government deciding to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March of 2011, closing eight plants immediately and shutting down the remaining nine plants by 2022, now we are seeing German solar power plants producing a world record of 22 gigawatts of electricity  (equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday).  Norbert Allnoch, Director of the Institute of Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster, announced that the 22 gigawatts of solar power fed into the naional grid on Saturday met nearly 50% of the nation’s midday electricity needs.  “Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity.  Germany came close to the 20 gigawatt (GW) few times in recent weeks. But this was the first time we made it over. This shows Germany is capable of meeting a large share of its electricity needs with solar power.  It also shows Germany can do with fewer coal-burning power plants, gas-burning plants, and nuclear plants.” Allnoch said to Reuters.

This has demonstrated that such record-breaking amount of solar power, in one of the world’s leading industrial nations (yet largely a land-locked and one of the cloudiest countries in Europe) is able to meet a third of its electricity needs on a work day, Friday (May 25, 2012) and nearly half on Saturday (May 26, 2012) when factories and offices are closed.  It is no small feat and deserves our attention. German government mandated support for renewables has helped Germany to become a world leader in renewable energy and Germany gets about 20% of its overall annual electricity from those sources.  About half of the world’s installed solar power generation capacity comes from Germany (a country of approximately 357,021 sq km and 82 million inhabitants) and about 4% of its annual electricity needs from the sun alone.  All of us earthlings should cheer on the Germans for having the aim and being the most likely to achieve their goal in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 level by 2020.

Once again, the take away lesson of such great success from such a small country is the German Energy Policy.  Please listen carefully and learn about their historical energy policy leading to Feed-In-Tariffs (originated from USA, but more effectively implemented in Germany)  in the clip below, thank you:

For better understanding of Feed-In-Tariffs (FITs), please view/read  the April 17, 2012 posts and click on various colored links within this post of http://sunisthefuture.net

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

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4 March

Why Solar?

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If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you.

Of all of the clean and/or renewable energy sources, my favorite is that of SOLAR . Here are the reasons:

  • It is clean! Solar energy is the cleanest renewable/alternative energy to fossil fuels (which currently pollute our air and water, harm our health, and contribute to global warming).
  • It is much safer! It is less likely to lead to negative environmental impacts such as that of hydro, nuclear, natural gas, or coal.
  • It is healthier! Sun is the source of life.  As long as one doesn’t look directly at the sun or be exposed to it for significant duration when  UV index is above the range of 0-1,  statistics had indicated that sufficient and right amount of  exposure to sun is actually beneficial for our health.   Insufficient  exposure to sunshine would contribute to higher incidence of breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, heart disease,  diabetes, multiple sclerosis,  tooth decay, and psoriasis, as indicated in the book The Healing Sun (Sunlight and Health in the 21st Century) (Hobday, 2004).   
  • It is readily available! Sun has been around for a long time and no one particular group or nation has ownership to it. Therefore, the use of solar energy will be less likely to be subjected to fluctuating raw material cost or be at risk of any war among nations due to rival for this source of energy.  Last but not least, Sun will be around for a long long long time….
  • Its sense of timing! The peak demand time for energy use usually coincides with the peak performance efficiency of sun’s energy.  Perfect!
  • There are fewer moving parts involved in solar powered systems and therefore would operate at a lower maintenance cost.

written & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

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26 February

Clean Energy vs. Renewable Energy, What Is the Difference

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If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you.

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union 2011, WINNING THE FUTURE, in full, took place last week (January 25, 2011, 9:00P.M. EST):  http://www.whitehouse.gov/state-of-the-union-2011 (the best site to view STATE of the UNION 2011)

The portion of President Obama’s address directly concerning Energy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAhut_6JAzw

As always, President Obama spoke with inspiration, poise, and optimism. But instead  of using the term “Renewable Energy Technology”, he was using “Clean Energy Technology”, with a new and hopeful goal of 80% of our electricity will be coming from clean energy  sources by 2035.  So, let’s take a look to see  if there is any difference between the two terminologies or are they synonymous.

Based on  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy , renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable (naturally replenished).  Whereas US Department of Energy source,  http://www.eere.energy.gov/ ,  listed Solar, Wind, Water, Biomass, Geothermal, Hydrogen & Fuel Cells under the category of Renewable Energy.  Mankind has turned toward renewable energy due to the rising oil prices, eventual depletion of fossil fuels, and concern for adverse environmental impact of conventional energy  sources. For better understanding of how each and every one of these renewable energy works, please refer to links below:

1.  How Solar Energy Works: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_impacts/energy_technologies/how-solar-energy-works.html

2.  How Wind Energy Works: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_impacts/energy_technologies/how-wind-energy-works.html

3.  How Water Energy/Hydrokinetic Energy Works: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_impacts/energy_technologies/how-hydrokinetic-energy-works.html

4.  How Biomass Energy Works: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_impacts/energy_technologies/how-biomass-energy-works.html

5.  How Geothermal Energy Works: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_impacts/energy_technologies/how-geothermal-energy-works.html

6. How Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Work:  http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/technologies_and_fuels/hybrid_fuelcell_and_electric_vehicles/how-a-fuel-cell-works.html

But this seems to be more of an energy storing mechanism rather than energy  source.  We also have to address the question of source of hydrogen and the cost associated with this process.  Overall, from all sources, there seems to be a consensus that Solar, Wind, Water/Hydro, Biomass, and Geothermal are the generally accepted consideration for renewable energy sources. Whether or not any particular renewable energy source is also  considered as clean energy source depends on your definition of “clean energy”, meaning how much or how  little the CO2 emission and/or other pollutant is involved. In some cases, environmental impacts are part of the consideration/equation.  In President Obama’s State of the Union 2011 on the eve of Jan. 25, 2011, he appeared to have considered the clean energy  source as energy source that specifically includes solar (a renewable energy), wind (a renewable energy), nuclear, natural gas, and clean coal.  There was no mention of geothermal, hydro, or biomass portion of the renewable energy sources.  This may had been due to the fact that : geothermal process may involve heavy metal pollution and great  need of water use; hydro energy historically had been associated with negative environmental impact; biomass had only played a very small part in the renewable energy scene.  As for the inclusion of nuclear, natural gas, and clean coal,  there may be much discussions. So, let’s take a look at how these three types of energy source work:

1.  How Nuclear Power Works:  http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/nuclear_power_technology/how-nuclear-power-works.html

2.  How Natural Gas Works:  http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_impacts/energy_technologies/how-natural-gas-works.html

3.  How Coal Works:  http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_impacts/energy_technologies/how-coal-works.html

Even though I may not have personally considered nuclear, natural gas, and clean coal  as part of the clean energy portfolio,  I understand this reflects President Obama’s pragmatic nature/disposition, hoping to make a smooth transition rather than an immediate switch-over into a low-carbon economy, with the goal of increased generation from domestic fossil fuels and renewables while cutting carbon emissions and reducing dependence on foreign energy.  Once again, his attempt in bringing diversified groups to the same table and reinforcing the concept of “we are all in this together” is demonstrated. If President Obama is able to bring all of these groups together, then I am in favor of a straight carbon tax (penalty charges based directly/ proportionally on the amount of  carbon emission by a particular group or industry) that will be easily and fairly  understood and implemented.

Thanks to those of you who have been reading my blog and writing to me.  Your remarks are welcomed.  Please feel free to publicly leave your remarks  so that more of us may be able to easily share your insights. I also welcome  any questions or concerns you may have regarding the renewable and clean  energy issue.  I would really like to compile as many and as basic as the  questions/ concerns may be involved in renewable and/or clean energy.  As  you can see, just the basic definition of Clean Energy vs. Renewable Energy  may take quite a while.  But with changing time and political expediency,  definitions may fluctuate with time. As for those of you who are teaching our youth/leaders of tomorrow, please feel free to ask your students to post  comments or questions.  Much of our decisions today will impact these youths tomorrow.

written & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

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www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

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