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Global Energy Challenges: The Promise of Renewables. Dr. Dan E. Arvizu Laboratory Director July 2008. Energy is nearly as critical to survival as water and food, and, in fact, helps deliver these essentials.

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global energy challenges the promise of renewables

Global Energy Challenges: The Promise of Renewables

Dr. Dan E. Arvizu

Laboratory Director

July 2008

NREL is a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy operated by Midwest Research Institute • Battelle

global energy challenges
Energy is nearly as critical to survival as water and food, and, in fact, helps deliver these essentials.

Electricity and fuels are fundamental to commerce, health, education, culture and recreation

We are at a crucial point in how we make and use energy.

Global Energy Challenges

Source: NOAA

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power of the sun
All energy on the Earth originates from the Sun.

The Sun provides more energy to the Earth in one hour than all of the energy consumed by humans in an entire year (National Academy of Sciences).

Power of the Sun

Source: NOAA

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global solar resources
Excellent solar potential shown in dark red, with areas of less potential in lighter colors

Displays a 12-month cycle

In the U.S., the Southwest has the highest solar resource. But even orange and yellow areas have solar potential

Global Solar Resources

Source: NASA SSE v.6/NREL

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global wind resources
Dark colors show highest wind resources.

Includes wind resources 50 nautical miles off coastlines.

In the U.S., the Great Plains contains the highest wind energy potential

Global Wind Resources

Source: PNL 1981 & 1987/NREL

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population growth 1950 2050
Actual and projected population growth 1950 to 2050.

Each dot represents 1 million people.

In 2001, the world population was approximately 6.1 billion.

By 2050, the world population is projected to be 9.4 billion people.

Modernization in countries like China and India driving up energy demand.

Population Growth 1950-2050

Source: United Nations/NREL

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world energy consumption per capita
World energy demand at record level and consumption is projected to increase by 50% from 2005 to 2030

The U.S. consumes approximately 100 Quads (quadrillion Btu) of energy per year, 25% of the world’s total.

Non-OECD countries’ energy consumption (and CO2 emissions) projected to soon outpace OECD countries, principally driven by growth in China and India.

World Energy Consumption per Capita

Source: IEA/UN/NREL

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energy consumption per gdp
Energy intensity describes energy use per dollar of economic activity.

Darker colors indicating higher energy intensity.

Energy Intensity = Energy/GDP.

The U.S. is energy efficient relative to our GDP. This is a function of both efficient energy use and the growth of a service-based economy over heavy industry.

Russia’s energy/GDP is high due to economic decline and heavy industry.

Energy Consumption per GDP

Source: EIA

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global energy mix
Current energy mix for selected countries for fossil, nuclear, and renewable energy.

Chart sizes proportional to each country’s energy consumption

Most nations consume more fossil energy

Global population increases and use of fossil fuels is linked

In next 20 years, use of coal and natural gas to generate electricity will increase more than other sources

Increasing reliance on fossil fuels results in higher energy prices, increased security risks, and higher concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. (National Science Board [NSB], 2008)

Global Energy Mix

Source: EIA/NREL

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major oil producers and consumers
Oil importers in red and exporters in green.

The global oil economy trades petroleum products over great distances

The map also shows locations of security risks like the Suez and Panama canals where energy flows could be blocked.

Major Oil Producers and Consumers

Source: BP Annual Statistical Review of Energy

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global electrification
There is a strong relationship between standard of living and access to energy

This map shows the percentage of the population that has access to electricity around the globe.

Global Electrification

Source: IEA World Energy Outlook 2000

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energy standard of living
2 billion people live without access to modern energy.

Providing more clean energy is a key mechanism in reaching the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.

Goals include:

Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Achieve universal primary education

Promote gender equality and empower women

Reduce child mortality

Improve maternal health

Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other infectious diseases

Ensure environmental sustainability

Develop a global partnership for development

Energy = Standard of Living

Source: NOAA

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temperature change under bau
Man-made carbon dioxide emissions are almost entirely from fossil-fuel use. (NSB)

CO2 emissions projected to rise to to 42.3 billion in 2030—a 51% increase

This map shows temperature change caused by greenhouse gas emissions with a business as usual scenario for energy generation and use.

Even with immediate efforts, climate change is expected to persist. (NSB)

Temperature Change under BAU

Source: NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab

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impacts of temperature rise
Further increases in global average temperature could

Diminish access to water and food

Increase disease

Increase extreme weather events

Disperse populations and cultures with rising sea levels (NSB)

Impacts of Temperature Rise

Source: NOAA

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temperature change with low carbon
This map shows how renewable energy technologies might influence climate change

No technological silver bullet

A comprehensive approach includes a responsible mix of resources, greater energy efficiency, carbon storage and environmental management

Carbon-neutral, renewable energy sources include hydro, geothermal, solar, wind and biomass

Temperature Change with Low Carbon

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slide16
At the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory or NREL, our scientists and researchers develop innovative technologies to make renewable energy more accessible, affordable, reliable, and environmentally sustainable every day. NREL

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three decades of research
As the nation’s applied research and development laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency, technology development is our strength and is central to our mission.

For more than 30 years, we have been starting with raw materials and knowledge and creating solar cells, wind turbine design, biofuels, and many other energy technologies.

Three Decades of Research

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nrel r d capabilities
Our R&D capabilities allow us to develop and advance renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies more effectively through the full R&D life-cycle—from basic scientific research through applied research and engineering, to testing, scale-up, and demonstration.

NREL\'s R&D areas of expertise are:

Renewable electricity

Renewable fuels

Integrated energy system engineering and testing

Strategic energy analysis

NREL R&D Capabilities

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nrel technology transfer
NREL’s unique facilities and world-renown staff are recognized and valued by industry as demonstrated through hundreds of collaborative research and development projects, licensed technologies, and national and international awards.

We provide technical expertise, serving as objective experts who analyze and test prototypes, validate performance, and suggest areas for improvement, while also helping our partners integrate their products into today’s energy infrastructure.

NREL Technology Transfer

A critical part of the laboratory’s mission is to transfer NREL-developed technologies into the commercial marketplace.

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energy transformation at nrel
At NREL, we understand that to meet current and future energy needs, change cannot be incremental.

The world must transform its current energy system on a global scale.

In order to help achieve this transformation, our nation must focus on moving next-generation energy technologies into the marketplace rapidly, and on a scale that has far-reaching impacts.

Energy Transformation at NREL

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no more business as usual
Business as usual is not only not going to get us to this global transformation, but it also puts our planet and way of life on a precarious path.No More Business as Usual

Source: NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab

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low carbon scenario
To achieve a sustainable global energy future, experts agree that it will require forward-thinking solutions and rapid technology innovation.

Data image to come

Low Carbon Scenario

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conclusion
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has a strong track record of providing national and global leadership in developing renewable energy and energy efficiency advances to address energy challenges. Conclusion

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