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Energy to Power the World: I What is Energy Photosynthesis Fossil Fuels Kinetic Energy Energy contained in moving objects Examples include your notebook falling down the stairs, your brother falling off the couch, water over a waterfall Potential Energy Stored energy

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energy to power the world i

Energy to Power the World: I

What is Energy


Fossil Fuels

energy is the ability to do work
Kinetic Energy

Energy contained in moving objects

Examples include your notebook falling down the stairs, your brother falling off the couch, water over a waterfall

Potential Energy

Stored energy

Two types: Physical and Chemical

Physical: examples include your brother teetering on the edge of the couch, water about to go over waterfall

Chemical: Energy stored in chemical bonds. In the foods you eat, gas you burn

Energy is the ability to do work
what you need to know about the universe
What you need to know about the Universe
  • Energy and matter are conserved!
  • Implications:
    • matter is recycled on Earth (a carbon atom that was once in a Tyrannosaurus Rex could be in your little pinky)
    • Energy can change forms (potential to kinetic), but will not magnify or diminish itself
      • 1st Law of Thermodynamics
    • Energy is spread around as it is converted from one form to another – get less useful energy out than is put in
      • 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
what you need to know about energy on the earth
What you need to know about Energy on the Earth
  • The Earth’s energy comes from
    • The sun
    • The Earth’s internal and gravitational energy
  • The Sun’s energy powers
    • the weather
    • the ocean waves and currents
    • most living things
    • your car!
  • Net chemical reaction:
    • 6H2O + 6 CO2 + solar energy

 (enabled by chlorophyll)

C6H12O6 (sugar) +6O2

    • Photosynthesis stores solar energy in chemical bonds
  • Energy can be used immediately for cellular respiration
    • C6H12O6 (sugar) +6O2 

6H2O + 6 CO2 + released energy

  • Energy can be stored for millions of years in organic deposits (fossil fuels)
fossil fuels
Fossil Fuels
  • Coal
  • Oil
  • Natural Gas

Increasing depth of burial decreases moisture content and improves

quality of coal


Coal forming regions

The Earth 350 Million Years ago


Vegetation 300 million years ago

Plant Fossils of West Virginia Web site:


US Coal Deposits

Note: Few high quality (anthracite) deposits

today s oil is yesterday s plankton
Today’s oil is yesterday’s plankton
  • Small marine and lake organisms live in surface waters
  • They die, fall to the bottom and get buried into an organic rich sedimentary layer
  • If geologic processes heat and squeeze these rocks sufficiently, they will create crude oil and natural gas from the fossils
  • Crude oil and natural gas will migrate toward the surface
  • Geologic traps must exist to create an oil field
examples of geologic traps
Examples of geologic traps

“pumping oil out is like sucking liquid out of a sponge”

that pesky second law of thermodynamics
That pesky second law of thermodynamics!
  • 1/2 of all the energy in primary fuels is lost during conversion to useable forms
  • 2/3 of energy in coal is lost in power plant conversion to electricity
  • 3/4 of energy in crude oil is lost by the time you finish burning it as gas in your car

Energy to Power the World: II

  • How it’s used, who uses it
  • How long will it last?
demographics of energy use
Demographics of Energy Use
  • The 20 richest countries consume
    • 80% of natural gas
    • 65% of oil
    • 50% of coal
  • US and Canada have 5% of world population, use 25% of available energy
    • Each person in US and Canada uses 60 barrels of oil per year – more than an Ethiopian would use in a year
  • Developed countries that import a large proportion of their fuel have better conservation methods

Similar to

CS Fig. 21.10



Similar to

CS Fig. 21.13


the end of cheap oil

The End of Cheap Oil

Campbell and Laherrere

Scientific American, 1998


what oil companies would have you believe
What oil companies would have you believe
  • 1,020 billion barrels of oil in reserve that will be just as cheap as it is today
  • Production can continue at today’s levels for many decades to come
what campbell and laherrere would have you believe
What Campbell and Laherrere would have you believe
  • Amount of oil in reserve has been distorted
  • Production will not remain constant for very long
  • The last bucket of oil is not as easy to remove as the first
why distort reserves
Why distort reserves?
  • Looks good, nobody checks
  • When countries increase their reserves, they are allowed to export more oil
hubbert curve
Hubbert Curve
  • Flow of oil starts to fall when ~1/2 of crude oil is gone
  • In 1956, M. King Hubbert of Shell Oil used this curve to successfully predict US peak in production in 1970

C & L, p. 80

global discovery peaked in 1960
Global discovery peaked in 1960

C & L, p. 82

Industry has found 90% of oil that exists

how long will it last46
How long will it last?

C & L, p. 81

Perhaps more importantly, when will it become expensive?

major conclusions
Major conclusions
  • US oil production peaked in 1970
  • Norway peaking about now
  • World production will peak this decade!
  • By 2002, Mid-East will have control over major part of supply
oil will get expensive
Oil will get expensive!
  • 1,000 billion barrels left
  • At 20 billion barrels/year, will last ~50 years
  • Will start to decline in production within 10 years
  • Oil shales and tar sands may help ease pain, but will have environmental consequences

"The fundamental driver of the 20th Century's economic prosperity has been an abundant supply of cheap oil.... Middle East share ... is now about 30%. Unlike in the 1970s, this time it is set to continue to rise.... Share will likely reach 35% by 2002 and 50% by 2009. By then, the Middle East too will be close to its depletion midpoint, and unable to sustain production much longer irrespective of investment or desire."

C. J. Campbell

Oil and Gas Journal, March 20, 2000


The USGS estimates that

economically recoverable oil

is just 152 days of supply


dr walter youngquist geotimes 1998

“We are most fortunate to be living in a brief, bright interval of human history made possible by an inheritance from half-a-billion years of oil-forming Earth processes. We rarely give thought to the greatly depleted balance in the oil account we are leaving to future generations. When checks can no longer be written against that inheritance, world economies and lifestyles will undergo great changes. Life will go on, but it will be quite different from the present. Most people living today will see the beginning of thosetimes.”

Dr. Walter Youngquist, Geotimes, 1998

energy to power the world iii

Energy to Power the World: III

Alternative Energy sources

Can they make up for declining oil production?

alternative energy
Alternative Energy
  • Nuclear
  • Sustainable
nuclear energy
FISSION (splitting)

How do reactors work?

Reactor models and safety

Waste issues

True costs?

FUSION (fusing)

How would it work?


Nuclear Energy
nuclear waste
Nuclear Waste
  • Staggering amount of damage already done (1 curie=40 billion decays/sec.):
    • US, Europe, Japan didn’t stop dumping in ocean until 1970 (1.25 billion curies)
    • Soviet/Russia didn’t stop until 1993 (2.5 billion curies; 18 reactor cores at bottom of ocean!)
  • Where to put it now?
    • In temporary storage waiting for permanent storage
    • Yucca Mountain $1 billion so far; $10 to $35 billion by completion (2010?)
true costs
True costs?
  • Environmental damage: tailings, runoff, health issues from U mining (200 million tons of tailings today)
    • $billions
  • Storage of reactor waste
    • $35+ billion
  • Decommissioning (tearing down, disposing of old plants – last only 30 years)
    • $200 billion to $1 trillion
  • Heavy hydrogen + EXTREME heat, pressure = fused nuclei + energy
    • 0.1 billion degrees C, millions X our atmospheric pressure
  • Much less radioactive waste produced
  • $25 billion invested worldwide, but not viable yet
sustainable energy
Sustainable Energy
  • Conservation
  • Solar Energy
  • Energy from Biomass
  • Energy from the Earth’s Forces
  • Research in Renewables
  • Like in water resources movie, where every gallon of water conserved is equivalent to a new water source, every kilowatt of energy conserved is the same as a new energy source
  • Utility companies have found that conservation costs $350/kW; new coal plant $1000/kW
  • Superinsulated houses (i.e. Sweden) need 90% less energy
  • Fuel cell technology
fuel cells
Fuel Cells
  • The GE HomeGen 7000
    • fuel processor extracts the hydrogen from the gas or propane.
    • fuel cell changes the hydrogen to electricity.
    • power conditioner converts the fuel cell electricity to the type and quality of power that you use today.
  • To be available 2001
hydro power
Hydro Power
  • Trend to big dams
    • Issues as described in in-class movie
  • Advantages of small turbines
    • Submerged in stream; do not block navigation
    • Can operate under low-flow conditions
    • Don’t interfere with fish movement
    • If stream runs year round, cheaper than solar or wind
wind power
Wind Power
  • Played big role in settling Great Plains
  • Small role now, but World Energy Council says could replace 1-2 billion barrels of oil by 2020
  • Usually located in places impractical for residential use
  • Drawbacks: Affects scenery
researching renewables
Researching Renewables
  • Money declined sharply in early 80’s (Reagan Administration)
  • Money slowly rising, especially in private industry
  • Affected by oil prices?

Scenario for the future

Lundgren, p. 316