Energy Resources: Overview & Non-Renewable An overview on energy for Introduction to Environmental Science
Energy Basics • A kilowatt-hour means one kilowatt (1,000 watts) of electricity produced or consumed for one hour. • A Megawatt is (1,000,000 watts) • A Gigawatt is (1,000,000,000 watts) • An average U.S. household uses about 10,655 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each year. American Wind Energy Association
Energy Consumption Facts • About 94% of the commercial energy used in the US comes from non-renewable resources • The US is the largest energy consumer in the world • In developing countries, approximately 50% use wood and/or charcoal • Fossil fuels contribute more air pollution than any other fuel source
Non-Renewable Energy Types • Coal • Oil • Natural Gas • Nuclear Energy • About 78% of the commercial energy used worldwide comes from non-renewable sources
Coal “An old and reliable fuel source”
Coal Facts • One-quarter of the world’s coal supply is found within the United States. • “Coal is the work horse of the nation’s energy supply, supplying more than half of the United States’ electric supply” (US DOE). • 27.4% of the energy generated worldwide is produced from coal (Energy Information Administration). • Developing countries' demand for coal will double through 2020 (EIA).
Coal Types • Anthracite- Highest carbon content and used more in residential • Bituminous- Most plentiful in the US used in electricity • Sub-Bituminous- It has a lower sulfur content, but a lower carbon than the two listed above • Lignite- A very young coal with the lowest carbon content
Bituminous Coal Anthracite Coal Lignite Coal
2005 U.S. Coal Production by Region Sources: Energy Information Administration, Annual Coal Report, 2005, DOE/EIA-0584(2005) (Washington, DC, October 2006).
Petroleum - Oil “It powers transportation in the United States” Production Consumption Solutions
TOP 5 CRUDE OIL PRODUCING COUNTRIES Saudi Arabia Canada Russia United States Iran China Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC “An intergovernmental coalition of oil exporting nations created at a conference in Baghdad in 1960.”
Picture: Phillips Petroleum © Tammy Sharp
International Crude Oil Production Millions of Barrels per Day
One Barrel = 42 gallons Source: American Petroleum Institute (www.api.org). Figures are based on 1995 average yields for U.S. refineries. One barrel contains 42 gallons of crude oil. The total volume of products made is 44.2 GALLONS - 2.2 gallons greater than the original 42 gallons of crude oil. This is called "processing gain," where other chemicals are added to the refining process to create the products.
Increasing Oil Production • Could negatively impact the environment despite new technologies • Too little potential for oil despite the effort the that is put into it • There is always a chance for a major oil spill like those in Alaska and off the coast of Spain • Increasing carbon dioxide levels and reliance on fossil fuels
Advantages High net energy yield Better technology Decent supply Is part of the culture Disadvantages Environmental problems for burning this fuel Contributes to Global Warming Not an unlimited supply Destroys the environment when obtained Oil Usage Tradeoffs G. Tyler Miller 2008
Natural Gas Facts It is the nation's fastest-growing energy source, with demand forecast to increase by about 22 percent between now and 2030 (EIA Annual Energy outlook 2006), including a more than 62 percent increase for electric power generation (EIA Annual Energy outlook 2006).
History • First Recorded Use of Natural Gas (600 B.C.) by the Chinese using hollow bamboo poles to collect it. • Used in Persia in 100 A.D. after lightening hit a natural gas seepage from the ground causing an everlasting flame. • In the 1600’s it was lighted from a ground seepage around Lake Erie. Source: Culverco.com
Natural Gas • “NATURAL GAS is used in over 60 million homes. In addition, natural gas is used in 78 percent of restaurants, 73 percent of lodging facilities, 51 percent of hospitals, 59 percent of offices, and 58 percent of retail buildings” (American Petroleum Institute) • It meets 23 percent of U.S. energy requirements • It accounts for more than 90 percent of new electricity capacity built in last 5 years
Advantages High Net Energy Yield Not as high a carbon dioxide emission as other fossil fuels Can be used in many scenarios Greater supply than crude oil Disadvantages Produces environmental pollution including Carbon monoxide Contributes to Global Warming Not an unlimited supply Can be more dangerous than other fuels to handle Natural Gas Usage Tradeoffs G. Tyler Miller 2005
Nuclear Energy “It was supposed to be the fuel source to end all energy problems and power our future.”
How a Nuclear Reactor Works • The nucleus of a heavy element, such as uranium, splits when bombarded by a free neutron in a nuclear reactor.(1) The fission process for uranium atoms yields two smaller atoms, one to three free neutrons, plus an amount of energy. • This leads to a continuous reaction which is considered a chain reaction.
Uranium vs. Plutonium • Uranium has a half-life of 10,000 years • Plutonium has a half-life of 240,000 years
Boiling Water Reactor U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Pressurized Water Reactor U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Plant • Began operating in 1969 as the first large-scale commercial nuclear power plant in the United States. • Single boiling water reactor produces 636 net megawatts*. • It serves 600,000 homes • Located at Forked River, Ocean County, N.J. on the Jersey Shore * A megawatt-hour equals one million watts produced or used for one hour
The Future of Nuclear • Currently it is supplying 19% of the world’s energy supply • It is forecast to drop to only 12% of the world’s energy supply within the next 40 years • The NRC reports that there will be a 15-45% chance of a complete core meltdown within the next 20 years. • At least 228 reactors worldwide are scheduled for retirement