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Lecture 18

11:375:101 Lecture 18: Renewable_Energy

Environmental Sciences
Course Code
Craig Phelps

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Renewable Energy
Chapter 16: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
16-2: Why Is Energy Efficiency an Important Energy Resource?
Improvements in energy efficiency could save at least a third of the energy used
in the world and up to 43% of the energy used in the US
We have a variety of technologies for sharply increasing the energy efficiency of
industrial operations, motor vehicles, appliances, and buildings
We Use Energy Inefficiently
Energy efficiency
How much useful work we get from each unit energy
Advantages of reducing energy waste
Usually the cheapest way to provide more energy
Reduces pollution and degradation
Slow global warming
Increases economic and national security
Prolongs fossil fuel supplies
Reduces oil imports and improves energy security
Very high net energy yield
Low cost
Reduces pollution and environmental degradation
Buys time to phase in renewable energy
Creates local jobs
Widely used devices that waste energy
Data centers
Incandescent light bulbs
Motor vehicles with internal combustion engines
Nuclear power plants
Coal-fired power plants
Improve Energy Efficiency in Industry, Transportation and Homes with Existing
Combined heat and power (CHP)
Two forms of energy from same fuel source
Energy-efficient electric motors
Recycle materials
Switch from incandescent lighting to higher-efficiency fluorescent and
LED lighting
Build or expand mass transit and high speed rail

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Switch to more energy-efficient cars
Green architecture
Why Are We Still Wasting So Much Energy and Money?
Energy remains artificially cheap
Government subsidies
Tax breaks
Prices don’t include true cost
Few large and long-lasting incentives to save
Government rebates
Low-interest loans
Lack of education
We Can Use Renewable Energy to Provide Heat and Electricity
renewable energy
Solar energy
Hydroelectric power
Wind energy
Biomass energy
Geothermal energy
16-3: Solar Energy
Passive and active solar heating systems can heat water and buildings effectively
Photovoltaic cells produce electricity directly
The costs of using sunlight to produce high-temperature heat and electricity are
coming down
We Can Concentrate Sunlight to Produce High-Temperature Heat and Electricity
Collar thermal systems
Collect sunlight to boil water, generate electricity
1% of world deserts could supply all the world’s electricity
Require large amounts of water
Low net energy yields
High potential for growth
No direct emission of CO2 and other air pollutants
Lower costs with natural gas turbine backup
Source of new jobs
Low net energy and high costs
Needs backup or storage system on cloudy days
Can disrupt desert ecosystems
We Can Use Solar Cells to Produce Electricity
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