1. List three (3) of the main highlights of the 1980 NationalAcademy of Sciences (NAS) 'Energy
in Transition Report' according to Ronald Bailey.
• 3 main highlights according to Ronald Bailey
o the U.S. will be able to achieve energy efficiency improvements
o new sources of energy
o reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through the accelerated deployment of
existing and emerging energy- supply and end-use technologies
Explain in a few words what TomAdams views as the apparent inconsistency of both too much
and too little fossil energy.
• TomAdams believes that
o continued fossil fuel usage is about to cause a climate catastrophe
o fossil fuel supplies are about to be exhausted
List three (3) important physical realities that, according to Vaclav Smil, account for the fact that
the difficulties of shifting away fossil fuels are typically underestimated by renewable energy
· The scale of the required transformation
· It’s likely duration
· The unit capacities of new convertors
· Enormous infrastructural requirements resulting from the low power densities with
which we can harvest renewable energy flows
2. What are the two 'nonmarket failures' discussed by Robert Bradley? Say a few words about
a) Analytic Failure – examples are a per barrel tax on oil or a per ton tax on CO2 emissions that
over or undercorrect the “real problem” – this is caused by an intellectual error or is based on
prejudice on the part of the analyst
b) Government Failure – even a “correct” analytical blueprint is changed by the political
process ie. Special interests add to or subtract from the proposal as in the practice of “log rolling”
is used where extraneous issues are added to the legislation just to win votes.
What are the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources
(ENEV) priorities for action in terms of natural gas, hydropower, regulatory reform and nuclear
The share of the world’s use of energy consumed by OECD countries will decrease due to a
combination of low rates of population growth and increases in efficiency with respect to energy
use. Conflicting Visions of Bradley Monbiot and Smill:
Freemarket (Bradley) former speech writer for enron
-Affordable, conveinient, reliable (need these or energy is no good)
-less government more energy(politicians favor small projects)
Win-win and private property
-sustainable (renewables, less is more)
-Governments as necessary actors
-common good > private property
“Middle Ground” (Smil)
-humanity needs more energy
-Rich countries can do with less
3. In the context of this course, how do we define energy? Work? Power?
Energy – ability/capacity to do work
Work is the force X distance through which that force acts (work done/time) and (energy
Power is the rate at which work is done
Energy conversion processes? Efficiency? Energy Systems?
Energy conversion processes are processes through which energy is transferred from primary
sources to end uses (ex. Electric energy à converted from chemical, nuclear or solar). This is not
perfect due to energy leakages in the form of friction, vibrations and heat losses.
Efficiency is the minimization of energy leakages and increases in (work done/energy spent) or
(work output/ energy input).
Give an illustration of how qualitative differences also matter in terms of energy sources.
2 kinds of coal with identical energy densities; one burns cleanly the other emits smoke and sufur
4. In one sentence, why does Peter Huber argue that wasting energy is not always a vice? It is only by throwing most of the energy away that we can put what's left to productive use.
Not always a vice because by throwing most of the energy away, we are left with the capacity for
productive uses for the remainder of it à necessary loss. Atier of waste is needed to turn “noisy”
grid power into pure power used in a laser. The order of energy increases but energy must be
discarded in the form of heat (usually) as a tradeoff.
How does he illustrate the 'energy waste' inherent in the product of a 10-watt laser beam?
He illustrates the “energy waste” inherent in the product of a 10-watt laser beam by explaining
that grid power is generated by a generator driven by steam from a boiler, usually heated by a
flame from coal or nuclear power. This energy is then transmitted to the site, where it loses
energy in the transmission lines along the way, the drivers/coolers lose heat as well as the laser
5. What does EROEI stand for?
Energy Returned on energy invested.
What are the key insights of its proponents?
Key Insights: it never makes sense to burn two units of energy to extract one unit of energy
Negative EROEI= energy bankruptcy
What is Peter Huber's take on the concept?
You cannot get or maintain such things without dissipating energy. Life and growth being
inescapably dissipative processes, waste is as virtuous as life itself. Peter Huber: M