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Renewable Energy.docx

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Department
Geography
Course
Geography 3422A/B
Professor
Milford Green
Semester
Fall

Description
Renewable Energy 12/4/2012 8:06:00 AM Alternate Energy Sources  Hydrogen fuel cells – use stored hydrogen and oxygen from the air to produce electricity  Biofuels – fuel technology for diesel engines, comes from natural oils like soybeans o Biomass is what biofuels are made out of  Solar – solar panels capture solar energy by way of sunlight  Wind – wind power captures through turbines converts kinetic energy that can later generate electricity  Ethanol – sugar cane and corn  Ocean – draws energy from ocean waves, tides, or thermal energy  Geothermal – highly dependent on location, use the heat of the earth for geothermal heat pumps Renewable Energy  Solar power saw the biggest leap in 2010 with the installed base jumping 70% compared with 2009 to 40 gigawatts  Wind power grew strongly adding 24% of generating capacity  The biggest source of renewable electricity is hydro power and the smallest source only add 3% to capacity  Geographical location is very important for alternate fuels o Solar o Geothermal o Ocean o Wind  The rapid development of shale gas production has already driven down gas prices and undermined economic case for investment in the new nuclear energy and wind power  The Energy Information Administration says recoverable reserves of natural gas are much larger than originally estimated  Hydrocarbons o Natural gas and oil o In the future, the world will still be ruled by hydrocarbons Countries and Renewable Energy  Germany o Leads the world in its installed capacity of renewable energy sources o The third biggest producer of solar panels after China and Japan o Mostly wind, followed by solar and biomass  Canada’s Renewable Energy o Solar – BC, Ontario and Quebec o Bioenergy – BC, Ontario, Quebec o Hydro – Quebec  US Renewable Energy o The potential for government quotas is a major reason why electric utilities in the SE and parts of the Midwest are new beginning to build industrial-scale plants that burn wood and other plant material (biomass) o Biofuel – US relies on corn for most of its biofuel Wind  Wind patterns are not always predictable  Central US has the highest wind speeds  East coast, west coast, Hudson Bay and Great Lakes have the highest wind speeds in Canada o The countries current installed capacity is 4,155 MW, which is enough to power over 1 million Canadian homes  China’s installed wind capacity has grown from 0.3 GW in 2000 to 42.3 GW in 2011 o Now accounts for 22% of the world’s total wind power capacity  The project called Cape Wind is a Boston firm’s plan to build 130 windmills across 25 square miles of federal waters off Cape Cod  A big problem is that there are no high capacity transmission lines near areas of high wind generation capability  5 years ago there wasn’t a single Chinese wind turbine maker among the world’s top 10 manufacturers, there are now 4 o China is putting up new turbines at the rate of one an hour o Government provides access to finance for purchases  Off shore wind farms are now under serious development o More popular in Europe because of scarce onshore sites  The UK, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium and other Northern European neighbors are gearing up to add giant wind farms up to 120 miles off their coasts o Part of their efforts to shift to renewable power sources to meet tough EU climate change targets for 2020 and ensure that the region isn’t too dependent on imported supplies of natural gas  Contribution to global wind generation o US – 28% o Germany – 14.2% o Spain – 13.8% o China – 9.9% o India – 6.1% Solar Power  Photovoltaics – solar cells that directly convert sunlight into electricity, made of semiconducting materials  Passive heating, cooling and day lighting o No mechanical means are employed in passive solar heating  Concentrating solar power  Countries with the most solar power capacity installed o Germany o Spain o Japan o US  Molten salt – can be used in solar-power generation to store heat until it is needed  Solar farms – large collection of solar panels  Canadian solar radiation – best place is the southern prairies  Sarnia photovoltaic power plant o The world’s second largest photovoltaic plant with 97 MW o Plant consists of over 1.3 million panels o Project was developed by E
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