Archive for January, 2011
How many petroleum-fired electric generating units (all petroleum products) are there in the United States, and what is the size range of those units?
As of December 31, 2008, there were 3,768 petroleum-fired electric generating units in the U.S.; only 95 exceeded 100 megawatts (MW) in size, and 2,356 are 5 MW or smaller. The smallest units are 0.1 MW; the largest is 901.8 MW.
A recent Scientific American article by Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucchi proposed moving 100% of world energy needs to renewable energy. Read the whole report, which is excellent and thought-provoking. In short, Jacobson and Delucchi suggest electrifying the entire economy, and, for those uses not amenable to electrification, to use hydrogen electrolyzed by renewable sources. They particularly focus on the use of wind, water, and solar energy (WWS, in their lingo).
On a similar note, many politicians call for more — and sometimes exclusive — use of renewable energy. Still others writers, such as Stewart Brand and Roger Pielke, argue that renewable energy is simply not scalable.
In the journal Energy Policy, Jacobson and Delucchi have just published two technical studies (sorry: subscription required) that provide data (lot of it) to back up their claim that a move to a 100% renewable economy is both technically feasible and even affordable.
In the next few days, we at the Energy Forum Online will critically evaluate the idea that 100% of world (or US) energy needs can be satisfied through the use of renewable energy. Please join in to the discussion. This may be the most important public policy issue of our time.
COMING NEXT: What are the future energy needs of the US and the world?
Which states have the largest nuclear power capacity (individual generating unit and total capacity)?
Arizona has the largest individual nuclear generating unit – 1,403.1 megawatts (MW) (it actually has three units that size). Illinois has the largest total nuclear power capacity – 12,045.2 MW.
The levelized cost of coal-fired electricity is around 7 to 8 cents a kilowatt-hour. Wind can be competitive with this price, or even lower, but much depends on the velocity of the wind itself, as the power of a wind turbine is related to the cube of the wind’s velocity.
In general, for the unsubsidized costs of land-based wind energy to be similar to the costs of a new coal-fired power plant, the annual-average wind speed at 80 m must be at least 6.9 m/s (15.4 mph). Data analyses indicate that 15% of the land area in the United States. Globally, 13% of stations are above the threshold.
Source: Delucchi and Jacobson, “Providing all global energy with wind, water, and solar power, Part II: Reliability, system and transmission costs, and policies,” Energy Policy (2010)
Recent developments in both traditional and alternative energy have raised interesting questions about the appropriate level of decisionmaking in energy. Who gets to decide where energy is produced, how it is produced, and in what quantities? Who should have the ultimate say over the location of a wind turbine or gas well, for example, or the length of time for which the well or turbine may operate? Who should be able to require an energy developer to restore a site when energy infrastructure is removed, or to mitigate or avoid certain impacts of development by constructing a new wetland or sensitively developing a wildlife habitat, for example? And who–if anyone–should get to block energy development altogether? These questions have arisen in nearly every energy sector, from oil and natural gas to renewable fuels.
In 2008, former presidential candidate John McCain called for lifting the ban on offshore drilling in certain waters off the U.S. coast, arguing that states–not the federal government–should decide whether or not to continue the moratorium that was then in place. With other influential figures calling generally for a lifted ban in 2008, some coastal state governors vowed to block every attempt to drill, while others supported state control and argued in favor of drilling. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the summer of 2010, some state governors have continued to support offshore drilling, while some mayors within these same states have urged caution. In Virginia, for example, Governor Robert McDonnell lobbied for offshore oil and gas drilling while Mayor Will Sessoms of Virginia Beach began to question his previous support for drilling. And on January 25, 2011, West Coast senators “launched a new drive . . . to ban drilling off the Pacific coast.”
What is the total nameplate capacity of the nuclear power electric generating units in the United States?
The total nameplate capacity of all the nuclear power electric generating units in the U.S. (as of December 31, 2008) was 106,147.3 megawatts.
- U.S. consumption, production and imports of petroleum and other liquid fuels, 1949-2011
- U. S. petroleum imports surpass production
- U.S. imports of petroleum and other liquid fuels as a percentage of consumption, 1949-2011
- U. S. imports of petroleum and other liquids
- U.S. primary energy use and real GDP, 1949-2011
- Growth in U. S. primary energy use and GDP
- U. S. sources of Mercury Emissions, 2008
- U. S. mercury emissions, 2008
- U. S. sources of NOx emissions, 2008
- U. S. nitrogen oxide emissions, 2008
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- June 2010