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Title: Energy%20Security

Designing a Sustainable Energy Transformation

Alternative Energy NOW Conference January 23,
2009 Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Darel Preble chair, Space Solar Power
  • Peaking Fossil Fuels
  • Robert Hirsch finds the most current and
    authoritative researches predict peak global oil
    production will occur between 2008 and 2018,
    Robelius dissertation.
  • "The Oil Crunch" report commissioned by 8
    private UK companies projects a global oil peak
    production around 2012. -

Peaking Fossil Fuels (2)
Latest IEA World Energy Outlook has updated this
global petroleum decline rate from 3.7 to 6.7
! http//
(No Transcript)
  • Americas energy security and global
    environment are at risk.
  • The U.S. is doing NOTHING on the massive energy
    scale required.    

  • Soaring oil prices exposed unwise credit and
    energy policies, and triggering global recession.
    As oil prices peaked, the SP/Case-Shiller
    home-price index declined 25 from its summer
    2006 peak to Oct 2008 and shows no sign of

Financial Forecast for 2009 by Gail Tverberg
  • Peaking Coal
  • The most current and authoritative research
    predicts peak global coal production by 2025. -
    "Peak coal by 2025 say researchers", initiated by
    a German member of Parliament. Authors Dr.
    Werner Zittel and Jörg Schindler
    f and

  • Oil Prices are tied to many materials
  • April 9, 2008 - Japan's three biggest steel
    makers -- Nippon Steel, JFE Holdings's JFE Steel
    and Sumitomo Metal Industries -- all accepted
    Australian miner BHP Billiton Ltd.'s offer to
    supply coking coal at 300 per ton for fiscal
    2008, up from 98 last year.
  • Chubu Electric Power agreed to pay Swiss
    mining firm Xstrata 125 per metric ton of
    Australian thermal coal this fiscal year, more
    than double the 55 per ton paid last year.
    Earlier this year a 65 increase in iron-ore
    prices was absorbed. - http//

The Natural Gas Peaking Disaster
  • The U.S. has the highest natural gas prices in
    the world.
  • Why?

(No Transcript)
High natural gas prices are a particular
hardship for the U.S. chemical industry, the
nations largest industrial consumer of natural
gas. U.S. natural gas prices are the highest in
the world. We have lost more than 50 billion in
business to overseas competition. More than
90,000 good-paying jobs in our industry have
disappeared, as well as collateral jobs in
associated businesses. Unless immediate action
is taken, the continued viability of a great
American industry is in jeopardy.
  • - Tom Reilly, President, American Chemistry
    Council, letter to President Bush November 19,
    2004 http//

USGS assessment of Mexicos oil gas reserves
(billion barrels oil equivalent) (EIA estimates)
1998 2003
Oil 49 12
Natural Gas 35 6
Total 84 18
  • Source "A Case Study on Peak Energy - The U. Ss
    Natural Gas Disaster http//www.simmonsco-intl.c

  • The supply gap for the US natural gas market
    alone could reach 10 Trillion Cubic feet/year by
    20201. (In Btu equivalent terms, this is
    nearly twice the amount of oil the U.S. currently
    imports from the Middle East.) Globally the oil
    supply gap of 2020 has been projected to be 15
    million barrels per day2. On the massive
    TeraWatt scale required, only SSP can provide the
    clean reliable baseload energy the world
    requires. No other alternative energy technology
  • 1 Playing with Fire - Part II,
  • 2 Is There A Painless Way To Fill The Oil
    Supply Gap?, by Dr Michael R. Smith,

  • David Rutledge, chair of Caltechs Division
    of Engineering and Applied Science, applied
    Hubberts projection techniques to combined
    fossil fuel reserve equivalents.
  • Rutledges projection is for peak world oil,
    gas, and coal production by 2019!!
  • - Hubbert's Peak, The Coal Question, and
    Climate Change, by David Rutledge, chair of
    Caltechs Division of Engineering and Applied
    Science.  Slides, workbook and video are all at
  • As EIA forecasts to 2030 shows, we continue
    doing NOTHING on the scale required!  

Coal Exports SoaringIn 2007, the U. S. exported
almost 60 million tons of coal. In the first nine
months of 2008 coal producers exported more coal
than all of 2007, Estimates for 2009 are 100
million tons. With dollar devaluation, the
"United States is on sale right now," said James
River CEO Peter Socha.- Energy Risk - New Coal
Economics, By Lee Buchsbaum, December 29, 2008,
US Energy Companies Declining in Global Clout and
Production Control
  • Gazprom working on Gas Monopoly
  • April 9, 2008 - While Russia's Gazprom regularly
    disrupts gas supplies to its neighbors, it is
    working hard to partner with gas suppliers in
    Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria the top four
    gas producing countries in Africa.
  • It is clearly motivated by the desire to acquire
    a monopoly or near-monopoly of gas supplies to
    Western Europe and perhaps the US.
  • -The de-flattening of the world, By Martin
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//

  • Climate change
  • 'We have only four years left to act on climate
  • America must lead.
  • "cap-and-trade" must be scrapped - just "weak
    tea" - doesnt work. James Hansen, January 18,
  • http//

But what are our power alternatives?
  Clean? Safe? Reliable? Reliable? Baseload?
Fossil Fuel No Yes Imminent Peaks Imminent Peaks Yes
Nuclear No Yes Costs, Fuel, Politics Costs, Fuel, Politics Yes
Wind Power Yes Yes No, intermittent No, intermittent No
Geothermal Yes Yes No, Limited availability No, Limited availability Yes
Ground Solar Yes Yes No, intermittent No, intermittent No
Hydro Yes Yes No drought complex scheduling No drought complex scheduling No drought complex scheduling
Bio-fuels Yes Yes Very limited quantities competes with food production. Poor EROEI Very limited quantities competes with food production. Poor EROEI Very limited quantities competes with food production. Poor EROEI
SSP Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Conservation nice, but not enough
  • Carpooling
  • New LED and compact fluorescent lighting
  • Energy efficient appliances
  • Cooking with Microwave ovens, inductive heating,
    etc., over conventional ovens
  • Adding insulation to walls and ceiling, Double
    glaze windows Bermed houses
  • Decoupled energy rate structures
  • Jevons paradox

Electrifying our transportation
systemHybrid/electric cars trucksLight rail
subwaysElectric trains - with Super batteries
e.g. Cuis nanowire batterySuper capacitors
e.g. EEstor
Most states, led by Californias aggressive and
failing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), have
legislated a renewable energy transformation.
Californias RPS was initiated in 2002. Their
goal is 20 RPS by 2010.
Loss of wind causes Texas power grid emergency
Reuters - Feb 27, 2008 - A drop in wind
generation triggered an electric emergency that
caused the Texas grid operator to cut service to
some large customers, Electric Reliability
Council of Texas (ERCOT) said. The grid operator
went directly to the second stage of an emergency
plan at 641 PM CST. ERCOT said the grid's
frequency dropped suddenly when wind production
fell from more than 1,700 megawatts, before the
event, to 300 MW when the emergency was
Solar panels a 'loser,' professor says
Installing them amounts to 'THROWING MONEY AWAY'
Feb. 21, 2008 - Installing solar panels on
homes is an economic "loser" with the costs far
outweighing the financial benefit, said a
respected University of California-Berkeley
business professor. Using photovoltaic panels to
generate electricity is not competitive with
fossil fuels and costs more than other renewable
fuels, said Severin Borenstein, who also directs
the UC Energy Institute. A typical PV system
costs between 86,000 and 91,000 to install,
while the value of its power over its lifetime
ranges from 19,000 to 51,000. Even using
favorable criteria, the cost would still be 80
percent more than the value of the electricity
produced. http//
  • "We are in the beginning stages of major changes
    to agricultural markets caused by rapidly
    expanding production of bio-fuels.
  • Credit Suisse Group, in Corn Is Booming as
    Ethanol Heats Up, http//
  • To reach Bushs 20 percent ethanol goal, corn
    production must grow to 167 percent of its 2005
    levels, and every kernel must go into ethanol.
     Corn is the major feed/ingredient for chickens,
    pigs, cattle milk, cheese, eggs, hamburger,
    Coke, Pepsi, Jack Daniels, etc., ...
  • (By weight, a McDonalds hamburger is 52

For biodiesel production, you want a high lipid
fraction. All evidence to date shows that the
high lipid contents desired, can only be achieved
in physiological stress, notably nitrogen
starvation. GreenFuel uses flue gases - which
are rich in CO2. Nitrogen starvation is, however,
out of the question, since flue gases are also
rich in NOx. Krasnov has shown that GreenFuels
method will not be economically feasible.
Fundamental thermodynamic constraints make it
impossible for the approach to be commercially
viable for fuel prices below 800/bbl, even with
flawless technological implementation. -
GreenFuel Technologies A Case Study for
Industrial Photosynthetic Energy Capture
In May 2008, GreenFuel Technologies closed a
13.9M venture capital round led by Access
Private Equity, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and
Polaris Venture Partners.
Biofuels (2)
  • Global yields of most biofuels crops have
    been overestimated by 100 to 150 percent or more.
    Many countries need to reset their expectations
    of agricultural biofuels to a more realistic
  • - Resetting global expectations from
    agricultural biofuels - Matt Johnston et al 2009
    Environ. Res. Lett. 4 014004 (9pp)   doi
    10.1088/1748-9326/4/1/014004 and

Biofuels (3)
  • The four best (kg/hectare) biodiesel crops only
    grow in the tropics. If all the world's
    vegetable oil were converted to biodiesel, it
    would provide about 8 of world consumption of
    diesel. Some countries have targets of 10
    biodiesel, thus the reason why some groups are
    convinced these targets will lead to starvation.
  • - The Myth of Biofuels by David
    Fridley of Lawrence Berkeley Labs, June 2007.

Biofuels (4)
  • We think that the market share of bio-fuels
    in 2030 will only be 7 of global fuel
    production. To reach 7 , one will need an
    agricultural area equal to Australia, plus Korea,
    Japan and New Zealand.
  • - International Energy Agency chief economist

Advantages of Space Solar Power
  • Peaking units, like windmills or ground solar
    are intermittent, providing power for 25-30 of a
    day on average. SSP is baseload available 99
    of the year from GeoSynchronous Orbit. Baseload
    nuclear or coal plants, are actually available
    only 90 of the year. It ignores clouds, night,
    wind and dirt.
  • SPS requires no fuel zero pollution and has
    no operations personnel it is an antenna with
    farms underneath. (rectenna is the proper term).
    SSP is the cleanest source of virtually unlimited
    baseload energy.

Advantages of Space Solar Power
  • SSP takes advantage of our historic investment in
    aerospace and other technical expertise to
    increase STEM jobs. SSP technology is
    near-term-available with multiple attractive
    approaches and would create millions of inspiring
    and important jobs.
  • SSP would revitalize America by taking advantage
    of a multitude of space-development-related
    technologies that are vitally relevant to our
    current problems, including
  • space transportation telerobotics
  • wireless power transfer photovoltaics
    lunar settlement
  • environmental science engineering
    energy competition

Advantages of Space Solar Power
  • Unlike oil, gas, ethanol, bio-fuel, and coal, SSP
    emits no CO2. It is an antenna (or rectenna)!
    Rising CO2 drives climate change, compounding our
    massive environmental problems
  • Slowly declining global nutrition, since most
    plants, such as rice and wheat, are critically
    dependent on CO2 levels.
  • Weather changes from drought to hurricanes that
    we are barely beginning to understand.

Advantages of Space Solar Power
  • Drought Competition for Water - Today's average
    coal-fired power plant withdraws 25,000 gallons
    of river water to provide an average household
    with 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month 31,000
    gallons if nuclear-fired. Natural gas plants use
    less water than coal. Output water must be
    carefully monitored, especially in summer, to
    avoid fish kills from dangerously higher water
    temperatures.  Newer "closed loop" power systems
    that rely on cooling towers use less water, but
    "consume" much more - over 70 percent of the
    water withdrawn.
  • - "Energy Risk Sinking Water and
    Rising Tensions", December 7, 2007, by Ken
    Silverstein, EnergyBiz Insider, Editor-in-Chief,

Advantages of Space Solar Power
  • SSP would reduce competition for other scarce
    resources besides water. The most advanced space
    photovoltaic material now generates 16.8 Kw/kg !
  • Liquid fuels can be made from SSP power, such as
    anhydrous ammonia which can be moved through the
    same pipelines as gasoline. It is 111 octane. We
    have been making liquid ammonia for 50 years for
    farming. It also fueled the X-15 rocket plane!

  • Advantages of Space Solar Power
  • Valuable farm land, forest and wetlands is not
    wasted. Ground solar takes 100 times as much land
    usage to provide the same power as baseload SSP!!

Advantages of Space Solar Power
  1. Unlike bio-ethanol or bio-diesel, SSP does not
    compete for increasingly valuable
    natural-gas-derived fertilizer. Corn can continue
    to be a major export instead of a fuel to burn,
    while raising the prices of other foods from milk
    and eggs to cheese, hamburgers and Jack Daniels.
  2. Unlike nuclear power plants, SSP will not produce
    hazardous waste, invite nuclear weapons
    proliferate, or provide targets for terrorists.

Advantages of Space Solar Power
  1. Unlike coal and nuclear fuels, SSP does not
    require environmentally problematic mining
  2. SSP can provide true energy independence for the
    nations that develop it, eliminating a major
    source of national competition for limited
    Earth-based energy resources and dependence on
    unstable or hostile foreign oil providers.

Advantages of Space Solar Power
  • SSP can be easily exported anywhere in the
    world. Contracting local utilities can provide
    its energy to local needs from household
    appliances in rural India to desalination of sea
    water in Australia.
  • Only local utilities can provide the massive
    customer load SSP naturally delivers with
    currently available technology. They would build
    and own the rectenna, which would be part of
    their transmission grid, partners with Sunsat

Advantages of Space Solar Power
  • Only SSP can provide a market large enough to
    develop the low-cost space transportation system
    required to enable an SSP business case. This
    low-cost space transport will open the solar
    system to Earths economic reach and even
    settlement, but only Sunsat Corp. can and must
    incentivize the low cost orbital space
    transportation market it requires to close its
    business case.

Advantages of Space Solar Power
  • Sunsat Corp should have no financial stake in
    lunar settlement, but may enable it by being a
    major customer for products manufactured on the
    Moon. It is twenty times more energy efficient to
    bring products from the Moon than Earth. Asteroid
    miners are already building business cases for
    cis-lunar mining based on lower launch costs.
  • Asteroid protection becomes more vital to not
    only protect Earth, but also a large assortment
    of huge satellites. For more information see

Advantages of Space Solar Power
  • Eventually Sunsat Corp could provide much of its
    own fuel, through electromagnetic launch which
    even now could be developed as a first stage. See

So How do we build SSP? No company(s) or
agency(s), however, is prepared to assume the
immense financial risk of initiating construction
of an SSPS. There are simply too many
engineering, financial, regulatory and managerial
risks for any group we have been able to identify
to undertake SSP today. But this road has been
well traveled by America before ...
There is a tried and true vehicle, that could
initiate SSP construction today. A private
Congressionally chartered corporation has all
the requisite advantages. Comsat Corp.,
chartered in 1962, opened space for communication
satellites - when we knew little about space,
rockets or space communications. Communications
satellites are now a 100 Billion industry per
year. The Sunsat Act would accomplish the same
task, creating a space solar power industry of
much greater size.
Trans-Continental Railroad Cape Horn at The
Head of The Great American Canon, - Frank
Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, April 27, 1878
Congress chartered Comsat 1962 to build
communications satellites. Comsat Corp. opened
space to the diverse 100 Billion per year
communications satellite business of today.
Congress should charter a new corporation, Sunsat
Corp. to build power satellites. Draft
legislation for Sunsat, very much like Comsat,
would have all the requisite advantages. We
recommend that congress charter Sunsat Corp.
The electric power industry is the most capital
intensive business in the world. This is why
utilities are generally regulated monopolies
because ownership of major power plants is really
a public trust. Sunsat also needs to be organized
the same way.
  • This legislation would provide a launch
    subsidy to new private or public/ private
    businesses, such as SunSat Corp, which are
    contracting for space transportation. This
    subsidy would be in the form of stock transfers
    and loan guarantees.
  • Sunsat Corp. is aiming for 42,000 flights per
    year, nominally. Prices would quickly fall below
    current levels once subsidies established such a
    market volume.

The Path of Space Solar Power
  • If we move soon, we can alleviate much of the
    disastrous impact that other attempts to
    substitute for SSP will have, such as raising the
    cost of food and starving millions worldwide.
    Many economical alternatives can contribute -
    beginning with electrifying our transportation
    systems, such as hybrid-electric cars, as Japan
    and France are doing . The technologies and
    infrastructure required to make SSP feasible
  • Low-cost, environmentally-friendly launch
    vehicles. Current launch vehicles are too
    expensive, and at high launch rates may pose
    atmospheric pollution problems of their own. Only
    SSP enables and requires these.

The Path of Space Solar Power - 2
  • Large scale in-orbit construction and operations.
    The physics requires that solar power satellites
    must be huge, gathering massive utility-scale
    quantities of energy.
  • World photovoltaic (PV) production would be
    greatly expanded into space, where it began in
    1958 with our Vanguard I spacecraft. Currently
    just 0.03 of worldwide electricity is generated
    from photovoltaic power. 2006 world PV production
    was 2.1 GW
  • All other necessary technologies are similarly
    reasonably near-term and have multiple attractive
    approaches. However, much work (STEM jobs) that
    we understand well is needed to bring them to
    practical fruition

  • SSP would revitalize America by showing that
    a multitude of space-development-related-education
    al-fields, from telerobotics to wireless power
    transfer and environmental sciences, are vitally
    relevant to these great problems.
  • Reduced launch costs, the key enabler, will
    provide unprecedented access to space and space
    operations beginning with clean, baseload,
    sustainable SSP - reliable power delivery and
    global energy security at greatly reduced
    environmental impact. Only SSP can support this
    vastly expanded space launch market.
  • Choosing to charter an SSP corporation would
    be a small step for man, a giant leap for

COTS Program
  • NASA plans to retire the shuttle by 2010
    and has selected two companies to supply
    commercial cargo resupply services to the
    International Space Station
  • - eight flights valued at about 1.9 billion
    from Orbital Sciences and 12 flights valued at
    about 1.6 billion from SpaceX

Prices drop as flight rate increases Red dots are
Elon Musk, SpaceX, 1300/lb and Roger Angels
20/lb (Sandia electromagnetic launch)
The FAAs 2007 Commercial Space Transportation
Forecast shows a declining launch market no
change is forecast in high launch costs
necessary for SSP. SSP must incentivize the
orbital market fleet it needs to close the
business case. SSP is the only market capable of
doing this. The FAA shows it wont happen with
business as usual assumptions, we need Sunsat
  • Continuing - since space transportation is
    expensive we want to find high performance
    photovoltaic cells to increase the power output
    for the same weight carried to orbit.
  • Space qualified thin-film solar cells in the
    pipeline today can provide 4550 Watts/Kg. These
    are adequate specifications to begin SSP design
    and/or construction now.
  • We anticipate tripling that performance within
    3-5 years, using current laboratory PV cells.

Source Ken Zweibel, NREL
Photo courtesy NASA, and ManTech-SRS Technologies
SkyWorker an autonomous robot to build
multi-kilometer size space structures
Credit Red Whitaker, CMU Robotics,
ASTRO Captures NextSat On July 23, 2007, for the
first time ever, a satellite autonomously
rendezvoused with and captured another orbiting
satellite, pioneering future robotic work in
space . ASTRO (Autonomous Space Transport Robotic
  • Operations), part of Boeings Orbital Express
    system, successfully demonstrated advanced
    on-orbit satellite refueling and reconfiguration
    capabilities with NextSat. ASTRO, the robotic,
    on-orbit spacecraft mechanic, successfully
    captured NextSat. Orbital Express is a DARPA
    program which has validated on-orbit satellite
    servicing technologies.

Sunsat Act Draft legislation available at Learn more
at Email darel.preble_at_comcas And many other SSP resources such as