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Energy Security


Although that is only one-seventh the quantity President ... Choosing to charter an SSP corporation would be 'a small step for man, a giant leap for mankind. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Energy Security

Peak Oil, Gas, Coal, Food The Great Race to
Clean Global Baseload Power - Space Solar Power

Atlanta Peak Oil Meeting April 9, 2008
Atlanta, GA Darel Preble
chair, Space Solar Power Workshop
The US is not leading the Great Race
But we could be!!
(No Transcript)
I hope you have all read the National Space
Security Offices excellent SSP report at
  • Americas energy security and global environment
    are at risk
  • These threats are imminent - in the time frame
    required to address them.
  • Nothing is being done on the scale and time frame
  • SSP is the most important clean baseload energy
    source - with the potential to strongly address
    our energy, environment and related problems with
    a magnificent alternative.

  • Peaking Oil
  • Dr. Robert Hirsch finds the most current and
    authoritative research predicts peak global oil
    production between 2008 and 2018 "In a
    worst-case scenario, global oil production may
    reach its peak in 2008, before starting to
    decline. In a best-case scenario, this peak would
    not be reached until 2018. Giant Oil Fields
    Highway to Oil, dissertation, F. Robelius,
    Uppsala University, 2007.
    0802.htm and

  • 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

  • Skyrocketing Materials Prices
  • April 9, 2008 - Japan's three biggest steel
    makers -- Nippon Steel Corp., JFE Holdings Inc.'s
    JFE Steel unit and Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd.
    -- 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.
  • Influential power producer 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. The
    price hikes increase inflationary pressure on
    finished goods.
  • - 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 soon required, only SSP can
    provide the clean reliable baseload energy the
    world requires. No other alternative energy
    technology succeeds
  • 1 Playing with Fire - Part II,
  • 2 Is There A Painless Way To Fill The Oil
    Supply Gap?, by Dr Michael R. Smith,

Declining oil gas supply data
reliabilityOutside the US global oil gas
reserve data is of extremely poor quality
Flying Blind
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//

EIA says no change - fossil fuels keep growing
and growing
Source EIA International REFERENCE CASE
  • It will require more than a decade to
    transition our civilization away from our heavy
    dependence on oil. Nothing close to the efforts
    envisaged have yet begun.
  • - Testimony by Robert Hirsch, SAIC, at the
    Pentagon and U.S. Congressional Committee on
    Energy and Commerce hearing, from the "Hirsch
    Report", commissioned by the Department of Energy
    2005Hearing1733/hearing.htm and "Peaking of
    World Oil Production Impacts, Mitigation and
    Risk Management

The Energy, Food Environment view ahead is
The best weve got SSP is unfunded - still in
the pits!!
ConservationCarpoolingNew LED and
compact flourescent lightingEnergy efficient
appliances Air Conditioning
Refrigerators Dish Washers ( do not use hot
dry) Cooking with Microwave ovens over
conventionalAdding insulation to walls and
ceilingDouble glaze windowsBermed houses. etc.,

Electrifying our transportation
systemHybrid/electric cars trucksLight rail
subwaysElectric trainsSuper batteriesSuper
What are our alternatives?
  Clean? Safe? Reliable? Reliable? Baseload?
Fossil Fuel No Yes Peak Imminent Peak Imminent Yes
Nuclear No Yes Fuel limited Fuel limited Yes
Wind Power Yes Yes No, intermittent No, intermittent No
Geothermal Yes Yes No, Limited No, Limited 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. Very limited quantities - competes with food production. Very limited quantities - competes with food production.
SSP Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Peaking units, such as wind or terrestrial
solar, may provide power for 25-30 of a good
day, (on average). Space Solar Power (SSP),
however, is baseload available 99 of the year
from GeoSynchronous Orbit. (Baseload nuclear or
coal plants, typically running 24/7, are actually
available only 90 of the year.) SPS requires no
fuel and has no operations personnel it is an
antenna with farms underneath. SSP is the
cleanest source of virtually unlimited baseload
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//
  • Although that is only one-seventh the
    quantity President Bush foresees for 2015, that
    demand has pushed corn to near-record prices.
    If all the corn produced in America in 2005 were
    dedicated to ethanol production it would reduce
    U.S. demand for gasoline by, at most, 12
  • A bumper crop of unintended consequences,

  • To reach Bushs 20 percent goal, corn
    production must grow to 167 percent of its 2005
    levels, and every kernel must go into ethanol.  
    Kiss your corn pudding goodbye.
  • Corn is also the major feed/ingredient for
    chickens, pigs, cattle milk, cheese, eggs,
    hamburger, Coke, Pepsi, Jack Daniels, etc., ...
  • (By weight, a McDonalds hamburger is 52

Biofuel Myths (1)
  • These myths include
  • Large-scale biofuel production is sustainable
  • Biofuels are environmentally friendly and reduce
    CO2 emissions
  • Biofuels will help us (the USA) achieve "energy
  • Biofuels will help the farmers
  • Biofuels will let us continue our current way of

The Myth Of Biofuels (2)
  • Little known Biofuel Facts
  • - In 2007, in the USA, corn for ethanol will
    exceed corn for export. USA corn exports provide
    60 of the world market.
  • - As demand for corn goes up, production of
    other crops will decline, for years, including
    wheat, rice and others.
  • - Biofuels do not have the energy density of
    oil. The EROI (Energy Returned On Energy
    Invested) of bioethanol has a ratio of about 21
    We currently benefit from Middle East crude oil,
    with an EROI of 301

The Myth Of Biofuels (3)
  • Little known Biofuel Facts
  • - Biodiesel. 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 is excerpted from
    a presentation by David Fridley of Lawrence
    Berkeley Labs, June 2007. More details and
    information are available from the website, The
    Myths of Biofuels. http//

  • 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 equivalent to the surface of
    Australia, plus Korea, Japan and New Zealand.
  • - International Energy Agency chief economist

  • The 111 ethanol refineries now in operation,
    the 75 under construction or expansion, and
    others still being planned, would be able to use
    10 billion bushels of corn a year by 2009 about
    the same as the entire 2006 crop.  The price of
    pig feed has gone up 25 per cent since the
    summer, and it's not the price so much as the
    fact that it's just not available
  • -  Dave Warner, National Pork Producers Council.
  • "The days of the United States meat industry
    in its current state appear to be numbered. The
    gates are down. The lights are flashing. Does
    anyone see the train coming?
  • - David Nelson, agribusiness analyst
    for Credit Suisse Group, in Ethanol fuels
    concern of US farmers http//

Forget oil, the new global crisis is foodBMO
strategist Donald Coxe warns credit crunch and
soaring oil prices will pale in comparison to
looming catastrophe - A new crisis is emerging, a
global food catastrophe that will reach further
and be more crippling than anything the world has
ever seen. The credit crunch and the
reverberations of soaring oil prices around the
world will pale in comparison to what is about to
transpire, Donald Coxe, global portfolio
strategist at BMO Financial Group "It's not a
matter of if, but when," he warned investors.
"It's going to hit this year hard." - Financial
Post,, January 03, 2008,
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.

Prices drop as flight rate increases Red dots are
Elon Musk, SpaceX, 1300/lb and Roger Angels
20/lb (Sandia electromagnetic launch)
COTS Program
  • NASA plans to retire the shuttle by 2010 and
    Orion-Ares is not scheduled until 2015. NASA has
    selected two companies to build replacement
  • Space Exploration Technologies Corp.
    (SpaceX), Hawthorne, CA and
  • Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, VA.

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.

Photo courtesy NASA, and ManTech-SRS Technologies
Source Ken Zweibel, NREL
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.

Advantages of Space Solar Power
  • Unlike oil, gas, ethanol, and coal plants, SSP
    does not emit CO2.
  • Unlike coal and nuclear plants, SSP does not
    compete for or depend upon increasingly scarce
    fresh water resources.
  • Unlike bio-ethanol or bio-diesel, SSP does not
    compete for increasingly valuable farm land or
    depend on natural-gas-derived fertilizer. Food
    can continue to be a major export instead of a
    fuel provider.
  • Unlike nuclear power plants, SSP will not produce
    hazardous waste, proliferate nuclear weapons, or
    provide easy targets for terrorists.

Advantages of Space Solar Power - 2
  • Unlike terrestrial solar and wind power plants,
    SSP is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
    in endless quantities. It ignores cloud cover,
    daylight, or wind speed.
  • Unlike coal and nuclear fuels, SSP does not
    require environmentally problematic mining
  • 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 - 3
  • SSP can be easily exported anywhere in the world,
    and its energy can be converted to local needs,
    from household appliances in rural India to
    desalination of sea water.
  • SSP can take advantage of our current and
    historic investment in aerospace expertise to
    expand employment opportunities in solving the
    difficult problems of energy security and climate
  • SSP can provide a market large enough to develop
    the low-cost space transportation system required
    to enable an SSP business case. This will slowly
    open the solar system to Earths economic reach
    and even settlement.

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

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