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The Latest Science on Energy Based Solutions for Climate Change


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Title: The Latest Science on Energy Based Solutions for Climate Change

The Latest Science on Energy Based Solutionsfor
Climate Change
  • Professor William Moomaw
  • Tufts University
  • Earth Day 2004

Multiple Reasons for Energy Technology and Fuel
  • Effectiveness and appropriateness to task
  • Economic cost
  • Reliability
  • Convenience
  • National Security and global political stability
  • Job creation
  • Human health and safety
  • Environmental Consequences including climate

Sources of Heat Trapping Gases
  • Carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning, iron,
    aluminum, ammonia and cement
  • Methane from agriculture (livestock and rice),
    waste disposal (landfills and sewage treatment),
    leakage of natural gas
  • Nitrous oxide from nitrogen fertilizer and
    industrial production of nylon and nitric acid
  • Deforestation, forest fires and loss of carbon
    from agricultural soils
  • Fires in forests, coal mines and from gas flaring

Growth in Carbon Dioxide from Fossil Fuel
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Major Indicators of Current Climate Change
  • Average global temperature has risen by 1o F in
    past 100 years with high latitude increases of 4o
  • Seasons in the US and Europe have shifted by one
    week in past 50 years
  • Precipitation patterns are changing
  • Species are migrating higher and towards the

  • Sea level has risen by 6-8 in the past century
    and is proceeding at a rate of more than an inch
    a decade
  • More than 95 of worlds glaciers are retreating
  • Polar sea ice has thinned by more than 40 in 30
    years, and coastal ice shelves are disintegrating
  • Permafrost is warming and melting rapidly,
    destroying buildings and roads, and could disrupt
    Alaska oil pipeline

How Can We Assess Technologies?
  • Many technologies have been evaluated under
    controlled conditions by industry, government and
    university researchers for their performance,
    cost and effectiveness in reducing heat trapping
    gases and other pollutants.
  • These studies have been reviewed by independent
    energy and engineering experts, and additional
    tests have been conducted.

Identify Emissions by Sector 1995 (IPCC)
  • Global share Annual growth
  • Building sector 31 (1.0/year)
  • Transport sector 22 (2.4/year)
  • Industrial sector 43 (0.4/year)
  • Agricultural sector 4 (0.6/year)
  • Electric power 31 for generation
  • Note this is included in first four categories

Basic Strategies
  • Make existing emitting technologies more
    efficient in the use and production of energy
  • Change processes to reduce non-energy emissions
    from industry and agriculture
  • Shift to new technologies and fuels that emit
    little or no heat trapping gases
  • Sequester carbon dioxide in forests, soils or
    geological reservoirs

Identify Effective Strategies
  • Reduce emissions of heat trapping gases by
    utilizing technologies that are more efficient
  • Shift standards and incentives to construct
    buildings that use 30-70 less energy for heating
    and cooling
  • Purchase appliances that use 10-80 less energy

Identify Effective Strategies
  • Build electric power generating systems that use
    30 less fuel, or which utilize currently wasted
    heat from coal and natural gas power plants for
    heating and cooling
  • Buy vehicles that get 50 to 100 more miles per
  • Shift to cost effective industrial processes that
    use 50 less energy and release much less process
  • Improve agriculture and waste management

Buildings (31) (potential reductions 30-70)
  • Orientation to optimize use of sun and wind for
    passive heating, cooling and ventilation
  • Effective insulation to reduce need for excess
    heating or cooling
  • Efficient, well located windows that reduce need
    for artificial lighting, and maintain appropriate
    temperatures in all seasons
  • Controlled ventilation with heat recovery
  • Cost of saving 40 of energy use is one-fifth the
    cost of supplying that energy

Where do we spend on our home energy bills?
Energy Star Refrigerators I
  • Replacing a 10-year old refrigerator bought in
    1990 with a new ENERGY STAR qualified model would
    save enough energy to light the average household
    for over three months and (prevent) over 300
    pounds of pollution each year.
  • Improving energy efficiency standards have driven
    this efficiency improvement trend.

Energy Star Refrigerators II
  • Electricity cost savings are 120 per year, while
    additional purchase price is 100-200.
  • Economic payback is eight years or less.
  • Purchase stimulates the economy and create jobs.
  • Provides air pollution and global warming
    benefits through lower energy use
  • Protects ozone layer by replacing CFCs.

Appliance Efficiency Improvement
Energy Savers Home Consumer Energy Information More Information Webmaster EERE Home
Energy Savers Home Consumer Energy Information More Information Webmaster EERE Home
Appliance Efficiency Information
Energy Savers Home Consumer Energy Information More Information Webmaster EERE Home
Energy Savers Home Consumer Energy Information More Information Webmaster EERE Home
Efficient Appliances -Washers
  • Most efficient clothes washer uses 70 less
    electricity than does least efficient available.
  • Spins clothes drier, thereby reducing drier time
    and energy use
  • It uses 85 less water, saving 16,000 gallons per
  • It gets clothes cleaner
  • It costs twice as much

Transportation(22)(potential reductions
  • Transportation accounts for 22 of global carbon
    dioxide emissions and 33 of US emissions.
  • It is the fastest growing sector in terms of
  • Transportation depends on petroleum for 97 of
    its fuel

History of Vehicle Efficiency Gains
  • Following the oil shocks, US autos doubled
    efficiency from 13.5 mpg to 27.5 mpg in 10 years.
  • Air pollution emissions dropped by 90, and
    vehicles are available today that have reduced
    pollution by 99.
  • Safety increased through improved crash
    resistance, seat belts and air bags.
  • Power and performance increased

Potential for Future Gains
  • Current technologies could increase auto light
    truck fuel efficiency in the near term by 50-100
    without changing weight, size or performance.
  • Hybrid gasoline electric
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • Improved tires and aerodynamics
  • Shift from gasoline to new diesel for 25
  • Weight reductions could bring about additional
    savings by a similar, additional factor.
  • Heavy trucks could increase efficiency 60
  • Fuel cells are low emitting, but in 10 yrs.

Industrial Emissions (43)(potential reductions
of 10-65)
  • Industry accounts for 43 of all carbon dioxide
    emissions, but emissions are falling by 0.8 per
    year in industrial countries.
  • In the industrial world, carbon dioxide from
    industry decreased by 9 between 1971 and 1995,
    even though energy use rose 17 and industrial
    output doubled.
  • Energy and CO2 emissions are falling in China by
    similar amounts as inefficient, uncompetitive
    industries are replaced.

Identify Fuel and Technology Switching Strategies
  • Shift from high to low carbon dioxide emitting
  • COAL ( 1.0x )
  • OIL (0.75x)
  • NATURAL GAS (0.5x)
  • PLANT BASED FUELS ( 0.0 - 0.7x )
  • NUCLEAR ( 0.0-0.2)

Relative CO2 Emissions to Produce the Same Energy
Electric Power Production (2000)
  • Coal generates 38 of global electricity (55 in
    US) but produces 70 of worlds electric power
  • Natural gas generates 18 of global electricity
    and 19 of electric power CO2.
  • Oil generates 9 of global electricity and 11 of
    electricity CO2.
  • Hydropower, nuclear power and renewable sources
    produce 35 of global electricity and no direct

Trends in Electric Power
  • Natural gas turbines are 25- 50 more efficient
    than coal based steam and produce only 40 as
    much CO2 per unit of electricity
  • Concern over natural gas supply and prices
  • Over 90 of proposed new power plants in US are
    gas turbines
  • No new large coal or nuclear plants have been
    built in past 10 years and oil is being phased
    out as an electricity generating fuel.
  • Deregulation favors low cost power stations such
    as gas over nuclear power

Wind Generated Electric Power
  • Wind is the fastest growing electric power source
    in percentage terms increasing at 25/year.
  • Installed wind capacity passed 31,000 MW by end
    of 2002 - three years ahead of predictions.
  • Over 20 of electricity in Denmark and parts of
    Germany are now supplied by wind.
  • The US had 90 of wind electric capacity in 1990,
    but dropped to third place behind Germany and
    Spain last year.
  • Plains states and off-shore wind parks have great
    potential for production of wind electricity at a
    cost of 4cents/kwh which is competitive with
    clean coal.

World Electricity Generation by Type 2000
(Worldwatch Inst.)
Fossil Fuels
Global Trends in Energy 1992-2002
Agriculturally Based Fuels
  • Develop a crop based liquid transportation fuels
    program to produce alcohol and biodiesel from
    crops grown in the US and from sugar cane in
    tropical countries to reduce our dependence on
    oil based fuels.
  • Provide tradable credits for adding carbon to
    soils and forests

Multiple Benefits of Biofuels
  • Creates jobs, lowers dependence on unstable
    regions of the world for petroleum, promotes
    trade, adds value to US economy, increases farm
    incomes, reduces need for farm subsidies - and
    lowers CO2 emissions.

An Integrated Economic Rural Development Strategy
  • Develop large wind turbine generation capacity
    on agricultural lands and public or private
    rangelands in Great Plains states - Also continue
    to produce grain and cattle.
  • Develop international alcohol auto fuel from
    sugar cane for tropical developing countries

Economic Implications of Emissions Reductions
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has
    verified hundreds of currently existing
    technologies and measures capable of slowing and
    reversing the rise in greenhouse gases.
  • The technological potential exists to reduce
    carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 30 world-wide
    by 2010.
  • Half of these reductions could be achieved at a
    savings or zero cost, the remainder would cost
    zero to the equivalent of 25 cents/gal. gasoline.

Addressing Climate Change and Reducing Dependence
on Geopolitically Vulnerable Oil
  • Alternatives to fossil fuels can increase
    reliability and decrease our vulnerability to
    disruption from political instability, accidents,
    natural disasters and terrorist attacks.
  • Less oil dependence reduces global tensions
  • Distribution of Conventional Global Oil Reserves
  • U.S. 4
  • Canada 3
  • Russia FSU 6
  • Persian Gulf 66
  • Other (Nigeria, Venezuela, etc) 21

Meeting Climate, Security and Economic Goals
  • It is possible to introduce new technology in the
    natural replacement cycle of capital stock such
    as cars, appliances, buildings and power plants
    that substantially reduce heat trapping gas
  • Choices can be made that increase national
    security and global political stability, provide
    jobs and improve the economy of the United States.

National Energy Policy Initiative
  • In March 2002,a non-partisan, independent group
    of energy experts released a report on Capitol
  • They suggested that America could meet our
    long-term energy and national security goals
    while addressing climate change by developing
    policies supportive of new technologies and
  • The plan has been endorsed by former members of
    the Carter, Reagan, first Bush and Clinton
    administrations along with 75 additional energy
    experts from industry and universities.
  • http//

More Information
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