Looming Energy and Food Crisis
PIM of SPAIN | December 29, 2009 at 07:13 amby
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What will be the alternative? In today’s world of “green energy” and global warming scares, coal is out. However with a couple of centuries worth of coal - and natural gas- buried underground, that all is going to change. In a next political campaign with even more environmental hype, coal will come back into the daily environment and be exploited to make green diesel fuel for transportation and power generation, once nuclear energy is accepted as a must. No need anymore to buy fossil fuel in Iraq or the Middle East, money that is used to support terrorists.
If indeed coal is at the heart of Obama's climate battle, - as rumors do believe -than the world is getting realistic about the use of the allover the world available abundance of coal for the need of cheap energy. The rich 20% of the world population can't stop the other 80% or world's 5 billion poor people from burning the trillion tons of cheap carbon that they have easily available. There is no chance for durable reduction in global emissions, because emissions from the developing world are growing much faster as the 20% can reduce. The other 80 percent of humanity desperately needs cheap energy because they are meanwhile part of the same global economy. Foolish enough the industrialized rich world is having them producing even more by outsourcing their production, loosing their jobs in the process, and let them discharging more carbon faster. The US and Europe but even more poor countries all around the globe do have this large energy source within reach in the form of carbon, about a trillion ton of cheap and easy accessible coal.
The only solution that will work is to provide the other 80% with cheaper energy without carbon emission, than they do obtain from coal. Simply the most sensible alternative is developing ultra cheap carbon free energy. This would mean beating the price of coal used to generate electricity at under 3 cents per kilowatt-hour.
In mind comes renewable energy from the power of wind, the sun, or tidal wave, you name it. But besides being carbon emission free, all these technologies are not cheap enough. No carbon-free fuel or technology comes remotely close to the under 3 ct/KW except nuclear energy.
Nuclear energy complies with the Kyoto Protocol. Nuclear power is compact while commercial operators in countries like France where 80% of their energy need is generated this way, and the U.S.A., Japan, all have credibly established that this type of energy generation is safe and cheap and probably becoming even cheaper when engineers are allowed to develop it further. The only draw back may be the up-front capital investment for a power plant, and the discharge of nuclear waste. But with all the bailout money slugging around this should just be the opportunity to make the change for the better. On the other hand, most of the cost of carbon-based energy comes not from the cost of the fuels used but from the capital investment for the infrastructure of furnaces, turbines, and engines. Thus not cheap either compared with nuclear. Another important argument getting over carbon, nevertheless be comparatively cheap, is eliminating the dependence on oil from fossil crude. Moreover generating power from nuclear energy is cheaper than from oil and even still cheaper than from coal. Once nuclear energy is available Coal-to-liquid Technologies can be applied for the economically conversion of coal into synthetic green diesel fuel for transportation. For years it was simply too expensive compared to pumping oil out of the ground. Diesel fuel is the best Transportation Fuel and cleaner than electricity generated from coal fired plants. Diesel has effectively twice the specific energy of Ethanol and 10 times that of Hydrogen. It is very environmental friendly.
Per unit of energy delivered, coal is about 20% of the cost of oil, but contains one-third more carbon. If coal can be liquefied by nuclear energy there will be no or much less environmental pollution.
The industrialized world should become wise on the subject of realistically possible emission reduction, creating millions of NEW JOBS, keeping money and urgent needed jobs in their country, opening up a new era of prosperity and finally resolving the economic crisis as result. Look forward that this WAKE-UP CALL is being understood soon.
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Washington D.C., D.C., United States
Washington D.C., D.C., United States
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