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Beyond Fossil Fuel – Alternative Energy – Biofuels, Wind, Hydrogen, Solar? New York Times

October 11th, 2006 | 1 Comment | Posted in Energy- Renewable

You are at: Oilgae Blog; see also: Oilgae – Oil & Biodiesel from Algae Home Page

Here’s an interesting article from NY Times. Though I would not consider it very well-researched, it certainly gets marks for being quite comprehensive – here is the link.

Some interesting points:
1. Global wind-power generation has tripled in the last five years
2. The price of solar power dropped dramatically
3. Production of fuel ethanol doubled between 2000 & 2005
4. Overall renewable sources provide just over six percent of total US energy needs
5. The US consumes one quarter of the world’s oil ( and has only one-twentieth of its population!)
6. The United States uses 47 percent less energy per dollar of economic output than it did 30 years ago, lowering costs by about $1 billion a day, mainly owing to more efficient energy-using products
7. Of the two (biodiesel & ethanol) ethanol is more promising – contentious, I’d say
8. Experts are seriously considering cellulosic ethanol. This type of ethanol can be derived from a range of crops, including native grasses like switchgrass, trees like poplar, and even the waste components if farming and forestry.
9. One potentially non-polluting source of hydrogen does exist — electrolysis, the use of electricity to break water into hydrogen and oxygen. (in my opinion, this is concept has not yet left the drawing board)
10. “Hydrogen may well be the fuel of the future. But the operative word is “future.” Did anyone say 2050?”
11. More than 50 percent of America’s electric power is supplied by coal; natural gas and nuclear energy supply about 20 percent each, and the remainder, just under 10 percent, comes from renewable sources like wind, solar, geothermal, and especially hydroelectric power.
12. No new nuclear plant has been built (in the US) for decades, mainly for cost reasons. But many people, including some environmentalists who once recoiled from the nuclear option, are now persuaded that global warming cannot be tackled without a new generation of cheaper, safer and more reliable nuclear plants.
13. Since we’re going to be living with coal for a long time to come — we have to figure out some way of stripping the carbon dioxide from the waste stream and putting it somewhere besides the atmosphere. (Hi there, CO2 sequestration can be done by algae, and you can get biodiesel from these nice and good algae – that is indeed what Oilgae is all about!)
14. Geothermal energy is one possible source, though limited in scope.
15. Ocean tides could be another, if someone could figure out how to harness them.
16. Solar energy also holds out almost magical promise: by one estimate, a 90-square-mile PV generating station in the western United States could produce enough electricity to meet the entire country’s peak demand if you could figure out how to distribute it economically. (Is this data correct? Anyway, worth checking it out!
17. The price of solar cells is coming down, dropping almost 20-fold since the mid-1970’s and resulting in a six-fold increase in global annual production over the last five years alone. In percentage terms, solar energy is the world’s fastest growing source of power.
18. …argues that of all renewable energy sources, “the really sensational story of the last decade has been wind.”
19. Germany aims to replace all of its nuclear power with renewables; it already gets about one-tenth of its power from wind.
20. Denmark already gets about one-fifth of its energy from wind.
21. Improved technology (mainly in turbine construction) plus the rising costs of natural gas have made wind power increasingly economically competitive. The cost of wind power has fallen from 80 cents per kWh 25 years ago to between 3 and 6 cents today
22. In 1996 the United States held 44 percent of the global solar cell market. By 2005, that figure had fallen to 9 percent.

So that’s the summary…a very useful read, though I feel the research has not been expert-class…it is written more for the general reader, but good read…here is the link again

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Oilgae – Oil & Biodiesel from Algae provides links, directory, web links resources for algae-based biofuels & biodiesel. Intended to be useful for research, information, inputs, news for buyers, sellers, manufacturers, traders, suppliers, producers, exporters / importers of algal oil and algal fuels. Will provide info on biofuel feedstock, algal feedstocks, algae oil and link details on fuel from algae, bio-fuel, bio-diesel, algal oils & bio-fuels production and uses, biofuels trade & market resources, price data, statistics, prices, demand-supply for buyer, seller, manufacturer, trader, supplier, exporter and producer

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One Response to “Beyond Fossil Fuel – Alternative Energy – Biofuels, Wind, Hydrogen, Solar? New York Times”

  1. Renewable Electricity Says:

    Thank you very much for this informative post…

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