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Energy Innovation in the United States Final Student Policy Recommendations June 13-19 2010 Keystone, CO

Energy Innovation in the United States

Energy Innovation in the United States Final Student Policy Recommendations June 13-19 2010 Keystone, CO

Final Student Policy Recommendations

June 13-19 2010

Keystone, CO

Energy Innovation in the United States Final Student Policy Recommendations June 13-19 2010 Keystone, CO
Energy Innovation in the United States Final Student Policy Recommendations June 13-19 2010 Keystone, CO

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

About Youth Policy Summit

The pow er of Youth Policy Summit lies in the ambition of its alumni. Young w omen and men come to the Summits as students, curious and ready to learn. They leave, after a w eek of in- tensive study and collaboration, active and inspired citizens of their local communities, our na- tion, and the w orld.

In June 2010, The Keystone Center hosted the National Energy Innovation Summit for forty high school students w ho are part of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Math, Science and Technology. Ten high schools from across the nation came to- gether in Keystone, Colorado to address the challenges, opportunities and concerns associ- ated w ith developing consensus-based policy recommendations for energy issues in the United Sates.

After researching divergent stakeholder groups and various aspects of the energy puzzle, stu- dents spent a w eek ardently discussing the possibilities for sustainable solutions to meet cur- rent and future energy demands of our nation. During the Summit, participants took stock of the larger technical, legal, environmental, social, economic, and political problems and shared their ow n research to prioritize issues and options. They interacted w ith leaders in the fields of energy, government, and the non profit sector w ho are actively grappling w ith these same is- sues day to day.

With guidance from professional educators and facilitators from Keystone’s Center for Edu- cation and Center for Science and Public Policy, students created viable solutions to a problem that is confounding policy makers nationally. This report represents the results of the students’ deliberations: a written set of recommendations that w ill be shared w ith leaders in education, policy, energy, youth development and government.

These young leaders received training and practice in skills essential for the 21 st century work force such as critical thinking, creativity, leadership, negotiation, and innovation. Freshly aw are of their ow n potential for leadership and change, the students are inspired to take their recom- mendations to leaders in their ow n communities, demonstrating the undeniable pow er of work- ing together.

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Since 2004, The Keystone Center has conducted YPS programs for over 500 young leaders from 23 states across the nation. Topics focus on current issues facing our nation in the areas of energy, environment and public health. With eight Summits planned across the nation for 2011, w e encourage teachers, students, private and public organizations and government leaders to visit www.youthpolicysummit.org to learn about opportunities available in your region and how to get involved.

Energy Innovation in the U.S. About Youth Policy Summit The pow er of Youth Policy Summit

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Table of Contents

 

Overview of Student Research

5

Summary Timeline and Introduction

8

Economics: Subsidy Reform

10

Education: Public Awareness and Workforce Training

13

Fossil Fuels: Transportation and Electricity

18

Nuclear Power: New Technology and Increased Production

27

Renewable Energy: Implementation and Storage

32

Energy Efficiency: Commercial, Industrial and Residential Buildings

41

Conclusion: Looking Forward, 2050 and Beyond

48

Bibliography

50

Acknowledgements

56

 

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Energy Innovation in the U.S . Table of Contents Overview of Student Research 5 Summary Timeline

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

“Keystone allowed me, as an up and coming member of society, to express and share my
“Keystone allowed me, as an up and
coming member of society, to
express and share my views, talents,
experiences, as well as my culture in
a meaningful and constructive way
that is more likely to affect a policy
change.”
-Andreas Kofler, Participant
INNOVATION
LEADERSHIP
SOLUTIONS
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Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Overview of Student Research

 

The Group’s Task

What should be done, and by whom, to bring about the changes necessary to meet the growing energy demand, while simultaneously growing the workforce and significantly limiting the emissions of greenhouse gases? Participants should consider three time frames:

near-term (4-8 years), mid-term (10-20 years), and long term (up to 50 years).

To begin answering these questions, students were asked to research the following energy topics prior to their arrival at the Summit. As a group, the participants became experts on the current issues, barriers and opportunities as they exist today in the United States.

Electricity-Renewable

(Solar, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal, etc)

Electricity-Fossil Fuels

(Coal, Natural Gas, Carbon Capture and Storage, etc)

Electricity-Nuclear

(New and existing technology for production and waste storage)

Transportation-Fuels

(Including gas, electric, batteries and renewables, etc)

Transportation-Public, Private, Commercial, Industrial

(Trains, bus, subways, passenger cars, shipping, etc)

Buildings Efficiency- Residential, Commercial, Industrial

(Products, behavior, systems, etc)

Education and Workforce Development

(What options exist to train and develop a new workforce and educate the general

population for behavior changes associated with Energy Innovation)

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Energy Innovation in the U.S . Overview of Student Research The Group’s Task What should be

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

   

PESTLE Analysis

To broaden the depth of their research, students worked in groups to perform a PESTLE analysis of each research topic listed on page 5

Political.

Describes how, and to what degree government should intervene in the economy and

society.

Economic.

Includes economic growth, inflation and taxes.

Social.

Includes cultural aspects, demographic differences, environmental justice (are some

impacted more than others)

Environmental.

Encompasses all impacts on the environment, including air and

water quality, and impacts from climate change.

Technological.

Includes the rate of technological change and impacts from research and develop-

ment.

Legal.

The laws of the land, including environmental, as well as health and safety and

discrimination laws and regulations. Congress and the State Legislature enact laws and the US Environmental Protection Agency and state environmental agencies create their own regulations to limit some activities and encourage others.

Stakeholder Assignments

In addition to their energy research topics, each student was asked to represent the interests of an important stakeholder involved in the energy conversation.

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 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) composed of environmental groups, consumer advocacy groups, coalitions and social justice groups who are non – profits.  Public Sector, including federal, state and local government agencies Private Sector, including corporations and organizations that are in the energy production or transmission sector, provide engineering services or manufacturing for energy sector or who are large consumers of energy.  Academia, Education and Research institutions



Energy Innovation in the U.S. PESTLE Analysis To broaden the depth of their research, students worked

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Stakeholder List

 
  • 1. Non Governmental Organizations:

  • 4. Renewable Energy Companies:

Alliance to Save Energy American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG)

Applied Materials General Electric Energy Vestas Siemens SunPower First Solar Ormat United Technologies

Sierra Club Union of Concerned Scientists

  • 5. Construction Companies:

  • 2. Federal and State Public Sector:

Anderson Windows Lafarge

  • 6. Transportation Industry:

National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) National Association of State Energy Officers (NASEO) US Dept of Energy – Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE/EE-RE) US Dept of Transportation –

  • 3. Energy Generators and

Owens Corning Vulcan Materials Shaw Group US Green Building Council Fluor CH2M Hill

Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Office of Research, Development & Technology US Environmental Protection Agency – Office of Transportation and Air

Delphi FedEx Ford General Motors AMR (American Airlines) Visteon

Quality (EPA/OTAQ) US Dept of Labor – Employment and

  • 7. Education and Training:

Training Administration

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

Consumers:

American Association of Community

Constellation Energy American Electric Power Exelon Southern Company Exxon Mobil

Colleges Apollo Alliance International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International Brotherhood of Boilermakers

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Energy Innovation in the U.S . Stakeholder List 1. Non Governmental Organizations: 4. Renewable Energy Companies:

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

Summary Timeline

By Year

 

Idea/ Goal

2010



Begin a f ive-y ear education plan to increase public awareness about alternativ e energy sources, as well as implement workforce training programs.

 



Begin f iv e y ear adv isory period for the fossil



f uel industry to initiate transition to natural gas Halt increase of f ossil f uel subsidies and begin reallocation

 

2015



100% state IECC Building Code compliance

 
   

(2016).

 



Retrof it 10% of commercial and industrial



buildings 35.5 minimum MPG standard for new cars



and light trucks (2016) Increase nuclear power capacity

 



Begin large- scale natural gas transition



(incentiv ized) Use subsidy money to research and dev elop algal f uel, renewable technologies and nuclear

2020



energy Increase nuclear power capacity, complete reprocessing f acilities

 



25% Natural Gas, 25% remains fossil fuels



(oil/ coal) 30% Nuclear



20% Renewables



Continue to promote and develop transition to

2025



natural gas Increase nuclear power capacity, complete



national storage facility One million plug-in hy brids on the road



35% net-zero buildings in U.S.



Creation of the National Commissioning Collaborativ e to ov ersee building efficiency

 



No new coal operations can continue in former sites, no new mines opened

2030



Promote natural gas vehicle technology on a



large- scale 30% renewables (20% wind, 5% solar, hy dro, 5% geothermal)

 



Natural gas, electric, electric hybrid

2040



automobile technology incorporated into the priv ate sector 75% net-zero buildings in U.S.

 



15% natural gas, 5% oil, 40% renewable, 40%

2050



nuclear 100% net-zero buildings in U.S.

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Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations Summary Timeline By Year Idea/ Goal 2010  Begin

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Introduction Final Recommendations In this paper, we, the students, present a set of recommendations for energy
Introduction
Final Recommendations
In this paper, we, the students, present a set of recommendations for energy
innovation in the United States for the next 40 years and beyond that will move the
country off of its dependence on oil and coal towards a more sustainable future. We
created a timeline to remake our country’s energy portfolio, which includes a transition
from coal and oil, using natural gas as a bridge fuel; emphasizes renewable and
nuclear energy for electricity; uses algal-based fuels and electrification for
transportation; and focuses on energy efficiency in the buildings sector. We will
encourage this transition with a redeployment of existing Federal subsidies in fossil
fuels to renewable energy, and a large focus on education and public awareness.
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Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Final Recommendations

We carefully considered different mechanisms to reach our goals outlined in our introduction, including a gasoline tax, but rejected it as socially and politically infeasible. However, we determined that our goals can be reached to a large extent simply by reallocating existing subsidies for fossil fuels toward more preferable energy

Economics: Subsidy Reform

sources. Studies show that fossil fuel subsidies have no impact on the price of oil (The Effects of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform, pg. 37). Instead, a majority goes to non- consumer affecting expenses, such as to pay the oil company’s income taxes. As a result, President Obama has already declared that he will reduce oil subsidies by about $2.7 billion in 2011 (Obama Budget Aims). We recommend that these deductions continue; increases in fossil fuel subsidies would be halted entirely by the year 2015. During the same year,

Subsidies, p. 6). In 2016, the fossil fuel subsidies will start at $10.8 billion and be reduced by 15 percent, with $2.8 billion

available to be reallocated. In 2017, there will be a 20 percent deduction and so forth until 2025. From there and after, the annual subsidies taken from the original fossil

Year

 

Plan for Year

Present day

Begin f iv e-year advisory period.

(June 2010)

2015

Begin reduction of subsidies f or f ossil f uels by 10 percent

2016

15

percent

2017

20

percent

2018

25

percent

2019

30

percent

2020

35

percent

2021

40

percent

2022

45

percent

2023

50

percent

2024

55

percent

2025

End of reductions for fossil fuels

ten percent of these subsidies would be taken and redistributed. For every year until 2025, an additional five percent will be added to the previous deduction. Therefore, assuming the fossil fuel subsidies start at approximately $12 billion in 2015, we recommend reducing fossil fuel subsidies to $10.8 billion and reallocating $1.2 billion to renewable energy (Estimating U.S. Government

Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations We carefully considered different mechanisms to reach our goals

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

fuel subsidy amount of $12 billion would be $11.8 billion. This leaves a safety net of $0.2 billion for the fossil fuel industry during the future transition to renewables. We propose that the subsidies reduced from the fossil fuel sector should instead be divided appropriately to the renewable sector, which currently receives less than $500 million in subsidies; as well as to the Department of Education, Department of Transportation, and to be given to consumers for tax incentives (Solar Financing, Subsidies and Incentives). We

fuel subsidy amount of $12 billion would be $11.8 billion. This leaves a safety net of

Final Recommendations

 

recommend that the specific allocations of these subsidies remain in Congress within the jurisdiction of the House Appropriations Committee (Committee Jurisdiction). Companies competing in the renewable sector would be given at least 60 percent of the appropriations. The Department of Education would be given ten percent in early years, not to exceed $500 million in later years when the subsidies are largest. This money would be used to educate the public and corporations on environmental awareness and alternative sources of energy, such as nuclear energy. This could be done through media announcements and informational conferences. The Department of Transportation would receive at least 15 percent to additionally fund programs similar to the Livable Communities Program. The Livable Communities Program assists communities that “increase choices for transportation users, provide affordable connection from residences to employment centers and other key amenities, and enhance economic opportunities and environmental sustainability” (Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Highlights). About five to ten percent would be distributed as corporate tax incentives. These would be used to stimulate investment in the transportation sector to become more energy efficient and ecologically responsible. The incentives transferred from fossil fuels would continue to be put into their new target areas until the transition

 

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Energy Innovation in the U.S . fuel subsidy amount of $12 billion would be $11.8 billion.

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

away from fossil fuels has been completed (between 2075-2100). The idea behind the reduced subsidy proposal would be to encourage the fossil fuel industry to begin diversifying their market. The plan is not to eliminate this crucial division in the United States economy, but to integrate it. Corporations are focused on making profits. It would be in the best interests of fossil fuel firms to begin adding renewable branches to not only improve their public image, but to gain more income as the demand for alternative energies increases.

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Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations away from fossil fuels has been completed (between 2075-2100).

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Education: Public Awareness and Workforce Training

Final Recommendations

 

We recommend a major campaign in the education and workforce sector to promote public awareness, increase funding of research and development programs, and educate a scientifically-minded workforce from the ground up through changes in

K-12 education as well as at the university level. We also recommend significant

investment in public workforce training programs, as well as specific training for the transition from fossil fuel to renewable and nuclear industries.

 

Public Awareness

First steps in expanding renewable energy’s role in America begins with education. In the first five years of this plan (2010-2015), public awareness through media campaigns, energy ambassadors, and community sessions will expedite the nation’s shift towards energy efficiency and decreased reliance on fossil fuels. These include the creation of commercials and internet ads, and will cost roughly $100 million annually. These ambassadors would come from non-governmental organizations and will host workshops at schools and community events, touting the benefits of a green lifestyle and simple changes the public can make to be "greener." Also, ambassadors would educate students on methods of energy efficiency in communities and the best sources of renewable energy regionally. Lastly, we suggest that mandated community sessions be held. Led by town leaders and based on the community's support or disdain for green energy, these sessions will be informal and designed to cater to the average citizen and their concerns. Ideally, such sessions would address issues such as the widespread NIMBY 1 (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) syndrome and other common misconceptions.

First steps in expanding renewable energy’s role in America begins with education. In the first five

1 The term used to describe opposition to new dev elopment close to or within residential areas. This includes new power plants, wind turbines, transportation improv ements. (Merriam-Webster 1980).

 

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Energy Innovation in the U.S . Education: Public Awareness and Workforce Training Final Recommendations We recommend

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

K-12 Schools and Universities

We recommend education changes on the K-12 level. An increased emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education will promote continued energy innovation. Specific changes include the continued creation of specialized STEM high schools and training programs for AP math and science teachers. To increase the number of these teachers, 10,000 new STEM teachers must be recruited and trained annually ("Rising Above the

We recommend education changes on the K-12 level. An increased emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering

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Storm"). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 insured this endeavor's start by providing funds for the Teacher Quality Enhancement Recovery Plan, which aims to increase numbers of teachers from quality teacher preparation programs as well as improve curriculum ("Program Plan"). Education plays a vital role in the first few years of this policy. If nuclear energy is to play a larger role in the future, as we recommend, then a re-education of the public on nuclear power and its true dangers and its true potential as an energy source is the key to the success of this policy. In order to accomplish this, the industry should host over 1,000 community and K-12 general education programs per year to educate the general public, promoting safe, clean energy through a combination of nuclear and renewable resources. The nuclear industry should also provide 1,000 scholarships for nuclear engineering and other nuclear related fields through the Department of Education. Funding for these scholarships could be offset from the portion of subsidies the Department of Education receives annually for the advancement of sustainable energy. The number of scholarships may be subject to change depending on the funding and the need of the industry. The scholarships are meant to provide skilled workers for the nuclear industry. We recommend that this education program remain in place annually until at least 2050. In addition, a part of the education budget, about $50 million every year, will be

Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations K-12 Schools and Universities We recommend education changes on

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

allotted for clean energy scholarships, advancing education in renewable and nuclear fields. The money will be allocated according to technological progress in the respective fields. These projects will be funded by the Department of Education, which will be responsible for providing information and dissemination. The purpose of this initiative is to update the American public about advances in renewable energy. Education and the encouragement for the expanding fields will remain crucial to the success of our energy revolution. By 2030, we recommend that universities assess

Final Recommendations

 

a new value for total “green energy” scholarships and community involvement provided, beyond the $50 million mark originally proposed.

 

Workforce Training

President Obama outlined a plan to increase the use of renewable energy in the electric sector to 25 percent by 2025, implying a significant increase in renewable energy jobs ("Obama's Energy Plan"). To address this new demand for scientists, engineers, and physicists, we recommend that new scholarship and internship programs be developed. To train new technicians and electricians, which make up the majority of the clean energy industry, community colleges and vocational schools should also receive allotments to train those workers. These programs would put students on the track for clean renewable and non-renewable energy degrees, and we believe would cost about $50 million in the next five years. Scholarships for specific energy areas, including nuclear energy and solar power, would be based on demand calculated by colleges and universities, and allocations should be reassessed every five years. Though education of the public on these options seems expensive over the short run, it will more than pay itself back in reduced energy imports and potential net renewable exports for states, a heightened public awareness of energy concerns and “green” jobs.

President Obama outlined a plan to increase the use of renewable energy in the electric sector
 

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Energy Innovation in the U.S . allotted for clean energy scholarships, advancing education in renewable and

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

Implementation of measures during this period would continue on into the long term as the viability and promising output from these enactments would be in the best interest of energy innovation progress. The fossil fuel industry currently provides 9.2 million U.S. jobs, so there is a huge concern about potential job loss as the industry is phased out ("Industry Jobs"). To combat this, extensive and wide-spread training programs will create a strong, "green-collar" workforce in renewable energy technology. Because of the infrastructure similarity between coal power plants and nuclear power plants, the

 

nuclear power plants will be replacing the coal power plants. Therefore, we recommend developing special transition programs for the training of workers in nuclear power plants. Specifically, the coal industry will receive $5 million and the nuclear energy sector will receive $500 million over the next five years from federal stimulus money to fund this transition every year. This is vital, as the need for nuclear plant operators from 2008 to 2018 is expected to grow 19 percent, or about 1000 jobs ("Power Plant Operators").

Government Support

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Along with focused education campaigns, we recommend Federal government recognition of state- and community-based programs and initiatives. This action costs little money to the government, but does serve to get the name of the organization out into the open. There has already been a precedent set for a government agency endorsing the work of a nonprofit or private business; one example of a Federal-state governmental partnership committed to renewable energy is the National Association of State Energy Officials’ (NASEO) partnership with EnergyStar. Another potential partnership that would engage the social element would be a partnership with public works organizations, such as

Along with focused education campaigns, we recommend Federal government recognition of state- and community-based programs and
Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations Implementation of measures during this period would continue on

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

American Youthworks, a nonprofit which employs at-risk youth and young adults and teaches them job skills specifically for the sustainable housing and building sector (americanyouthworks.org). The purpose of endorsing an organization like American Youthworks would both engage the sympathies of the public for a switch from fossil fuels to renewable power and it would expand the base of support and knowledge outside of the political and scientific circles.

Final Recommendations

 
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Energy Innovation in the U.S . American Youthworks, a nonprofit which employs at-risk youth and young

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

Fossil Fuels: Transportation and Electricity

Our goal is to transition the country away from heavy reliance on fossil fuels for both electricity and transportation, by using natural gas as a transitional fuel source until we can rely heavily on renewable technologies. Electricity consumption by the U.S. is expected to grow 39 percent from 2005 to 2030, to 5.8 billion mega-watt hours (“Annual Energy Outlook 2010”, 6).

 

Projected Fuel Use by Source (quadrillion Btu)

Source: U.S. Energy Inf ormation Administration

Source: U.S. Energy Inf ormation Administration

Starting the Transition

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In the year 2015, we recommend the fossil fuel industry jump-start the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies by initiating a five-year advisory period. This period is to be used primarily for educating individual fossil fuel corporations by means of stakeholder meetings where discussions will be held over which alternate energy sources are the most economically beneficial for each specific corporation. This will incorporate the pros and cons of investment in energy sources such as natural gas, solar, wind, and nuclear, along with the government’s business-oriented

Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations Fossil Fuels: Transportation and Electricity Our goal is to

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

recommendation for combined investment in natural gas and renewable technologies. Furthermore, companies will be thoroughly versed on the fossil fuel subsidy re- allocation plan, which will gradually transition fossil fuel subsidies to renewable technology, transportation, and education. Each corporation is required to attend at least one of these mediated meetings in which scientists and other experts would present information on the technologies that could eventually guarantee the corporations’ economic viability in the future while staying mindful of the environment. The corporations will be advised on which particular industry offers the greatest

Final Recommendations

 

potential and viability in the future, specifically in relation to each individual corporation. For example, fossil fuel companies in the Southeast would likely most greatly benefit from renewable energy in the form of biomass (Fitzpatrick, Cash). The information presented at the discussions could be immediately applied, and companies could shift to largely invest in natural gas and renewable technology because of the profitability, environmental viability, and benefit to the public image

 

provided by these two sources of energy. Because of our recommendation to switch subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy, fossil fuel corporations would be more likely to invest in renewable technology because of the money available, as well as the opportunity to lead a field that is currently relatively small. In contrast to renewable technology, nuclear technology already has major corporations of its own, and by investing, fossil fuel corporations would merely become shareholders. Therefore, the opportunity for ownership of renewable technology is an

provided by these two sources of energy. Because of our recommendation to switch subsidies from fossil

incentive of its own.

Source:The Pew Center

 

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Energy Innovation in the U.S . recommendation for combined investment in natural gas and renewable technologies.

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

Shift to Natural Gas

We recommend oil corporations transition their investments toward natural gas as a temporary, transitional energy source in place of their current product. Natural gas is the cleanest of all fossil fuels, releasing about 117,000 pounds of emissions per billion Btu 2 energy input, compared to the 208,000 pounds currently released by coal.

Source: EPA.gov
Source: EPA.gov
 

Additionally, natural gas exists in the United States in much larger quantities than oil, meaning that its use would entail less importation of foreign oil (“Resources” Naturalgas.org). The transition away from oil to natural gas would not run a higher risk of

endangering U.S. international relations with oil producing countries, especially those related to the United States’ relationship with OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). A switch to natural gas would not cause a shift in the current international fuel-trade power structure because although the United States is the 6 th largest producer of natural gas, it is preceded by five OPEC nations who currently possess natural gas in larger quantities. From an international standpoint, transitioning to natural gas in the short-term would allow the U.S. to move away from the worst of the fossil fuels without upsetting current oil-based relations, which are on the same path to natural gas (“Natural Gas and Technology”). The Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for America plan in 2009 called for a projected goal of obtaining 25 percent of our nation’s electricity from renewable sources by the year 2025, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 (U.S. Department of Energy). In order to allow for this rise in energy from alternative, cleaner resources and to best meet the Obama-Biden plan, the fossil

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2 British thermal unit- energy unit equal to approximately 1.06 kilojoules. (NaturalGas.org).

Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations Shift to Natural Gas We recommend oil corporations transition

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

fuel industry should initially aim to increase their natural gas percentage from 23 percent to 25 percent via continued promotion and development of the technological, social, and economic aspects of natural gas (Thresher and Musial). In order to encourage consumer spending on natural gas, fossil fuel industries should begin investing in partnership with transportation industries to build new, easily accessible infrastructures for electric and compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel stations. There are currently 538 electric fuel stations and 838 CNG stations in the United States (U.S. Department of Energy). Since a barrel equivalent of natural gas ($69.56/

Final Recommendations

 

barrel) is cheaper than a barrel of oil ($82.50/barrel), once more CNG pumps are built, consumers will favor the less expensive natural gas (U.S. Energy Information Administration ). The higher demand for CNG will directly raise the production of it. Meanwhile, with the shift towards producing natural gas, fossil fuel companies also should have decreased the combined amount of oil and coal from about 60 percent to 25 percent by 2025 (Thresher and Musial).

 

Coal

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, coal accounts for approximately 50 percent of electric power generation in the U.S. (EPA Energy Trends). The consumption of coal accounts for around 40 percent of the country’s CO 2 emissions (Gardner). We believe the American public will need to shift to a much more anti-coal mindset. In order to reach the United States responsibilities in combating climate change by reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent in America, the coal industry is going to be drastically cut back (America.gov). The fossil fuel corporations will have known about the upcoming changes and been

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, coal accounts for approximately 50 percent of electric power generation
 

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Energy Innovation in the U.S . fuel industry should initially aim to increase their natural gas

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

encouraged to conform to the new policies since the first five-year education phase of our plan starting in 2010. Beginning in 2030, this cut will be fulfilled by a moratorium on new mines to be constructed or approved; all formerly opened mines will be able to continue being operational until they prove empty. As reallocated subsidy money is put into renewable energy technologies to compensate for the shift, less energy demand will fall to burning coal. We believe that the reduction in fossil fuel dependence created by the halt of new coal operations will allow room for the renewable energy sector to expand.

 

In addition, by limiting the supply of coal, we will encourage the switch from coal to natural gas for electricity. Natural gas is an appropriate substitute and limits the CO 2 emissions of burning coal. These changes will require the above stated infrastructure change, which should not be complicated as long as the public is educated appropriately. These recommendations will also require the support of the coal industry to shut down new mining operations. These changes can be extremely effective as long as these ideas are followed.

Transportation

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The transportation industry consumes about 29 percent of the total energy usage in the United States (U.S. Energy Information Administration). The backbone of Western society consists of the use of cars, trucks, boats, planes, and trains to transport people and goods, which rely on oil for 98 percent of their transportation needs (America’s Energy Future, p. 331). The last few decades have seen a dramatic increase in energy consumption. More than 19.5 million barrels of oil are consumed in the United States every day (CIA – The World Factbook). Since 56 percent of petroleum to meet the U.S.’s energy

The transportation industry consumes about 29 percent of the total energy usage in the United States
Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations encouraged to conform to the new policies since the

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

demands is imported, the United States would be faced with an energy crisis should oil become a nonviable source of energy (America’s Energy Future, p. 211). In addition, the threat of global warming has acted as a driver in promoting research of cleaner transportation fuels and technologies. This has inspired many corporations and organizations to look into new sources of energy and new technologies to fuel the growing transportation industry. To catalyze this transformation, we recommend enactment of new policies that are developed from governmental and industrial cooperation.

Final Recommendations

 

Fossil Fuel Industry Regulation

 

In today's industry, it seems to be an acceptable truth that there will be safety violations that will be followed by fines. However, the costs of fixing and stopped production are less than paying the fines, so the problems are ignored and the fines are paid, but money is still made. For example, before the mine disaster in the Upper Big Branch mine 3 , there had been 1,300 recorded safety violations (Roddy & Vivian). When considering the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, British Petroleum (BP) ignored its many safety violations for the simple reason that it was more profitable at the time to be unsafe than safe (“Despite Finding 200 Violations”). The remedy is to provide an incentive to make the work space safer. We propose fines be increased in order to raise the level of accountability undertaken by corporations in energy endeavors. The current system for oil companies is that they can be fined a max of $35,000 dollars a day for a

In today's industry, it seems to be an acceptable truth that there will be safety violations

3 April, 2010 an explosion on the Upper Big Branch Mine killed 29 people (Urbina, nytimes.com).

 

23

Energy Innovation in the U.S . demands is imported, the United States would be faced with

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

single violation until it is fixed (Wang). A similar idea for a system that could go across all industries would seem to be necessary. But in addition to the basic standard of $35,000 dollars a day, we recommend that 1.1 times the cost of repairing the issue be included, as well as the cost of evaluation of the safety violations.

Vehicles

 

Our group considered the issue of raising fuel efficiency standards. The issue

Our group considered the issue of raising fuel efficiency standards. The issue

24

of raising the miles-per-gallon standard is difficult; no company wants to be forced to do something, even if it may help them in the end. Over the short-term, we decided to use the standard that President Obama set at 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 for all new cars and light trucks (Voorhees). After 2016, we hope to encourage increasingly efficient vehicles, so industry will raise their fuel efficiency as necessary as people demand better gas mileage. By 2025 we hope to see at least one million plug-in hybrids on the road, which will significantly decrease our carbon dioxide emissions. The funding from the subsidies and the plug-in charging stations should increase consumer demand and pave the way for clean public and private sectors. Year 2040 will also bring in a new wave of automobile technology in the private sector, especially in the fields of natural gas, electric and electric-hybrid (plug-in hybrid). A natural gas vehicle currently reduces CO 2 emissions by 25 percent, while also emitting lower numbers of toxic pollutants and particulate matter (Gable). Compressed natural gas is also measured in gallons equivalent to that of gasoline (Gable). Further, as oil becomes scarce and gets more expensive, companies will have difficulty paying for truck gas. In order to counter this economic and ecologic hazard, we recommend that truckers switch to natural gas as a fuel. Natural gas costs 40 percent less than gasoline and has an 80 percent reduction in emissions (Compressed Natural Gas).

Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations single violation until it is fixed (Wang). A similar

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) are powered by both gasoline engines and electrical sources and offer innovations like regenerative braking and electric motor drive (CalCars). They currently produce 67 percent fewer greenhouse gases than gasoline cars do, while continually getting cleaner as time progresses due to the revolutions of the electric grid (CalCars). PHEVs can also potentially run on bio-diesel, ethanol and other bio-fuels (CalCars).

Final Recommendations

 
CO 2 Emissions
CO 2 Emissions
 

Finally, an electric vehicle currently uses the electricity stored in a battery to power an electric motor. Due to the use of electricity, there are no tailpipe emissions and these cars are 99 percent cleaner than conventional vehicles, capable of cutting emissions by 70 percent (Union of Concerned Scientists). These technologies lower oil imports, greenhouse gases and pollution in the long run, and by the year 2040 we recommend these technologies be incorporated into the private sector, with an established infrastructure behind them.

Public Transportation

We recommend that a boost is given to further enhance the development of public transportation: an E Prize. Modeled after an X prize 4 , the E Prize would be a competition to judge the most innovative technological design for public transportation, which includes boats, planes, buses, and trains. The challenge would be open to

4 A $10 million plus grand prize given to the first team to achieve a goal set forth by the X Prize Foundation. The goal is to “benefit humanity” in a new, innovative way. (X Prize Foundation, 2010).

 

25

Energy Innovation in the U.S . Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) are powered by both gasoline engines

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

individuals, organizations, and companies with a reward of one to five million dollars provided from the redistributed subsidy funds. The competition would be judged by a panel of professional environmentalists, economists, and engineers paid with the help of the registration fee. The criteria for judging would be the ecological benefits, the energy efficiency, the simplicity to integrate into current traffic systems, and the costs to construct and maintain. However, if none of the submissions are adequate, a prize would not be awarded.

individuals, organizations, and companies with a reward of one to five million dollars provided from the
 

Alternative Fuels for Aviation

26

One area of concern during the transition away from oil is aviation because of the current lack of a viable alternative. Recent rises in jet fuel prices have resulted in extreme stress on airline companies to find a dependable alternative fuel to power their jets. This has raised interest in algal jet fuel research, which was briefly studied in the 1990s. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) promotes research, development, and deployment of algal fuels in jets. Its goal is for all members is to use a minimum of ten percent alternative fuels in flight by 2017 (IATA). Several companies, such as Air New Zealand, Continental Airlines, and Virgin Airlines are currently conducting trials with algal fuel (Bisignani). The price of research, development, and start-up of algal fuels as an alternative fuel for flight could be paid for through the use of the remaining fossil fuel subsidies. In 2020, the amount of subsidies not transferred to renewable energy would average out to $2.5 billion, which allows ample room for algal fuel investment (Snathanam).

One area of concern during the transition away from oil is aviation because of the current
Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations individuals, organizations, and companies with a reward of one

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Nuclear Power: New Technology and Increased Production

Final Recommendations

 

Nuclear power is an emission-free form of energy formed by the splitting of atoms in a nuclear reactor. Splitting just one atom produces ten million times the energy of the combustion a carbon atom in coal would produce (World Nuclear). Currently there are 104 nuclear power

Nuclear power is an emission-free form of energy formed by the splitting of atoms in a
Nuclear power is an emission-free form of energy formed by the splitting of atoms in a

reactors in the United States with 35 planned new reactors. Nuclear power supplies approximately 20 percent of the country’s current energy demand and is responsible for a 20 percent reduction in electric utility emissions of greenhouse gasses (Lipper and Stone). Nuclear power plants have the lowest production cost of electricity. The average production cost of nuclear generated electricity from existing plants is 2.03 cents per kilowatt-hour including the costs of operating and maintaining the plant, purchasing fuel and paying for the management of used fuel (Nuclear Energy Institute). The nation’s nuclear power plants are among the safest and most secure industrial facilities in the United States with 0.13 accidents per 200,000 worker hours (“Nuclear Industry Safety”). Multiple layers of physical security, together with high levels of operational performance, protect plant workers, the public and the environment (Nuclear Energy Institute). Given these facts, we recommend by 2050 to generate 45 percent of the country’s energy demands using nuclear power.

 

27

Energy Innovation in the U.S . Nuclear Power: New Technology and Increased Production Final Recommendations Nuclear

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

We also recommend a goal to have a production capacity of up to 50 percent to account for fluctuations from renewable energy sources. In order to achieve this goal, we propose that all 104 of the reactors in the United States be updated or refurbished to newer generation reactors along with the production of 106 new and more advanced reactors, as well as 50 fast breeder reactors and the corresponding infrastructure for waste reprocessing. The plan includes the building of a national waste storage facility for the remaining nuclear wastes generated in the U.S. in addition to the nuclear waste

 

accepted from around the world. Furthermore, we suggest that the construction of new nuclear facilities take place near already existing nuclear infrastructure to avoid unnecessary transportation and lower security costs, as well as theft risks. Funding for these projects can be provided through industry and private investment, bank loans, and government subsidies.

Research

28

We recommend that during the next fifteen years, funding for research and development of renewable and non-renewable energy sources increase. This can be accomplished by an annual research allotment of $2.3 billion from the Department of Energy, as outlined by the President's 2011 National Budget plan ("FY-11 Budget"). Of the $2.3 billion total, we recommend that $1.5 billion should be allocated towards nuclear energy research, which includes expanded research on current nuclear technologies as well as the creation of strategies for the disposal of nuclear wastes. The remaining $800 million can fund research for non-renewable energy sources and basic energy-efficiency measures. We recommend a similar trend of increased research funding be seen in the mid- and long-term future. Specifically, we hope to see a 25 percent increase in research funding over 2015 levels by 2025. Similarly, we recommend an increase of 50 percent over 2015 levels by 2050. These research funds will continue to go towards the promotion of nuclear and non-renewable energy, but will fluctuate with need. We

Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations We also recommend a goal to have a production

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

expect a gradual decrease in the proportion of funds to nuclear energy and thus a gradual increase in the proportion of funds for other renewable energies.

Final Recommendations

 

Timeline for Increased Nuclear Power Generation

2015

We suggest that by the year 2015 all thirteen reactors currently in the

 

decommissioning process 5 be upgraded to newer generation reactors (National Regulatory Commission). At an average cost of $1.9 billion per plant, this will increase the production of each of these reactors by about 25 percent or enough energy to power a minimum of 800,000 homes (Nuclear Energy Institute). In addition to the updated reactors, we recommend construction of twelve newer generation reactors at an estimated cost of $6 to $10 billion each. Every new plant can generate

 

approximately 1.5 gigawatts of electricity (GWe); this number will increase as the technology is improved over time (World Nuclear Association). Each construction site will create 3,500 jobs for a three to five year period while the plant is being constructed, and about 800 permanent jobs for the operation of each plant. We also recommend building

Fast Breeder Reactor Diagram. Source:reachingcriticalwill.org

ten advanced fast

reactors 6 that

will use

will use

reprocessed nuclear waste along with the

appropriate supporting infrastructure such as fuel reprocessing sites. Each fast- breeder reactor will generate approximately 1.2

5 Decommissioning is the act of saf ely remov ing the nuclear reactor from service and reducing residual radioactivity in the area ( USNRC).

6 Fast-breeder reactors: reactors that produce more plutonium than they consume (World Nuclear Association)

 

29

Energy Innovation in the U.S . expect a gradual decrease in the proportion of funds to

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Nuclear Reactors in the U.S. Source: USNRC GWe; again this number is subject to change as
Nuclear Reactors in the U.S.
Source: USNRC
GWe; again this number is subject to change as technology is improved over time
(International Panel on Fissile Materials). Also in the works should be a fission-fusion
hybrid reactor that will be used to initiate research programs aiming to increase nuclear
efficiency.
To accommodate waste, we recommend a site be selected for the location of a
national nuclear waste storage facility as well as the construction of reprocessing
infrastructure to produce fuel for fast-breeder reactors. Intensive government funded
research will be an ongoing process to find new ways to recycle and eliminate
radioactive waste produced by the nuclear power plants.
2020
We suggest that an additional twelve newer generation reactors be constructed,
in addition to four more fission-fusion hybrid research reactors. These hybrid reactors,
depending on the technological advancement, can either be used to continue and
increase the amount of research being done or will be able to be used commercially in
the future. An additional thirty older generation reactors should be upgraded to newer
30
Final Recommendations

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

generation reactors. All reactors constructed will bear in mind all appropriate measures and infrastructure for the maintenance, reuse and disposal of nuclear waste. Reprocessing facilities should be fully operational at this time.

Final Recommendations

 

2025

By 2025 we recommend that thirty more reactors should have been upgraded to the newer generation reactors. An additional twelve newer generation reactors would

be constructed along with thirty additional fast-breeder reactors. We recommend

construction of a national storage site for nuclear wastes by this date and will be ready to begin accepting nuclear materials. Fast breeder reactors should be using reprocessed fuel and nuclear waste management research funded by the Department of Energy should prove beneficial at this time.

 

2030

In 2030, nuclear energy should continue to expand its production capabilities. An additional thirty old reactors should have been updated and twenty newer generation reactors will have been constructed. At this time nuclear generated electricity will be producing enough energy to account for approximately 30 percent of the nation’s energy needs.

2040

Twenty-five additional newer generation reactors and ten fast-breeder reactors should be constructed. Additionally, we suggest all remaining older generation reactors in the United States be upgraded to newer generation reactors.

2050

We recommend that by the year 2050 an additional twenty-five newer generation reactors will have been completed creating a total of 210 reactors and fifty fast breeder reactors in the United States. By this time between forty and fifty percent of the electricity in the United States will be provided by nuclear energy.

 

31

Energy Innovation in the U.S . generation reactors. All reactors constructed will bear in mind all

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

Renewable Energy: Implementation and Storage

A competitive and diversified energy portfolio is vital to the development of domestic industry and employment as well as national economic health. From a technical standpoint, innovation and ingenuity give us the ability to constantly increase the efficiency of renewable energy. Most renewable technologies are experiencing

Source: Energy Inf ormation Administration
Source: Energy Inf ormation Administration

32

annual growth rates in the double digits, many in the 20-50 percent range, easily overtaking the current energy demand if harvested to their full potential (Sawin, 132). In recent years, dramatic improvements in the performance and affordability of solar cells, wind turbines and biofuels have paved the way for mass commercialization (Kammen, 87). During the first ten months of 2009, renewable energy provided 10.5 percent of U.S. electricity, showing the potential held by renewable energy to eventually take over a large portion of the electricity sector (Energy Information Administration). Despite this promising statistic, current energy policies cannot remain stagnant. In a study conducted by the International Energy Agency, under a “Business As Usual” scenario, the share of renewable sources in the worldwide energy consumption will only increase by one percent until 2030, from 13 to 14 percent (International Energy Agency). Through reallocating funding sources and providing incentives for developing renewable technologies, our goal is to ultimately transition the country, and the world to an economy based on renewable energy. Despite current

Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations Renewable Energy: Implementation and Storage A competitive and diversified

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

limitations, renewable energy is the cleanest and most sustainable form of energy and is ideal for
limitations, renewable energy is the cleanest and most sustainable form of energy and
is ideal for our electricity-based global society. By the year 2050, we propose that the
renewable energy sector account for 40 percent of energy consumption in the U.S.
“Business as Usual”
Final Recommendations
Source: knowledge.allianz.com
Creating Green Communities
We recommend that the Department of Energy set aside $1.9 billion of their $13
billion annual loan budget to support low-interest loans (at an interest rate of
approximately 2.5 percent) for community projects designed to ‘green’ their
communities. Initiatives such as these would empower citizens in the business sector
to create their own sustainable projects, even before more massive action is
implemented.
33

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

There are many projects and initiatives like the ones above that are relatively low cost and spread support for renewable energy in a manner that is almost viral. We also recommend a major effort in the short-term for renewable energy -- setting up a pilot program of charging stations in an area that is dense in electric cars. The Departments of Energy and Transportation could make a collaborative effort on this beginning infrastructure. Private companies that helped create this system with the government could be offered tax credits. It will serve to advance renewable technology by expanding the convenience for the consumer.

 

Wind Power

34

To accomplish the goal we have set for renewable energy, several sectors of renewable energy must be expanded, including wind, solar and geothermal. Studies have shown that with sufficient funding, wind power could account for 20 percent of energy consumption by 2030, through utilizing 30,000 square miles in the American Southwest. (DOE, 20% Wind). This scenario is based on a number of primary assumptions, namely wind turbine energy production increasing by 15 percent and wind turbine costs decreasing by about ten percent. For one-fifth of the nation’s electricity to be provided by wind, about 300 gigawatts (GW) would have to be generated by wind. Estimates for the direct cost to society is about $43 billion, translating to roughly about $0.50 monthly per consumer (DOE, 20% Wind) We recommend this target, which would require annual installations to increase more than threefold. Indeed, achieving 20 percent wind will require the number of annual turbine installations to increase from approximately 2000 in 2006 to almost 7000 in 2017. Costs of integrating intermittent wind power into the grid are modest; 20 percent wind can be reliably integrated into the grid for less than 0.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) (DOE, 20% Wind, p. 25). No material constraints currently exist, although demand for copper, fiberglass and other raw materials will increase. Clearly, achieving 20 percent wind is not limited

To accomplish the goal we have set for renewable energy, several sectors of renewable energy must
Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations There are many projects and initiatives like the ones

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Final Recommendations by the availability of raw materials. Despite the fact that raw materials are available,
Final Recommendations
by the availability of raw materials.
Despite the fact that raw materials
are available, the transmission and
distribution of the energy will be a
challenge. Issues related to siting and
cost allocation of new transmission
lines to access the nation’s best wind
resources will need to be resolved.
According to our plan, final benefits
would result in 150,000 direct jobs
and 500,000 total jobs created, and a total of $440 billion contribution to the US
economy, as depicted below. Through this plan, an estimated 825 million tons of
carbon emissions will be reduced annually (DOE, 20% Wind, p. 34)
Job Estimates created by increasing wind power generation:
Source: DOE 20% Wind
35

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

Solar Power

The capability of solar power is enormous. Energy from the sun is “virtually unlimited,” says the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems which declares that the ratio of the sunshine on the solid part of the earth to the total power needs of the humans on Earth in 2020 is 6:1 (Johnson, 34). In the U.S. alone,

The capability of solar power is enormous. Energy from the sun is “virtually unlimited,” says the

would be used to send

The capability of solar power is enormous. Energy from the sun is “virtually unlimited,” says the
 

only 2.5 percent of the solar radiation received by 250,000 square miles in the American Southwest is necessary to match the country’s total energy consumption in 2006 (Zweibel, 64). The International Energy Agency (IEA) has reported that solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar power together could account for about 22 percent of global electricity production by 2050. Concentrated solar power would supply one fifth of the solar energy. 7 The IEA also expects photovoltaic technology fitted on residential and commercial buildings to reach “grid parity” by 2020. 8 Photovoltaic systems in particular show the potential for strong growth over the next century, albeit with time and constant funding. Zweibel describes in one particular study, solar energy could power 69 percent of the electricity demand by 2050 and 35 percent of its total energy, but would require substantial investments in research and the development of a radically different infrastructure. In this plan, 30,000 square miles of photovoltaic arrays would be erected to provide almost 3,000 GW of power (Zweibel, 66). Compressed-air energy storage would be used to maintain excess power for dark hours. A high-voltage direct-current transmission system

electricity to the

36

7 Producing concentrated solar power requires long, metallic mirrors to f ocus sunlight onto a fluid-f illed pipe, heating it and then running the f luid through a heat exchanger, producing steam that turns a turbine. Sixteen hours of storage would be needed for electricity to be generated f or 24 hours (Zweibel, 67).

Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations Solar Power The capability of solar power is enormous.

8 Grid Parity : consistent cost-competitiveness with conventional f ossil f uels and nuclear power (International Energy Agency ).

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Final Recommendations storage facilities throughout the country, which, at 2050, encompass 535 billion cubic ft of
Final Recommendations
storage facilities throughout the country, which, at 2050, encompass 535 billion cubic ft
of storage (p. 68). While this seems like an excellent solution, an exorbitant amount of
money is required to fulfill the solar grand plan within such a narrow time period. $420
billion is needed to completely over-haul the nation’s energy infrastructure, installing a
SmartGrid-reminiscent system suited for solar energy 9 . However, if the plan were
adjusted to fit with the timeline we have created, solar power would receive enough
money from the redistribution of subsidies to easily supplement the existing renewable
energy by 2030.
9 “The Smart Grid is an automated electric power system that monitors and controls grid activities, ensuring the two-
way flow of electricity and information between power plants and consumers—and all points in between. What
makes this grid "smart" is the ability to sense, monitor, and, in some cases, control (automatically or remotely) how
the system operates or behav es under a given set of conditions.” (Smartgrid.gov ).
37

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

Geothermal and Hydroelectric Power

As further research is completed in the area of renewable energy, new technologies will be created and improved. By 2030, geothermal power is expected to

provide five percent of the U.S. electricity, if not more (Mims). Geothermal accounts for a large portion of the renewable energy base of the United States. As newer and

Source: Green, p.3.
Source: Green, p.3.

safer methods of drilling

 

are developed, geothermal

 

power is expected to become a major power player in the energy industry, more than it already is.

38

Currently, hydroelectric power is responsible for about six percent of U.S. electricity, but over the next fifty to one hundred years, that number will decrease ("Electric 2008", p. 11). Due to the controversial nature of hydroelectric power and the adverse ecological impact of dams, hydroelectric power will be slowly phased out of the electricity and energy sectors. Another point of contention concerns the impending water crisis. We believe the American public should not have to choose between clean, renewable energy and water.

38 Currently, hydroelectric power is responsible for about six percent of U.S. electricity, but over the
Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations Geothermal and Hydroelectric Power As further research is completed

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Renewable Energy Storage and Transmission

Final Recommendations

 

Following the five year period dedicated to education (2010-2015), our subsidy reallocation plan dictates that renewable energy technology will begin to receive at least 60 percent of a redistributed fossil fuel subsidies. Initially, this will mean a subsidy of $600 million in 2015. This amount will increase steadily until 2025 when renewable energy will receive roughly $7 billion annually out of the $11.8 billion fund, starting that year.

We suggest that the $7 billion generated from the diminished fossil fuel subsidies will also be used to research energy storage and transmission capabilities. In the realm of innovative ways to ease the transition to renewable energy and to diminish the intermittency of sustainable energy, gravel batteries have been shown by an independent UK technology firm, Isentropic, to be useful in energy storage. These batteries were used in a hydroelectric setting. Isentropic claims the round-trip energy

 

efficiency of up to eighty percent and the cost of a system per kilowatt-hour of storage to be between $10 and $55

(Isentropic). The issue of energy storage after peak hours for sunlight could also come in the form of solar-powered electrolyzers, splitting water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Excess daytime electricity from solar panels can power the electrolyzer and the gases could then be recombined in a fuel cell to yield electricity, with the only by-product being water (Johnson, p. 50). 10

Electrolyzer
Electrolyzer
 

39

10 Some additional energy storage technologies currently being researched, past the conv entional method pumped storage, are a large-scale “energy island” offshore energy storage system, testing advanced storage technologies f or ancillary serv ices, an adv anced high temperature superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) system, a high temperature superconducting f ault current limiter, a compact high-temperature superconductor hydropower generator, a small-scale electricity storage system and flexible storage for distributed generation. In the electricity sector, pressurized air storage and electrochemical storage in f uel cells will contribute to the enhancement of the sy stem (EREC, p. 8).

Energy Innovation in the U.S . Renewable Energy Storage and Transmission Final Recommendations Following the five

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

In response to transmission and distribution concerns, we recommend that money be funneled towards the research of high-temperature superconducting (HTS) cables. Public resistance to the installation of new power lines is growing, even as the need for more lines increases. HTS cables can carry three to five times more current than conventional power lines can, while maintaining the diameter of the conventional lines (American Superconductor). Composed of a ceramic-based superconducting wire with little electrical impedance and virtually no resistive heat losses, an HTS cable is

 

also more environmentally friendly. Its integration into a portion of the National Grid electric transmission system in Albany, New York and across New England states shows promise for applications countrywide (Moscovic).

HTS Cable Source: physicsworld.com
HTS Cable
Source: physicsworld.com

40

By 2050, our renewable energy technology and production capabilities should reach a level that they can account for 40 percent of all U.S. energy consumption. The money spent on renewable energy will be used to develop these technologies, and establish long-term storage systems. These investments, in addition to an innovative distribution system will make large movements towards a renewable society.

Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations In response to transmission and distribution concerns, we recommend

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Energy Efficiency: Commercial, Industrial and Residential Buildings

Final Recommendations

 

In 2008, the building sector, including residential, commercial, and industrial structures, consumed over 70 percent of total electricity alone (Energy Information Administration). The building sector has a vast impact on the environment, accounting

for 38 percent of greenhouse gas emissions – larger than any other sector. Buildings

also require heavy consumption of natural resources, including:

 



40 % of raw material use



30 % of waste output



14 % of total water consumption (USGBC).

Increasing the efficiency of buildings will not only have profoundly beneficial effects on the environment, but can also be achieved through the process of green building. Green building is “the practice of creating and using healthier and more resource- efficient models of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance and demolition” (U.S. EPA “Green Building”). According to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), green buildings in comparison with average buildings have:



26 % less energy needs



13 % lower maintenance costs



33% fewer greenhouse gas emissions (USGBC).

Green building

To encourage more green building practices, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) implemented the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). These codes are guidelines that apply to new buildings to guarantee that newly built

 

41

Energy Innovation in the U.S . Energy Efficiency: Commercial, Industrial and Residential Buildings Final Recommendations In

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

structures are energy efficient, but are not implemented by every state. Currently, these codes are encouraged,
structures are energy efficient, but are not implemented by every state. Currently,
these codes are encouraged, but nevertheless are voluntary. The baseline standard
for building’s energy efficiency is the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and
Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1 Standard (DOE Building Energy Codes).
Even with this bare minimum, some states are still not meeting these building codes.
Through enforcing regulations and promoting green building techniques, our goal is to
collectively make every building in the U.S. net-zero by 2050.
Green Building
Government Funding and Loans
To avoid the excessive government spending that would normally be incurred
by this sort of project, we suggest that the government use performance contracting,
which government and other organizations already use for building renovation projects.
For example, the National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) funds
70 percent of their building projects using performance contracting (ICF International).
Using this method, businesses take out a loan, which is then paid back over a period
42
Final Recommendations

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

of 2 – 20 years using the savings gained from the installation of the energy efficient technology ("Missouri Energy $mart Schools," ICF International). In this particular case, we recommend the government give out three year loans between $10,000 to $50,000 per project with an interest rate of 2.5 percent (“Retro- commissioning” NEMI). Conservative estimates show that if the quota is met, $57 million in profit will go to the federal government every three years.

Final Recommendations

 
The federal government will then distribute the profit, 40 percent will go to the states (40

The federal government will then distribute the profit, 40 percent will go to the states (40 percent of

The federal government will then distribute the profit, 40 percent will go to the states (40

the profit made from each state), 30 percent will go toward the federal budget, and 30 percent will go toward tax credits for non-profits that support green housing education such as Habitat for Humanity and Casa Verde, as well as the Alliance to Save Energy. Of the 40 percent that will go to the states, we recommended that states distribute the funds to electric utilities, low-income housing projects and research grants to further encourage energy efficiency. A state will receive this federal money only after it can officially document how it plans to spend the money in its budget. The money received from this loan system would also be used to purchase renewable energy systems, such as solar panels or wind turbines, to meet some of the building’s energy needs. This presents a cost effective way for the buyers to purchase and install these systems onto their buildings and also generates a small amount of revenue for the federal and state governments from payments on the 2.5 percent interest charge. By 2025, we propose that 33 percent of the potentially commissionable industrial and commercial buildings should be outfitted, a conservative minimum of $190 million profit will be allocated to the fifty states based on the amount of buildings that take the loans to fund education, subsidies for energy

 

43

Energy Innovation in the U.S . of 2 – 20 years using the savings gained from

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

efficiency technologies for buildings, public education for building commissioners and the renewable energy workforce, and grants for both on-grid and off-grid renewable energy systems. This entire procedure could create new jobs amounting in the thousands including building commissioners, renewable energy startup employees, and energy efficiency technology development and distribution, all cost-neutral if not cost-positive to the government. Initially, we recommend the federal government give loans to each state. These states would then distribute this fund to support the alternative energies and would

 

receive some revenue that would be redistributed again, creating a pool of funds to allow continual support for the program. Eventually the revenue collected by these loans would allow for funding into other sectors such as education and research into alternative energy. The availability of alternative energy due to these loans will advance the use of technologies like solar panels, as the loans make it viable for the residential and commercial sectors to utilize them without having a lot of financial risk.

Residential, Commercial and Industrial Buildings

Based on the Department of Energy’s Save Energy Now program, by 2015, the government needs to have converted 10 percent of all existing commercial and industrial buildings to be at least 25 percent more energy efficient, (DOE “Save Energy Now”). From this year forward, the federal government should be required to assist in the renovation of 10% of the remaining commercial and industrial buildings in each state every 3 years. In the residential sector, we recommend the 34 states that have the ability to reach the IECC 2009 residential building standard will be required to meet that standard by 2015. 11 The 16 states that are not predicted to be able to meet the IECC 2009

Based on the Department of Energy’s Save Energy Now program, by 2015, the government needs to

11 Some recommendations for states set to meet the 2009 IECC standards by 2016 – South and North Dakota, Wy oming and Texas: These states (with the exception of Wy oming) are large agricultural centers and have strong potential wind energy (“Agriculture receipts: Total”, “Wind Maps and Wind Resource Potential Estimates”). This can be used to help said states meet the 2003 IECC standards that will be the national minimum in 2015. Wind energy companies would rent out a portion of agricultural land (determined by the land owner and the company) for $3,000 to $5,000 per windmill (for the land required for one turbine) per year (Wind

44

Power's Cash Crop). This would make citizens and developers more willing to build new buildings in compliance with the IECC standards of 2003, which would allow these states to begin their required accelerated efficiency programs by 2015.

Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations efficiency technologies for buildings, public education for building commissioners

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

standard by 2012 should be required to develop accelerated programs that will get these states to 20 percent compliance with the IECC 2009 standard by 2012, 40 percent compliance in 2013, 60 percent compliance in 2014, and so on, until they have reached 100 percent compliance with the IECC 2009 standard in 2016. Eventually, all 50 states will be on the same minimum IECC standard, and we recommend they also comply with the Green Points Program currently utilized in Colorado. This program states that new residential buildings must be 30-75 percent

Final Recommendations

 

more efficient than the 2006 IECC levels, and have a Home Energy Rating System of 15-50 percent more efficient that IECC. New commercial buildings must increase efficiency standards by 30 percent. (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency).

 

The National Commissioning Collaborative

To further advance and push for energy efficiency in buildings, we recommend creating a National Commissioning Collaborative by 2025, based off of the California Commissioning Collaborative (CCC), which follows the Department of Energy’s strategy for building commissioning. 12 The CCC is a nonprofit public corporation that advocates for and makes commissioning towards energy efficient buildings possible. This organization makes training and education accessible so that California may reach its goals in energy efficiency. Through their efforts they have worked to spread knowledge about commissioning and make it a standardized process. Implementing practices such as those piloted by the CCC, a National Commissioning Collaborative will allow for the government to observe the progress of the nation with respect to energy efficiency in

To further advance and push for energy efficiency in buildings, we recommend creating a National Commissioning

12 Building commissioning is the process of ensuring that systems are designed, installed, functionally tested and capable of being operated and maintained according to the owner's operational needs. Commissioning is performed in new construction projects and in major capital improvements or retrof its (California Commissioning Collaborative).

 

45

Energy Innovation in the U.S . standard by 2012 should be required to develop accelerated programs

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

buildings. Buildings will undergo a standardized commissioning process that will evaluate the efficiency of the building and create a database upon which more information can be compiled, including particular areas that are doing well and areas where building efficiency is poor. Such an organization would stress the importance of energy efficiency of buildings as well as create thousands of jobs throughout the nation for the commissioning process.

Tax Incentives

 

We feel that a great deal must be done to encourage on site energy production in buildings. If buildings are self-sustainable or at least can provide for the majority of their energy needs, they are investing in America’s burgeoning renewable energy industry and taking another step toward sustainability. Several states, such as Illinois, have adopted a policy that will not tax more for solar energy systems than conventional energy systems on property taxes, incentivizing purchases dramatically (“Special Assessment for Solar Energy” DSIRE). We recommend that by 2025, each state must develop a standardized code for property tax incentives regarding renewable energy systems with a minimum baseline of dropping normal property taxes of renewable energy systems by 50 percent.

Energy Credit Systems

46

By continuing efforts enacted in the short term as well as implementing new measures in this range of 2025 onward, we believe it is a feasible goal for the entire nation to be at 35 percent net-zero energy in existing buildings by 2025. Net-zero means that these buildings would produce as much energy as they consumed, or receive this energy from renewable sources, as defined by off-site net zero energy consumption (National

By continuing efforts enacted in the short term as well as implementing new measures in this
Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations buildings. Buildings will undergo a standardized commissioning process that

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Renewable Energy Laboratory). In order to enforce these measures, all 50 states must consider implementation of a renewable energy credit system similar to Illinois’ renewable energy credit system (“Renewable Portfolio Standard” DSIRE). In this program, all investor-owned or retail utilities will be required to meet 50 percent of a state-mandated renewable energy quota through utility owned renewable energy generation systems, and the rest of the state quota either through renewable energy generation systems or by buying renewable energy credits traded on a state-wide exchange. This standard can create an incentive for commercial buildings to invest in

Final Recommendations

 

renewable energy technologies for their building with short pay-back times, and that is compliant with standards set at the discretion of each state. There is a risk of this program failing unless there is buy-in from fossil fuel-run utilities. As buildings continue to become more efficient, we recommend that utility companies should be able to run 75 percent of all buildings as net-zero nationwide by 2040. Given some leniency, the utilities do not necessarily have to produce the renewable energy themselves but can take advantage of the renewable energy credit system. By 2050, all buildings in the United States will be collectively net-zero, as a result of the continued conversion of utility companies to alternative energy sources such as nuclear and renewable energy.

 
47
 

47

Energy Innovation in the U.S . Renewable Energy Laboratory). In order to enforce these measures, all

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

Conclusion: Looking Forward, 2050 and Beyond

 

By the year 2050, we will have effectively remodeled our nation’s energy portfolio into a more sustainable and reliable one. We have effectively educated the public, as well as fossil fuel companies, of the benefits of converting to renewable

energy. We have practically reduced the fossil fuel dependence from 75 percent to 20

 

percent (Greentechmedia.com). Fifteen percent of our energy will be derived from natural gas. Another part of our final goal is to

 

devote five percent of our energy portfolio to

Energy Goals 2050

 

oil. Renewable energy sources, especially geothermal and solar, will account for 40

 

Natural gas

percent of our energy portfolio, and nuclear

percent of our energy portfolio, and nuclear 15%

15%

power will conceivably account for the remaining 40 percent of U.S. electricity

Nuclear

40%

Oil

5%

demand. With the incorporation of natural gas and hybrid-electric vehicles into the existing infrastructure, will continue to lesson our dependence on foreign oil. In addition to

Renew able

Renew able

40%

48

shifting the focus from non-renewable to more sustainable energy sources, we will have significantly decreased our energy consumption due to the goal of 100 percent collectively net-zero buildings in the U.S. by this time. Beyond 2050, we have placed other goals to secure the continued reliability and sustainability of our nation’s energy. By the year 2075 we believe algal fuels will be completely researched and implemented so that we may replace the five percent oil sources with algal fuel sources. In addition, we will replace the 20 percent fossil fuel sector that is comprised of natural gas and oil with renewables between 2080 and 2100, effectively eliminating fossil fuels and replacing it with sustainable, clean sources

Energy Innovation in the U.S. Final Recommendations Conclusion: Looking Forward, 2050 and Beyond By the year

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

of fuel. If current U.S. policy trends endure, more and more nuclear waste from other nations will be transported to the U.S. for reprocessing, enabling fast breeder reactors to reuse nuclear waste from not only the U.S. but also from other nations to generate electricity. In the near future a majority of the hot nuclear waste could be used as an energy source. An example would be the use of excess heat to boil water or even potentially using the fusion-fission hybrid nuclear waste to split water molecules to produce hydrogen gas for use in fuel cells (NYSERDA). After another thirty years, with roughly $200 billion from the fossil fuel subsidies,

Final Recommendations

 

renewable energy should be able to comfortably replace the remaining natural gas sector, producing about 60 percent of American electricity. Again, photovoltaic power and geothermal sources will account for the impending transition. The growth of solar as a promising source of energy is primarily policy-driven. As more policies are implemented supporting the expansion of the renewable industry, production will respond likewise. Eventually, the current energy transmission and distribution system should be able to transition to a Smart Grid, utilizing distributed generation to relieve intermittency. In conclusion, our recommendations created a system that will help our country have a more sustainable, reliable, and healthy source of energy in the future.

 
49
 

49

Energy Innovation in the U.S . of fuel. If current U.S. policy trends endure, more and

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Final Recommendations

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Energy Innovation in the U.S.

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Final Recommendations

 

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Energy Innovation in the U.S . "Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems." Database of State Incentives

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

 

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools

The National summit is a signature event offered to member schools from the National Consortium for Specialized Schools of Mathematics Science and Technology (NCSSSMST). Schools attending the 2010 National Youth Policy Summit are:

Conroe ISD Academy of Science and Technology

The Woodlands, TX

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Aurora, IL

Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts

Hot Springs, AR

Liberal Arts and Science Academy

Austin, TX

Alabama School of Fine Arts

Birmingham, AL

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Alexandria, VA

Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology

Conyers, GA

Crooms Academy of Information Technology

Sanford, FL

Science and Mathematics Academy at Aberdeen

Aberdeen, MD

Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science

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Bowling Green, KY

Energy Innovation in the U.S.

Sponsors

 

The Keystone Center would like to extend a special thank you to our sponsors who make this program possible:

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Edison Electric Institute Schlumberger Carbon Services U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Expert Panelists

Thank you to the following individuals for sharing their expertise and technical knowledge by serving on the expert panel:

Mathias Bell– Rocky Mountain Institute Lowrey Brown– Western Resource Advocates Dan Gibbs– Colorado State Senate Alice Madden– Colorado Governor's Energy Office Scott Moore– Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Robi Robichaud– National Renewable Energy Laboratory Wayne Rowe– Schlumberger Carbon Services

Partners

The National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science, and Technology

The National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology has been a partner of the National Youth Policy Summit program since 2004. The Consortium is the nation's foremost alliance of schools dedicated to transforming mathematics, science, and technology education to create synergies among schools engaged in educational innovation by shaping national policy, fostering collaboration, and developing, testing, implementing and disseminating exemplary programs. The Consortium w as established in 1988 to provide a forum for schools to exchange information and program ideas and to evolve alliances betw een them. For more information, visit www.ncsssmst.org.

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Energy Innovation in the U.S . Sponsors The Keystone Center would like to extend a special

INNOVATION

LEADERSHIP

SOLUTIONS

The Keystone Center’s Youth Policy Summit is designed to advance critical thinking and problem solving skills
The Keystone Center’s
Youth Policy Summit
is designed to advance
critical thinking and
problem solving skills in
our leaders of the future.

The Keystone Center

1628 Sts John Rd.

www.keystone.org

Keystone, CO 80435

www.youthpolicysummit.org

970-513-5824