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Chapter 17: Energy: Some Basics

Energy Crisis in Ancient Greece

and Rome
Greeks and Romans used wood to heat there
As local supplies ran out had to bring it in from farther
Eventually both societies learned to build houses
south facing
Allows sun to heat house in winter
In Rome laws pasted to protect a persons right to
solar energy.
Energy Today and Tomorrow
Energy situation facing the US today is
similar to that faced by Greeks and Romans.
Use of wood peaked 1880s
Coal use peaked 1920
Reaching the peak of oil and gas use
The decisions we make today will affect
energy use for generations.
Energy Basics
To understand energy it is easiest to begin
with the idea of force
We have all exerted force by pushing or pulling
The strength of force can be measured by how
much it accelerates an object
Think of pushing a car uphill
Energy Basics
In physicists terms
Exerting force over a distance moved is work
Work is the product of a force times a distance
Energy is the ability to do work
When the car id higher on the hill the potential
energy of the car has increased
Energy can be converted from one kind to another
The total energy conserved
First law of thermodynamics
Energy Basics
To illustrate the conservation and
conversion of energy think of a tire swing
At highest position all energy is stored potential
At lowest position all energy is kinetic energy
Energy of motion
With each swing friction slows the swing
generating heat energy
Eventually all the energy converted to heat and the
swing stops
Energy Basics
Energy quality
The ability of the energy to do work
The higher quality of the energy, the more easily it can
be converted to work.
The lower the energy quality, the more difficult it is to
convert to work.
Second law of thermodynamics
Energy always tends to go from a more usable (higher-
quality) form to a less usable (lower-quality) form.
When you use energy, you lower its quality.

Energy Efficiency
Two fundamental types of energy
efficiencies are derived from the first and
second laws of thermodynamics:
the first-law efficiency and the second-law
First-law efficiency deals with the amount
of energy without any consideration of the
quality or availability of the energy.

Energy Efficiency
Second-law efficiency refers to how well
matched the energy end use is with the
quality of the energy source.
Low values indicate where improvements in
energy technology and planning may save
significant amounts of high-quality energy.

Energy Efficiencies
Electricity generating plants have nearly the
same first-law and second-law efficiencies.
Generating plants are examples of heat engines.
Produces work from heat.
Most of the electricity generated in the world
today comes from heat engines
Use nuclear fuel, coal, gas, or other fuels.

Energy Source and Consumption
Industrialized countries small percentage of
the worlds population, but consume a
disproportionate share of the total energy
produced in the world.
E.g. US with only 5% of the worlds
population, uses approximately 25% of the total
energy consumed.
Fossil Fuels and Alternative
Energy Sources
90% of the energy consumed in the US comes
from fossil fuels
Petroleum, natural gas, and coal.
They are essentially nonrenewable.
Other sources of energy
Include geothermal, nuclear, hydropower, and solar
Referred to as alternative energy sources.
Solar and wind, are not depleted by consumption and
are known as renewable energy.

Energy Consumption in the US
US dependent on the three major fossil fuels
coal; natural gas; and petroleum.
From 1950 to late-1970s, energy consumption
increased tremendously
From 30 exajoules to 80 exajoules.
Since about 1980, energy consumption has
increased by only about 20 exajoules.
Suggests that policies to improve energy conservation
through efficiency improvements have been at least
partially successful.
Energy Consumption in the US
Energy losses are associated with
the production of electricity and transportation.
Most occur through the use of heat engines
Looking at the generalized energy flow of the US
for a particular year
We imported considerably more oil than we produced
Consumption distributed in three sectors:
residential/commercial, industrial, and transportation.
We remain dangerously vulnerable to changing
world conditions affecting the production of oil.

Energy Conservation, Increased
Efficiency and Cogeneration
Conservation of energy
Simply getting by with less demand for energy.
Increased energy efficiency
Involves designing equipment to yield more
energy output from a given amount of input
energy (first-law efficiency)
Better matches between energy source and end
use (second-law efficiency).

Energy Conservation, Increased
Efficiency and Cogeneration
Processes designed to capture and use waste
heat rather than release it as a thermal pollution.
Using that waste heat, can increase the overall
efficiency of a typical power plant from 33% to
as much as 75%
Could provided an estimated 10% of the power
capacity of the US
Building Design
A spectrum of possibilities exists for increasing
energy efficiency and conservation in residential
Design and construct homes that minimize the energy
Design buildings to take advantage of passive solar
For older homes:insulation, caulking, weather stripping,
installation of window coverings, storm windows, and
regular maintenance.

Industrial Energy
Industrial production of goods continues to
grow significantly.
U.S. industry consumes about one-third of the
energy produced.
More industries are using co-generation and
more energy-efficient machinery.
Automobile design
Early 1970s, the average US automobile got 14
By 1996, the average was 28 mpg for highway
Fuel consumption rates did not improve much from
1996 to 1999.
In 2004 many vehicles sold were SUVs and light
trucks with fuel consumption of 1020 mpg.
A loophole in regulations permits poorer fuel
SUVs declined in 2006.
Automobile design
Today, some hybrid (gasoline-electric) vehicles
exceeds 90 mpg on the highway and 60 mpg in the
Improvement has several causes:
Increased efficiency and resulting conservation of fuel
Cars that are smaller, w/ engines constructed of lighter
Combination of a fuel-burning engine with an electric
Values, Choices, and Energy
Ways of modifying behavior to conserve energy
include the following:
Ride a bike, walk, or take a bus or train to work.
Using carpools to travel to and from work or
Purchasing a hybrid car (gasoline-electric)
Turning off lights when leaving rooms
Taking shorter showers (conserves hot water)
Putting on a sweater and turning down the

Values, Choices, and Energy
Using energy-efficient compact florescent lightbulbs
Purchasing energy-efficient appliances
Sealing drafts in buildings with weather stripping
and caulk
Better insulating your home
Washing clothes in cold water whenever possible
Purchasing local foods to reduce energy in transport
Using powerstrips and turning them off when not in

Energy Policy
U.S. energy policy during the past half-
century has not moved us closer to
energy self-sufficiency.
We import more oil than ever.
In the late 1990s, the US spent $2 billion
per year on R and D for energy.
By comparison, $45 billion per year went to
R and D for the military.
Energy Policy Act of 2005
Some of the provisions are as follows.
1. Promotes conventional energy sources
2. Promotes nuclear power
3. Encourages alternative energy
4. Promotes conservation measures
5. Promotes research
6. Provides for energy infrastructure

Hard Path vs. Soft Path
Hard path involves finding greater amounts
of fossil fuels and building larger power
Continuing the past emphasis on quantity of
energy used.
Requires no new thinking; no realignment of
political, economic, or social conditions; and
little anticipation of coming reductions oil.

Hard Path vs. Soft Path
According to hard-path proponents, we
1. Let the energy industry develop the available
energy resources
2. Let industry, free from government
regulations, provide a steady supply of energy
with less total environmental damage.

Hard Path vs. Soft Path
The second road of energy policy is called
the soft path.
It involves energy alternatives that
energy quality, are renewable, are flexible, and
are environmentally more benign than those of
the hard path.
Hard Path vs. Soft Path
These alternatives have several
They rely heavily on renewable energy resources,
such as sunlight, wind, and biomass.
They are diverse and are tailored for maximum
effectiveness under specific circumstances.
They are flexible, accessible, and understandable
to many people.
They are matched in energy quality, geographic
distribution, and scale to end-use needs.
Energy for Tomorrow
Future changes in population densities as
well as intensive conservation measures will
probably change existing patterns of energy
To stabilize the climate in terms of global
warming, use of energy from fossil fuels
would need to be cut by about 50%.
Reductions in energy use need not be
associated w/ lower quality of life.

Energy for Tomorrow
What is needed is increased conservation and
more efficient use of energy:
More energy-efficient land-use planning that
maximizes the accessibility of services and minimizes
the need for transportation.
Agricultural practices and personal choices that
1. Eating more locally grown foods
2. Eating more vegetables, beans, and grains.
Industrial guidelines for factories that promote energy
conservation and minimize production of waste.

Integrated, Sustainable Energy
Integrated energy management recognizes
that no single energy source can provide all
the energy required.
Range of options that vary from region to
region will have to be employed.
The mix of technologies and sources of energy
will involve both fossil fuels and alternative,
renewable sources.

Integrated, Sustainable Energy
A basic goal is to move toward sustainable energy
development, implemented at the local level.
Would have the following characteristics:
It would provide reliable sources of energy.
It would not cause destruction or serious harm to our
global, regional, or local environments.
It would help ensure that future generations inherit a
quality environment with a fair share of the Earths

Integrated, Sustainable Energy
A good energy plan is part of an aggressive
environmental policy with the goal of
producing a quality environment for future
A good plan should do the following:
Provide for sustainable energy development.
Provide for aggressive energy efficiency and
Integrated, Sustainable Energy
Provide for the diversity and integration of
energy sources.
Provide for a balance between economic health
and environmental quality.
Use second-law efficiencies as an energy policy

Integrated, Sustainable Energy
The global pattern of ever-increasing
energy consumption led by the US
cannot be sustained w/o a new energy
Includes changes in human values rather
than a breakthrough in technology.
Choosing to own fuel-efficient automobiles
and living in more energy-efficient homes
are consistent with a sustainable energy