Solution To Zero Carbon Energy Systems Environmental Sciences
David McKay ( Chief scientific officer to the U.K department of energy and climate change ), the author of the book "SUSTAINABLE ENERGY WITHOUT THE HOT AIR" shows us a brief look at the energy problems and he has kept forward some wonderful solutions. The purpose of this will let us achieve a zero carbon energy systems in U.K. The scope of doing this is possible depending to their feasibility. I do agree that it is possible and it will be accepted by the UK population. Considering on the economic view, it is acceptable rather than at the time of global financial crisis. Overall our realization would have a considerable impact on the global poor mean.
Considering on the brief details that is been portrayed to us, we have an addiction to fossil fuels which is not sustainable. Developed world gets 80% to 90% energy from fossil fuels, where Britain is also one of them. There are three reasons as well as motivations for us to think on adaptive forms to get energy. Excisable fossil fuels, as fossil fuels can get used up at a particular point of time like the gas and oil and other fossil fuels. Second one is setting fire to fossil fuel puts carbon dioxide level high and in to the oceans. The third one is that even if we don't believe in climate change or about the excisable fossil fuel, at a particular stage in future, we have to depend on other countries for energy and we don't want to rely on other nations for energy. As we have understood the motivations, our emotions won't get us there therefore McKay has done some facts and numbers that would probably leap us there. He has done some numbers based on the production and consumption. According to him, energy unit is kWh and power of 1 kWh per day is equal to 40 W. Based on consumption if one 40kWh light bulb glows for 24 hrs then the power spent is one kilowatt and cost of power is around 10p to 15 p, consumed food per day shows 3kWh of energy spent, bathing 5kWh per day, one litre of petrol happens to be 10kWh of power consumed, when a person has the habit of drinking juice like cola then the energy spent by him would be 0.6kWh per day as the cola can made of aluminium needs the energy to be made. The energy spent by driving a car for 100km would be 80kWh per day. Similarly when a person flies the energy spent by him would be 26kWh per day and 10,000kWh per passenger. Average power consumption in UK is 125 kWh/d/p (kWh per day per person), while Britain consumes 1.25 watts per square meter.
The energy that is being produced is consumed, where it is going? The energy is spent majorly in three different ways. The first one is Transport, second one is heating and the third one is electricity. The idea's given by McKay to produce power in an innovate way to reduce carbon emission and to obtain sustainable energy are by renewable things, clean coal, nuclear power, wind mill, Energy crops like the Miscanthus, Solar energy, tidal power, water wind mill, hydroelectricity by using the rain fall, solar power in desserts, Solar panels constructing farms of solar, wind farm in UK. The other way to sustain energy is by changing the life style and by reducing the population density which can be considered at the end if we are not satisfied with our efforts. By unplugging your cell charger while it is not on charge would also contribute to the saving of energy to some extent. Thus it shows that numbers can be better suited to explain the production and consumption rather than adjectives, to get a clear picture.
McKay has proposed five energy plans for Britain. The five plans are plan D (the domestic diversity) where 32% of the UK electricity depends on imported coal, plan N (the NIMBY plan) where 72% of the UK electricity are from other countries, plan L (the liberal democrats) where 64% of the UK electricity are from other countries, plan G (the green plan) where 14% of the UK electricity from other countries and plan E (Economist's plan) where no energy are imported. The current situation of energy consumption is that transport is 40kWh/d per person. Most of the energy is consumed as petrol, kerosene or diesel. Much of the energy provided by natural gas is used to heat water and air and is used by 40kW/h/d per person. Electricity used is 18kWh/d/p and fuel used is mainly gas, nuclear and coal. The energy of 27kWh/d/p goes up to cooling towers and is lost in the wires of the distribution network. Thus the total energy input is 125kWh/d per person.
The common features of the five plans of McKay are that transportation is largely electrified. The consumption of energy as heating is minimized by improving the insulation of all buildings. The electricity demands are maintained. In the plan D, which is termed as domestic diversity he has quoted certain numbers and they are, the sources used here are clean coal, nuclear, tide, hydro, pumped heat, solar, wind, bio fuels, wood, wave, solar photovoltaic and waste. Clean coal is used as 16kWh/d, nuclear as 16kWh/d, bio fuels as 2kWh/d, pumped heat as 12kWh/d, wood as 5kWh/d, solar HW as 1, photovoltaic as 3kWh/d, wind as 8kWh/d, waste as 1.1, hydro as 0.2, wave as 2, tide as 3.7. In this plan clean coal and nuclear are 16kWh/d, that shows the most of the power consumed in this plan is from this two sources, if UK has its own coal and nuclear it would not need to buy from other countries. But still in this plan 32% of the UK electricity is been imported from other countries. In the plan N which is termed as the NIMBY plan the sources used are solar in deserts, nuclear, hydro where water is the source like rainfall, clean coal, tide, pumped heat, waste, wind, bio fuels, solar, and wood. The more numbers of contributions in this plan is of the solar cells placed in the desserts. Many solar batteries are placed in as a stack pile to observe the heat energy from the sun and deliver it as the power required. Solar in dessert serves 20kWh/d. The next source that is dominated in this plan is the clean coal which is obtained as 16kWh/d, where the others are like nuclear for 10kWh/d tide 1kWh/d, waste 1.1kWh/d, hydro as 0.2kWh/d, pumped heat as 12kWh/d, wood as 5kWh/d, solar HW as 1kWh/d, Bio fuels as 2kWh/d and wind as 2kWh/d. In this plan the consumption of the nuclear power is kept low compared to that of plan D. In this plan 72% of the UK electricity is been received from other countries. In plan L the numbers are solar in desserts 16kWh/d and clean coal the same. It shows that in this plan both this sources are consumed equally in terms of numbers, whereas for tide 3.7, wave 2, waste 1.1, hydro 0.2, wood as 5kWh/d, pumped heat 12kWh/d, wind 8, photo voltaic 3, bio fuels 2 and solar HW as1. In this plan the electricity obtained from other countries by UK are 64%. 8% less compared to plan N. In plan G the amount of electricity obtained from other countries is 14%, where the most of electricity is obtained from the wind energy obstructed from the wind farms and the wind turbines. In this plan the wind energy used is 32. Others are comparatively low, like the solar in desserts is 7, tide 3.7, wave3, hydro and waste incineration 0.2, pumped heat 12kWh/d, waste 1.1, solar HW 1, wood 5kWh/d, bio fuels 2 and photo voltaic 3. The dependence of plan G is on renewable, particularly wind. The fifth plan put forward by McKay is Plan E, where no energy imports are done. In this plan 44kWh/d is of nuclear. This show nuclear is much used here in his plan. "Clean coal" and nuclear are similar on price, it's nuclear that wins, obviously. This plan shows a ten-fold increase in our nuclear power over the levels of 2007. A little tidal power is added because McKay believes that a well designed lagoon of tidal facility can compete with nuclear power. The other sources used are, tide 0.7, hydro 0.2, waste 1.1, wind 4, solar Hw 1 wood 5kWh/d, pumped heat 12kWh/d and bio fuels 2. In future the carbon pollution will be priced appropriately to avoid catastrophic climate change. He has also put one plan on map, termed as the plan M. In this plan solar in desserts are 16kWh/d, clean coal 3, tide 3.7, waste 1.1, nuclear 16kWh/d, hydro 0.2, wave 0.3, pumped heat 12kWh/d, solar HW 1, wood 5kWh/d, bio fuels 2, photovoltaic 2 and wind 8. Photovoltaic would be too expensive so it is numbered in small. It would be better to have a plan to locate new clean coal plants which has waste incinerators in areas near to potential biomass plantations. Then he has done an analysis of the cost to do shifting from fossil fuels to renewable. Thus he gives us a figure that £75bn per year is being spent for the energy consumed in UK.
These proposals made by McKay are feasible and can be applied for a significant change. The plan kept forward by him has a mixture of all the sources, which is the major advantage of this plans. He used to have all resources like the bio fuels, nuclear, wind, solar, clean coal and so on. He has just altered the numbers of the sources in every plan to suit to the current situation. The main aim here is to reduce the carbon emission to the atmosphere and give a try to make it as zero carbon emission as it is termed as zero carbon systems. This is adaptable as the sources won't have CO 2 to emit, and thus makes it possible. The demand for energy will be the numbers which have been worked out now. To meet this demand and in coherent achieve it with a zero carbon emission we need to adapt any of these five plans kept forward for UK. Electricity is borrowed from other countries as well in some quantity to achieve these plans. By reducing the emission of carbon, we can considerably reduce the effects of Global warming. Which would play a key role to stop the sudden changes in the atmosphere (climate change) done by the greenhouse Gases. We can at least stop the damage further caused by us to the atmosphere, like the depletion of the ozone layer. These plans are possible because it takes a stand on the issue of current carbon emission and holds the correct ways to reduce the carbon emission by using the power of nature. Wind mills, solar power, tidal all come under the nature forces. For nuclear energy we need uranium, which would be a suitable alternative for energy supply. Cars and other modes of transport can be transformed to electric vehicles to use electricity which in turn won't have the pollution done. Even hybrid vehicles are effective ones to be used. So these plans should be adapted in my view to get a better surrounding to live in for the coming future.
In this time of global financial crisis, it would be not that easy to execute these plans. The main topic is about physical limits to sustainable energy, and not the current economic feasibility. We have to understand all these limits. While economics of the world is always on the change, the fundamental limits won't subside. At this point of time we should think for the better suggestions like will the wind energy be cheaper to execute or the nuclear energy and obviously we would go for the cheaper way to obtain energy at this point of time. As we have five plans, we can adopt to the best plan which suits our situation. We have the plan E which is the economist plan, and it would give us a better way to get power at this time of global economic crisis with zero carbon emission.
These plans can be accepted by the UK population as the output of energy that we get from these plans would match the required energy level of the population in UK. UK population would accept this because these are eco-friendly ways to get energy. Even though there would be some resistance from the people, the majority of the UK population would be favouring these plans. Examples for the resistance caused by people are the wind mill installation which would change the look of the environment (natural view) and which has some side effects like the radar could not be effective in terms of safeguarding the coastal areas from outsiders and so and so on forth. But as we have five plans, we can adapt to the required plan which would be the effective way of obtaining power from these resources. Or we can have all the five plans depending on the demand and other situations.
The realisation of our actions will have a direct impact on the global poor mean. In many ways it can be illustrated. People who don't have access to electricity and people who find it difficult to use fuels as the price is high. Solar energy can be an alternative. Solar energy which will have a big role to play in the health and development of the rural, it also aids in helping the world to empower the global poor. When some households can't manage their expenses to consume electricity it might be possible to provide subsidies and that also to a certain level of consumption only. This plans would provide an aid to sustainable energy option for the poor around the globe by giving them a clear idea of the plans carried out in UK, so as they can adapt to the best suited plan for them. As the poor nations can't afford to spend much, they can have a calculated numbers on the sustainable energy to get the required power from the cost which they can afford to. Thus the global poor mean can be supported in this way.
Thus the plans kept forward by McKay are feasible and it can be accepted by the UK population. It is economically feasible, except at the time of economic crisis. The realization of the need to adopt these five plans by McKay would have a considerable impact on the global poor mean, as well. And, hence I conclude that the ideas kept forward by McKay are applicable and is feasible in the considered ways.
Article name: Solution To Zero Carbon Energy Systems Environmental Sciences essay, research paper, dissertation