Sources to Supply 60 TWt or 20 TWe of Commercial Power by 2050

Columns 1 through 9 of Tables 9.2-9.6 summarize the characteristics of conventional and unconventional systems in 2050. Most, such as biomass, fossil, and nuclear, primarily yield thermal power (TWt) and thermal energy (TWt-y). Some, such as wind and hydroelectric turbines and solar photovoltaic cells, are sources of electrical energy and are normally rated in terms of electric power (TWe) and electric energy (TWe-y). The last column provides an estimate of the feasible level of electric power each power system can supply, as constrained by technical considerations or by the funds available for their development and operation. Potential technical capacity can be much larger than what is economically feasible. For example, over 167 000 TWt of sunlight intersects the disk of Earth. However, at the surface of Earth sunlight is

Table 9.2 Mixed and carbon-based sources of thermal and electric power in 2050

Power System

Maximum energy inventory on Earth (TWt-y)

Annual renewal rate (TWt)

Key nontechnical issues @ <20 TWe

Limiting technol. factors m 20 TWe

Deplete or exhaust (Y) @ 20 TWe or 60 TWt

Pollution products

Long-term trend of total costs m 20 TWe

Feasible electric output by 2050 in TWe

1 .Mixed System (Case A2)


3. Peat

4. Coal

5. Oils/Gas

Non-renew <3200 @ 2050

System output

(primarily wood)

■ Less biodiversity

■ Political objections

- wetlands

■ Land recovery

■ Environmental impacts

■ Mass handling

■ Pollution control


• Increased co2

• All new systems by 2150

Steady to decreasing

Sharply decreasing

Natural gas hydrates

>10000 Not well mapped

• Seabed disruption

Diffuse TBD

resource Efficient separation

• Greenhouse TBD gas

• Natural releases

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Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.

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