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Alternative sources of Energy

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Energy Management / Energy Business

University, School

FH Burgenland Pinkafeld

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2011, Prof.(FH) DI Dr. Arne Ragossnig

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Alternative Sources of Energy


Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

I’d like to tell you something about the topic alternative sources of energy.

Definition: First I want to give you a short definition about alternative sources of energy. Alternative energy is energy that is neither based on fossil fuels nor on the splitting of atoms. It is usually a renewable source of energy that could be used should fossil fuels run out.


I want now like to turn to the question: Why do we need alternatives.

To answer that question, we need to start by discussing fossil fuels-what they are and the advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels. Within this context, the pressing need for alternatives becomes quite clear.

Most fossil fuels are formed from the remains of long-dead creatures and plants. Buried over the course of hundreds of millions of years, these carbon-based deposits have been converted by heat and pressure over time into such combustible substances as crude oil, coal, natural gas, oil etc.


I would now like to say a few words about the advantages of fossil fuels.

·         A major advantage of fossil fuels is their capacity to generate huge amounts of electricity in just a single location. 

·         Fossil fuels are very easy to find. 

·         When coal is used in power plants, they are very cost effective.

·         Transporting oil and gas to the power stations can be made through the use of pipes making it an easy task. 

·         Power stations that make use of fossil fuel can be constructed in almost any location.


Let’s now turn to disadvantages and so to the question Why do we need alternatives.

·         Pollution is a major disadvantage of fossil fuels. This is because they give off carbon dioxide when burned thereby causing a greenhouse effect. This is also the main contributory factor to the global warming experienced by the earth today. 

·         Another point is that at current rates, the world uses fossils fuels 100,000 times faster than they can form.

·         Drilling for oil, transporting volatile liquids and explosive gases etc, all these can determine tragic accidents for example the oil catastrophe in the gulf of Mexico.


Now I want to turn to alternative sources of energy.

Firstly I want to explain wind energy.

It has been used since the ancient times initially with the Egyptians who utilized the wind to sail ships on the Nile River more than 5,000 years ago. People later on discovered windmills which they used to grind w.....[read full text]

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         efficiency of cells is up to 23%/ but that is improving

Then there are solar panels

         are situated on roof of building.

         absorb heat in the form of radiation from sun.

         basically system is like a domestic central heating radiator painted black/insulated.

         provides “topping up” of domestic hot water.

Last, but not least, there are solar power generation

         located in desert/high intensity/long sunlight hours

         parabolic mirrors reflect/focus sun’s rays onto metal water pipe located along focal axis of mirrors.

         High temperature produced - steam - electrical power generated

Advantages

Solar energy is a completely renewable resource. Very little maintenance is required to keep solar cells running.

Disadvantages

Sun does not shine consistently. The solar cells and solar panels are very expensive.


Thirdly I’d like to explain Hydropower.

Hydropower is power that is derived from the energy of moving water.

There are two different generating methods. Conventional dams and pumped – storage. The method stores energy in the form of water, pumped from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation. Low-cost off-peak electric power is used to run the pumps. During periods of high electrical demand, the stored water is released through turbines.

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         Dams are designed to last many decades and so can contribute to the generation of electricity for many years / decades

         When in use, electricity produced by dam systems do not produce greenhouse gases. They do not pollute the atmosphere.

Disadvantages

         Dams are extremely expensive to build and must be built to a very high standard.

         They take up a lot of space.

         It takes a lot of time for planning and construction dams.


And finally I want to explain another important source of energy Biofuel

The term covers solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases.[27] Liquid biofuels include bio alcohols, such as bioethanol, and oils, such as biodiesel.

Bioethanol is an alcohol made by fermenting the sugar components of plant materials and it is made mostly from sugar and starch crops. With advanced technology being developed, cellulosic biomass, such as trees and grasses, are also used as feedstock’s for ethanol production.

Ethanol can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form, but it is usually used as a gasoline

Bioethanol is an alcohol made by fermenting the sugar components of plant materials and it is made mostly from sugar and starch crops. With advanced technology being developed, cellulosic biomass, such as trees and grasses, are also used as feedstocks f.....

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Limited availability reduces the desirability of biofuels as alternative energy sources


Conclusion

         It’s not easy to quantify exactly which renewable resource is better—each has its pros and its cons

         Renewable energy may not replace fossil fuels overnight, but a push towards them is important if we want to stop global warming

.


I’d like to finish my presentation by the three discussion points


Discussion Points:

·         Which form of alternative energy do you think is the best?

·         Should the government invest more money in alternative forms of Energy?

·         Is Biodiesel a good alternat.....


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