Renewable Energy – July 6th  with Ruth Duemler

The world runs on fossil fuels today, but they are running out. By far the cheapest easiest and quickest way to produce power is not to use it. Conservation efforts and using less energy means that power companies don’t have to build new plants.

As the easy oil disappears it gets harder and more expensive to mine or drill for oil. Processes like fracking are more expensive than just pumping the oil out of a reservoir.  Heating up shale rock or tar sands to get oil out is expensive. Drilling on the ocean bottom is expensive, and the price of fossil fuels will continue to increase as they become more scarce and as the demand increases when developing countries also want oil.

There are also huge environmental costs to using fossil fuels. By burning this fuel which has been buried for millions of years and putting that carbon into the atmosphere we are heating up the planet, and when we burn these fuels we create other types of pollution that kills and sickens millions. The additional health costs in the United States about $120 billion a year. When we do cost benefit analysis of different energy sources we should also consider the health costs and the damage to the planet and to other creatures that are damaged.

Renewable fuels on the other hand, use carbon taken out of the atmosphere, so when they are burned there are no net gains of CO2, meaning they do not increase global warming. They also do much less damage to the planet and its occupants. Things like wind, solar, geothermal, OTEC, tidal, wave, and river turbines, are essentially free after the capital costs and installation. As the technology is developed the prices of renewable fuels and energy will continue to go down.  Many types of renewable energy are now cheaper than fossil fuel energy and we should realize that we are better off leaving the fossil fuels underground. Many people think that time is already here. Here are four energy graphs you must see.

Here are a lot of videos for you to explore. I will select several of the better short videos to watch in class, but there are a couple that take about three fourths of an hour to watch that are worth viewing but that we won’t have time for in class. Enjoy!

Transition to renewables 9 min.

Renewable energy to be cheaper than fossil fuels in 5 years.

Wave and tidal power 4:36 min

Wave Carpet Power 90% efficiency 2:20 min

Underwater kite generators 2 min.

OTEC Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

OTEC Youtube 3:40

New Israeli PV 3:48

Zenith combined heat and power

Wind power now accounts for 46% of new energy sources beating out natural gas. Growth of 28% in 2012.

Many people don’t like wind power because it kills some birds, but renewable power kills far fewer birds than fossil fuels.

New Wind Saphonian wind generators 2:12 min

Hybrid solar and natural gas plants. 3:58 min.

Don Sadoway  Liquid Metal Batteries 2:34 min.

Sodium Sulfur Batteries 3:59

Fuel Cells Bloom Boxes 3:15

Home Fuel Cell 2:00

Oil from Algae            5 min


Alan Alda 5 min


Algae used to clean sewage and produce oil. 4 min

DME the fuel of the future? (5.3 × 1012 cubic feet) of associated gas are flared annually. That is equivalent to about 25 per cent of the annual natural gas consumption in the United States

DImethyl Ether (DME) video 1:45

­­Pollution of cargo ships. One super container ship = 50 million cars

HVDC transmission lines

Different types of Renewable Energy -44 minutes

Amory Lovins has a 40 year plan to end our fossil fuel use. 44 min   

MSNBC: The Politics Of Power – Jigar Shah (Video) 12 min.

Solar Boom 5 min.

This is Big – Wind  4 min–339846723655

Triple bottom line benefits of clean energy.  3:36 min


About altruist1

I am a raging progressive and a writer. I received Bachelors degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Arts with a Secondary teaching certificate and a minor in Physics. I taught for about ten years, then did various jobs including welding,fabrication and traffic engineering, and am now retired. I am interested in science, energy, the environment, and architecture.
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