Lecture I.

Total Energy Usage

Our total energy use can be divided into three principal areas each of which consume approximately equal amounts of energy on an annual basis:

This energy use has been roughly constant over the last 5 years and is dominated (90%) by the use of fossil fuels.

Fossil Fuels come in 3 principal forms from which many other products are derived:

Most traditional Energy production comes about via steam driven turbines so the heating of water is what is essential.

Table 3. Percentage changes in the number of quads
delivered by various energy forms from 1973 to 1994

oil - 1 %
natural gas - 6%
coal + 33%
Large Reserves in US
nuclear + 87%
Most of this in 1970's
hydro + 3%
biomass + 18%
Co-generation in Midwest

The primary energy input to generate electricity was 30.9 quads. About 2/3 of the energy was lost in conversion processes, leaving about 10 quads as electricity . Of the delivered energy about 2/3 was delivered to the residential/commercial sector and 1/3 to industry.

Electricity as a percentage of total US energy use has been increasing ever since electricity was introduced. In 1973 about 25% of primary energy used to make electricity. In 1994 the percentage of energy used to make electricity had increased to 34% of total energy.

Distribution of Energy Consumption Patterns in the US

The Need for Alternative Energy

The simple problem is that there are simply not enough fossil fuels left to sustain its usage as the foundation of our energy production. Forget about global warming for the moment, the issue is more basic than that.

We have about 50 more years of production from known reserves , after that we will either have to discover more reserves are shift away from our fossil fuel based energy economy.

Forms of Alternative Energy:

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