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Dominant Source of Energy in 2040...

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by nwdiver, Jun 21, 2014.

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What will the Dominate source of ENERGY be in 2040?

  1. Biofuels (Algae Based)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Biofuels (Crop Based)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Coal

    3 vote(s)
    8.8%
  4. Nuclear Fission (PWR, LFTR)

    3 vote(s)
    8.8%
  5. Nuclear Fusion (LPP)

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  6. Natural Gas

    6 vote(s)
    17.6%
  7. Solar PV

    19 vote(s)
    55.9%
  8. Wind

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  9. Other

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  1. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    The EIA projects that the largest source of energy in 2040 will be Natural Gas at 35% with coal a close 2nd at 32% and renewables tied with nuclear (Fission I assume) at 16% The EIA is has been notoriously wrong in the past... just curious as to what thoughts on TMC are.

    http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/er/pdf/0383er(2014).pdf
     
  2. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Solar in the US. For sure! Solar will be >90% of renewables, which on turn will be well >50% of the total.
     
  3. tigerade

    tigerade Member

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    Curious in regards to the poll question... are you asking what do I -think- it will be, or what do I want it to be? I have two different answers.
     
  4. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    What you THINK... voting for what you WANT would put coal at a tremendous disadvantage :wink:
     
  5. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    I voted Solar PV not because I am sure that it will be the dominant energy in 2040 but because I hope so. I see that in the USA Solar PV are being installed very often. I am afraid that the same thing is not happening in Italy.
     
  6. tigerade

    tigerade Member

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    Then I think it will likely be coal. Even if developed countries do everything they can to veer away from coal, and China peaks coal production in the 2030's, then the developing world will still more than make up for it. It's quick, dirty and "cheap", and countries are hell-bent on improving their standard of living and providing more for their people, and who can blame them really? It's the classic tragedy of the commons. It will take a truly seismic shift to change this path, and my hope is that the falling cost of solar + cheaper battery storage will be that seismic shift. It is too early to tell though. Countries around the world are still thinking that greater economic growth inevitably means more fossil fuel use, including the U.S. I don't currently disagree, as if you look in the past, that is indeed the case. We need to build a model for the world that can grow and prosper with clean energy, but it's a truly enormous undertaking. But that's what I love about it, it's a great challenge.
     
  7. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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  8. Jeff Miller

    Jeff Miller Member

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    Do you mean energy in general or the source of energy to power the electrical grid (which is only a fraction of the total)?
     
  9. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Energy in general... crap; I meant to add petroleum to that list... well, I guess that can count as "other" :redface:
     
  10. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    Maybe that you made this mistake because deep down you would like to get rid of petroleum as source of energy. We all wish the same thing. :wink:
     
  11. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    I suspect we're going to go through phases. Right now there's a move towards solar as a known technology that works from small to large scale.

    Nuclear generally has a bad reputation and increased use is going to carry with it the waste issue. The potential for plasma fusion is huge but there's no proven technology yet.

    I doubt anything new could become dominant in 25 years so I voted "Solar"
     
  12. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Natural gas is already on the cusp of being dominant in electric generation, and with the massive retirements of coal forced by MACT and CO2 regulations, NG will take the top spot absolutely by 2015.

    I don't see anything likely to change that by 2040. People tend to forget how expensive generation capacity is, and how much of it we've built over the decades. Just in the three northeast power pools (PJM, NY, New England), we've got about 220,000 MW of generation. In round numbers, that's $400 billion of capital. We don't throw away asset bases like that lightly.

    In 2013, electricity generation in the US had the following sources:
    Coal: 40%
    Natural gas: 26%
    Nuclear: 20%
    Hydro: 7%
    Other Renewables: 7%

    And that's just electric generation; if you add in transportation and other primary energy, fossil fuels have an even bigger role. We might all want a lot of renewables in the future, but don't underestimate the inertia of trillions invested in the fossil-fired infrastructure.
     
  13. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    I agree that Natural Gas will play a vital role in our energy mix for the foreseeable future. I also agree that utilities will be unwilling to replace existing generation with Solar PV at great cost. However, the expansion of Residential solar is playing a larger and larger role... this is an area where utilities have very little control. As the BOS cost of systems falls, more financial institutions offer financing for Solar PV systems and consumer confidence in solar rises the deployment of Residential PV systems will continue to expand and displace existing generation regardless of the wishes of the local utilities. When utility costumers can finance a PV system for $150/mo for 15yrs and displace a $150/mo electric bill that PV system is effectively free.
     
  14. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    While oil-based generators are in use in places where it is hard to get anything else (islands, Australian outback, for example), it's pretty clear that they can't possibly expand, so I don't think it matters that you left it out.
     
  15. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    I voted solar, because I think advances in storage technology costs in the next ten 10 years, combined with incremental improvements in solar and growth in electric vehicle ownership, will allow it to reach a tipping point. Beginning with the sunny southwest the ubiquity of solar power will help scaling, and companies like SolarCity will bring down total system costs, allowing it to spread into areas that are currently marginal. The use will be supported on the grid with cheap natural gas back-up, but with an increasingly smart grid, the amount of natural gas burned will contjnue to decrease, even as the amount of natural gas capacity increases.
     
  16. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I volted solar because it's the only politically acceptable solution. I'd really like a combined nuclear for the grid and solar for houses combination. I really hope natural gas dies a quick death because I'm not looking forward to the poisoned water and earthquakes fracking causes.
     
  17. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #17 ecarfan, Jun 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
    If coal is still dominant globally in 2040 the planet is even more screwed than it already is.

    It has to be solar. Advances in PV efficiency and decreasing costs along with battery storage should drive the solar revolution in the developed world to the point that it is dominant by 2050 in temperate and tropical climates. Northern countries are a challenge because for half the year they just don't get enough insolation. Those may have to be a mix of hydro and nuclear.

    We have to stop burning natural gas and oil. That stuff is poison.
     
  18. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Pun intended? :biggrin:
     
  19. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    LOL
     
  20. PaulusdB

    PaulusdB Mayor Gnomus Vintage Limb

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    Alternators.

    (mounted on BEV's) :)
     

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