Future Energy eNews   IntegrityResearchInstitute.org      Feb. 25, 2008       

1) Pentagon Space-Based Solar Power Leading future energy solution for only $10 billion 
2) Space Based Solar as an Opportunity for Strategic Security - Steps to energy independence 
3) Tiny Vibrations Harness Energy - Great review article of new parasitic ways of generating energy
4) Energy Islands of the Future - Diversified clean energy generation all in one place
5) Clean Coal is Cancelled - Another nail in the coffin of dirty fossil fuels that cannot become clean
6) Annual Energy Outlook - Rising fuel prices are expected to spur domestic energy production
7) New Energy Technology - Symposium by the American Chemical Society proves energy importance

1) Space-Based Solar Power Beams Become Next Energy Frontier
Space-based solar power may become an important energy source as fossil-fuel supplies dwindle in midcentury: A single 1-kilometer-wide solar array could collect enough power in a year to rival the entire world’s oil reserves.

The idea of using satellites to beam solar power down from space is nothing new—the Department of Energy first studied it in the 1970s, and NASA took another look in the ’90s. The stumbling block has been less the engineering challenge than the cost.

A Pentagon report released in October could mean the stars are finally aligning for space-based solar power, or SBSP. According to the report, SBSP is becoming more feasible, and eventually could help head off crises such as climate change and wars over diminishing energy supplies. “The challenge is one of perception,” says John Mankins, president of the Space Power Association and the leader of NASA’s mid-1990s SBSP study. “There are people in senior leadership positions who believe everything in space has to cost trillions.”

The new report imagines a market-based approach. Eventually, SBSP may become enormously profitable—and the Pentagon hopes it will lure the growing private space industry. The government would fund launches to place initial arrays in orbit by 2016, with private firms taking over operations from there. This plan could limit government costs to about $10 billion.

As envisioned, massive orbiting solar arrays, situated to remain in sunlight nearly continuously, will beam multiple megawatts of energy to Earth via microwave beams. The energy will be transmitted to mesh receivers placed over open farmland and in strategic remote locations, then fed into the nation’s electrical grid. The goal: To provide 10 percent of the United States’ base-load power supply by 2050.

Ultimately, the report estimates, a single kilometer-wide array could collect enough power in one year to rival the energy locked in the world’s oil reserves.

While most of the technology required for SBSP already exists, questions such as potential environmental impacts will take years to work out. “For some time, solar panels on Earth are going to be much cheaper,” says Robert McConnell, a senior project leader at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. “This is a very long-range activity.”

PLUS: 4 Private Space Businesses That Do Some Good
FUTURE OF SPACE: 5 Satellites That Turn Up Big Data
TECH WATCH DAILY: Solar Super Plane Set for Trip
Aviation Week article: http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/solar101107.xml&headline=NSSO%20Backs%20Space%20Solar%20Power%20&channel=space
New Scientist article reprinted below:

Pentagon backs plan to beam solar power from space

Dan Cho, Washington, DC  11 October 2007


 A futuristic scheme to collect solar energy on satellites and beam it to Earth has gained a large supporter in the US military. A report released yesterday by the National Security Space Office recommends that the US government sponsor projects to demonstrate solar-power-generating satellites and provide financial incentives for further private development of the technology.

Space-based solar power would use kilometre-sized solar panel arrays to gather sunlight in orbit. It would then beam power down to Earth in the form of microwaves or a laser, which would be collected in antennas on the ground and then converted to electricity. Unlike solar panels based on the ground, solar power satellites placed in geostationary orbit above the Earth could operate at night and during cloudy conditions.

"We think we can be a catalyst to make this technology advance," said US Marine Corps lieutenant colonel Paul Damphousse of the NSSO at a press conference yesterday in Washington, DC, US.

The NSSO report (pdf) recommends that the US government spend $10 billion over the next 10 years to build a test satellite capable of beaming 10 megawatts of electric power down to Earth.

Abundant energy source

At the same press conference, over a dozen space advocacy groups announced a new alliance to promote space solar power – the Space Solar Alliance for Future Energy. These supporters of space-based solar power say the technology has the potential to provide more energy than fossil fuels, wind and nuclear power combined.

The NSSO report says that solar-power-generating satellites could also solve supply problems in distant places such as Iraq, where fuel is currently trucked along in dangerous convoys and the cost of electricity for some bases can exceed $1 per kilowatt-hour – about 10 times what it costs in the US. The report also touts the technology's potential to provide a clean, abundant energy source and reduce global competition for oil.

Space-based solar power was first proposed in 1968 by Peter Glaser, an engineer at the consulting firm Arthur D. Little. Early designs involved solar panel arrays of 50 square kilometres, required hundreds of astronauts in space to build and were estimated to cost as much as $1 trillion, says John Mankins, a former NASA research manager and active promoter of space solar power.

Economically unfeasible

After conducting preliminary research, the US abandoned the idea as economically unfeasible in the 1970s. Since that time, says Mankins, advances in photovoltaics, electronics and robotics will bring the size and cost down to a fraction of the original schemes, and eliminate the need for humans to assemble the equipment in space.

Several technical challenges remain to be overcome, including the development of lower-cost space launches. A satellite capable of supplying the same amount of electric power as a modern fossil-fuel plant would have a mass of about 3000 tonnes – more than 10 times that of the International Space Station. Sending that material into orbit would require more than a hundred rocket launches. The US currently launches fewer than 15 rockets each year.

In spite of these challenges, the NSSO and its supporters say that no fundamental scientific breakthroughs are necessary to proceed with the idea and that space-based solar power will be practical in the next few decades.

"There are no technology hurdles that are show stoppers right now," said Damphousse.

2) Space-Based Solar Power As an Opportunity for Strategic Security

National Security Space Office Interim Assessment Phase 0 Architecture Feasibility Study, October 10, 2007 http://www.nss.org/settlement/ssp/library/nsso.htm

Consistent with the US National Security Strategy, energy and environmental security are not just problems for America, they are critical challenges for the entire world. Expanding human populations and declining natural resources are potential sources of local and strategic conflict in the 21st Century, and many see energy scarcity as the foremost threat to national security. Conflict prevention is of particular interest to security-providing institutions such as the U.S. Department of Defense which has elevated energy and environmental security as priority issues with a mandate to proactively find and create solutions that ensure U.S. and partner strategic security is preserved.

The magnitude of the looming energy and environmental problems is significant enough to warrant consideration of all options, to include revisiting a concept called Space Based Solar Power (SBSP) first invented in the United States almost 40 years ago. The basic idea is very straightforward: place very large solar arrays into continuously and intensely sunlit Earth orbit (1,366 watts/m2), collect gigawatts of electrical energy, electromagnetically beam it to Earth, and receive it on the surface for use either as baseload power via direct connection to the existing electrical grid, conversion into manufactured synthetic hydrocarbon fuels, or as low-intensity broadcast power beamed directly to consumers. A single kilometer-wide band of geosynchronous earth orbit experiences enough solar flux in one year to nearly equal the amount of energy contained within all known recoverable conventional oil reserves on Earth today. This amount of energy indicates that there is enormous potential for energy security, economic development, improved environmental stewardship, advancement of general space faring, and overall national security for those nations who construct and possess a SBSP capability.

NASA and DOE have collectively spent $80M over the last three decades in sporadic efforts studying this concept (by comparison, the U.S. Government has spent approximately $21B over the last 50 years continuously pursuing nuclear fusion). The first major effort occurred in the 1970’s where scientific feasibility of the concept was established and a reference 5 GW design was proposed. Unfortunately 1970’s architecture and technology levels could not support an economic case for development relative to other lower-cost energy alternatives on the market. In 1995-1997 NASA initiated a “Fresh Look” Study to re-examine the concept relative to modern technological capabilities. The report (validated by the National Research Council) indicated that technology vectors to satisfy SBSP development were converging quickly and provided recommended development focus areas, but for various reasons that again included the relatively lower cost of other energies, policy makers elected not to pursue a development effort.

The post-9/11 situation has changed that calculus considerably. Oil prices have jumped from $15/barrel to now $80/barrel in less than a decade. In addition to the emergence of global concerns over climate change, American and allied energy source security is now under threat from actors that seek to destabilize or control global energy markets as well as increased energy demand competition by emerging global economies. Our National Security Strategy recognizes that many nations are too dependent on foreign oil, often imported from unstable portions of the world, and seeks to remedy the problem by accelerating the deployment of clean technologies to enhance energy security, reduce poverty, and reduce pollution in a way that will ignite an era of global growth through free markets and free trade. Senior U.S. leaders need solutions with strategic impact that can be delivered in a relevant period of time.

In March of 2007, the National Security Space Office (NSSO) Advanced Concepts Office (“Dreamworks”) presented this idea to the agency director. Recognizing the potential for this concept to influence not only energy, but also space, economic, environmental, and national security, the Director instructed the Advanced Concepts Office to quickly collect as much information as possible on the feasibility of this concept. Without the time or funds to contract for a traditional architecture study, Dreamworks turned to an innovative solution: the creation on April 21, 2007, of an open source, internet-based, interactive collaboration forum aimed at gathering the world’s SBSP experts into one particular cyberspace. Discussion grew immediately and exponentially, such that there are now 170 active contributors as of the release of this report—this study approach was an unequivocal success and should serve as a model for DoD when considering other study topics. Study leaders organized discussions into five groups: 1) a common plenary session, 2) science & technology, 3) law & policy, 4) infrastructure and logistics, and 5) the business case, and challenged the group to answer one fundamental question: Can the United States and partners enable the development and deployment of a space-based solar power system within the first half of the 21st Century such that if constructed could provide affordable, clean, safe, reliable, sustainable, and expandable energy for its consumers? Discussion results were summarized and presented at a two-day conference in Colorado on 6-7 September graciously hosted by the U.S. Air Force Academy Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense Studies.

Over the course of the study several overarching themes emerged:

  • The SBSP Study Group concluded that space-based solar power does present a strategic
    opportunity that could significantly advance US and partner security, capability, and freedom of action and merits significant further attention on the part of both the US Government and the private sector.
  • The SBSP Study Group concluded that while significant technical challenges remain, Space-Based Solar Power is more technically executable than ever before and current technological vectors promise to further improve its viability. A government-led proof-of-concept demonstration could serve to catalyze commercial sector development.
  • The SBSP Study Group concluded that SBSP requires a coordinated national program with high-level leadership and resourcing commensurate with its promise, but at least on the level of fusion energy research or International Space Station construction and operations.
  • The SBSP Study Group concluded that should the U.S. begin a coordinated national program to develop SBSP, it should expect to find that broad interest in SBSP exists outside of the US Government, ranging from aerospace and energy industries; to foreign governments such as Japan, the EU, Canada, India, China, Russia, and others; to many individual citizens who are increasingly concerned about the preservation of energy security and environmental quality. While the best chances for development are likely to occur with US Government support, it is entirely possible that SBSP development may be independently pursued elsewhere without U.S. leadership.
  • Certain key questions about Space-Based Solar Power were not answerable with adequate precision within the time and resource limitations of this interim study, and form the agenda for future action (a complete description of these questions can be found in Appendix A – Space Based Solar Power Design Considerations and Tradeoffs). The fundamental tasks/questions are:

    • Identification of clear targets for economic viability in markets of interest
    • Identification of technical development goals and a roadmap for retiring risk
    • Selection of the best design trades
    • Full design and deployment of a meaningful demonstrator

The study group determined that four overarching recommendations were most significant:

  • Recommendation #1: The study group recommends that the U.S. Government should organize effectively to allow for the development of SBSP and conclude analyses to resolve remaining unknowns
  • Recommendation #2: The study group recommends that the U.S. Government should retire a major portion of the technical risk for business development
  • Recommendation #3: The study group recommends that the U.S. Government should create a facilitating policy, regulatory, and legal environment for the development of SBSP
  • Recommendation #4: The study group recommends that the U.S. Government should become an early demonstrator/adopter/customer of SBSP and incentivize its development

Several major challenges will need to be overcome to make SBSP a reality, including the creation of low-cost space access and a supporting infrastructure system on Earth and in space. Solving these space access and operations challenges for SBSP will in turn also open space for a host of other activities that include space tourism, manufacturing, lunar or asteroid resource utilization, and eventually settlement to extend the human race. Because DoD would not want to own SBSP satellites, but rather just purchase the delivered energy as it currently does via traditional terrestrial utilities, a repeated review finding is that the commercial sector will need Government to accomplish three major tasks to catalyze SBSP development. The first is to retire a major portion of the early technical risks. This can be accomplished via an incremental research and development program that culminates with a space-borne proof-of-concept demonstration in the next decade. A spiral development proposal to field a 10 MW continuous pilot plant en route to gigawatts-class systems is included in Appendix B. The second challenge is to facilitate the policy, regulatory, legal, and organizational instruments that will be necessary to create the partnerships and relationships (commercial-commercial, government-commercial, and government-government) needed for this concept to succeed. The final Government contribution is to become a direct early adopter and to incentivize other early adopters much as is accomplished on a regular basis with other renewable energy systems coming on-line today.

For the DoD specifically, beamed energy from space in quantities greater than 5 MWe has the potential to be a disruptive game changer on the battlefield. SBSP and its enabling wireless power transmission technology could facilitate extremely flexible “energy on demand” for combat units and installations across an entire theater, while significantly reducing dependence on vulnerable over-land fuel deliveries. SBSP could also enable entirely new force structures and capabilities such as ultra long-endurance airborne or terrestrial surveillance or combat systems to include the individual soldier himself. More routinely, SBSP could provide the ability to deliver rapid and sustainable humanitarian energy to a disaster area or to a local population undergoing nation-building activities. SBSP could also facilitate base “islanding” such that each installation has the ability to operate independent of vulnerable ground-based energy delivery infrastructures. In addition to helping American and allied defense establishments remain relevant over the entire 21st Century through more secure supply lines, perhaps the greatest military benefit of SBSP is to lessen the chances of conflict due to energy scarcity by providing access to a strategically secure energy supply.

Despite this early interim review success, there are still many more questions that must be answered before a full-scale commercial development decision can be made. It is proposed that in the spirit of the original collaborative SBSP Study Group charter, that this interim report becomes a living document to collect, summarize, and recommend on the evolution of SBSP. The positive indicators observed to surround SBSP by this review team suggest that it would be in the US Government’s and the nation’s interest to sponsor an immediate proof-of-concept demonstration project and a formally funded, follow-on architecture study conducted in full collaboration with industry and willing international partners. The purpose of a follow-on study will be to definitively rather than speculatively answer the question of whether all of the barriers to SBSP development can be retired within the next four decades and to create an actionable business case and construction effort roadmap that will lead to the installation of utility-grade SBSP electric power plants. Considering the development timescales that are involved, and the exponential growth of population and resource pressures within that same strategic period, it is imperative that this work for “drilling up” vs. drilling down for energy security begins immediately.

  • Full Report (including Executive Summary), 75 pages [PDF 3.5 MB] http://www.space-frontier.org/Presentations/SBSPInterimAssesment0.1.pdf
  • Audio and photos of October 10 press conference
  • Still photos and video of SBSP concept
  • Some news reports about this study

    3) Good Vibrations

  • http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/19041/
    Duncan Graham-Rowe, Technology Review Thursday, July 12, 2007

    Tiny devices that harness the energy from ambient vibrations could one day be used to power a variety of wireless sensors.

    A miniature device that harnesses ambient vibrations and converts the energy into electricity has been developed by engineers in the United Kingdom. They claim that the energy-scavenging machine is considerably more efficient than similar devices and capable of generating 10 times more power.
    "The motivation is to power wireless devices," says Steve Beeby <http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/spb/>, an engineer at the University of Southampton, in the United Kingdom. "It's a parasitic energy source." The device, which generates power using the natural vibrations going on around it, could be embedded in sensors in bridges or the airframes of planes. It would be particularly useful in situations in which it would be difficult to access power wires or replace batteries.

    The device, which measures less than a cubic centimeter, has shown that it can generate 46 microwatts when vibrated at just 52 hertz. This is typical of the kinds of vibrations found at an industrial plant, and it would be enough power to run a device like a temperature or pressure sensor. It's not the first time such devices have been made. Larger cup-size commercial generators that monitor equipment in industrial plants or in oil refineries are being produced by some companies, including Perpetuum <http://www.perpetuum.co.uk/>, a spinout firm from the Southampton lab. Similarly, some wristwatches are now powered by the movement of the wearer's hand or by heat from his or her skin.

    But making small generators capable of creating significant amounts of power has been problematic, partly because electromagnetic devices don't scale well, says Beeby. "The smaller you go, the less power you get."
    "The biggest challenge is that the power levels are very small," says Eric Yeatman <http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/people/e.yeatman>, an engineer at Imperial College London, in the United Kingdom, who works on similar devices. One reason is that the amount of motion being harvested and the available frequencies of the vibrations tend to be low, which means the available energy is pretty limited to start with.

    Beeby's device works by having four small, high-performance magnets made out of neodymium iron boron attached to the end of a springy cantilever. The magnets are arranged around a fixed disc-like ring made of coiled copper wire. When the device is shaken, the cantilever oscillates, causing the magnets to move backward and forward across the coil. Their fluctuating magnetic fields induce an electrical current in the coils in much the same way that regular electrical generators work. Other researchers have tried similar approaches in the past but struggled to generate decent amounts of power, says Yeatman. "Previously, they have tended to have quite low output voltages," he says. Beeby says he and his team solved this problem by making their coil out of extremely narrow copper wire measuring just 12 thousandths of a millimeter in diameter. They are able to wind it very tightly, squeezing 2,300 turns onto a coil just 2.5 millimeters in diameter. The voltage output of generators is very much dependent on the number of turns in a coil, says Beeby.

    To test the device, he rigged it up to a simple accelerometer circuit and found that it was able to convert 30 percent of the available kinetic energy into electricity. Although it's difficult to make direct comparisons with other devices because of the differences in design, energy source, and size, Beeby's group nevertheless carried out a comparison that tried to take these factors into account. According to these calculations, the group's device performed very well and was the most efficient yet.

    The work has been published in the Journal of Micromechanics and Engineering and was carried out as part of a wider European project called Vibration Energy Scavenging, or VIBES <http://www.vibes.ecs.soton.ac.uk/index.html>. The device is designed to mop up energy from vibrations of particular frequencies. (The prototype, for example, was designed to work with vibrations typical of manufacturing equipment.) But by varying the parameters, the same design could be used to work with other frequencies for other applications, says Beeby. According to Yeatman, however, the most likely commercial applications will be in situations in which low-cost devices can't be easily reached or accessed, such as in wireless sensor networks for bridges and other large structures.

    Another example of this is the use of microgenerators to power medical implants, says Beeby. One suggestion is to employ them to power devices like pacemakers, possibly even using the motion of the heart as the energy source. With these kinds of devices, one of the big risks is the need for a battery change, says Andrew Grace <http://www.bscr.org/profile_agrace.html>, a cardiologist at Cambridge University, in the United Kingdom, and a consultant at Papworth Hospital, also in Cambridge. "The idea that the heart could provide the energy to recharge the pacemaker, almost like a wristwatch, sounds very attractive," he says.
    Beeby suspects that there are better parts of the body from which to scavenge energy, such as the limbs. And he feels that there are other types of implants that would use less energy than a pacemaker, such as biomedical sensors or drug-delivery systems.

    4) Energy Islands Could Use Power of Tropics, says Innovator

    Tuesday January 8, 2008

    This article appeared in the Guardian on Tuesday January 08 2008 on p14 of the UK news and analysis section. It was last updated at 09:30 on January 08 2008.

    From a distance it looks like an island paradise, but get closer and those tall structures that could be palm trees turn out to be wind turbines - and the surf laps against wave barrages instead of sandy beaches. Welcome to "Energy Island", a vision of how humans could help meet our future needs for energy, food and water using the power of nature in the tropics.

    Alex Michaelis, the architect who gave David Cameron's west London home a green makeover - complete with miniature wind turbine, solar panels and water recycling system - will launch the concept this year with a bid for funding worth $25m (£12.6m) from Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Earth Prize.

    His proposal, which is dramatically more ambitious than the work he did on the Conservative leader's semi-detached house, is to build archipelagos of artificial islands that will produce electricity, clean water and even food in the belt of warm water that passes from the Caribbean across to the south China Sea, the Indian Ocean and west Africa.

    Each island would be built on a floating platform and at its centre would be a plant that converts heat from the tropical sea into electricity and drinking water. Below deck would be marine turbines to harness energy from underwater currents and around the edge floating devices to provide wave power.

    Vegetable farms and homes for workers will complete the colony and the power will be piped back to be used on the nearest populated land mass.

    Michaelis, who is working together with his father Dominic, an engineer, estimates that each island complex could produce 250MW. It would take more than 50,000 installations to satisfy current world demand for energy, but Michaelis senior believes it is not impossible. "If we consider that we are at war to find a new form of clean energy, wartime effort in world war two produced vast numbers of planes, tanks, ships and other armaments on both warring sides," he said. "20,300 Spitfires alone were built, making the construction of more than 50,000 of these plants seem a reasonable number."

    Branson is searching for an innovative idea that can cause a dramatic reverse in global warming and has given the world's inventors until February 2010 to submit ideas. The Michaelis team is searching for funding to test the principles of its invention with a prototype, but believe that it could be the breakthrough that the billionaire and his panel of judges, including Al Gore and climate scientist James Lovelock, are looking for. "For centuries we have been trying to master nature, but now our last hope is to work with nature," said Dominic Michaelis.

    At the heart of each island is an ocean thermal energy conversion plant which can create electricity from sea water where the difference between the temperature of the surface water and the deep is 20C or more. The warm sea water is pressurised to transform it into vapour which drives a turbine. The vapour is condensed against a surface cooled by water from the deep, to produce desalinated water. The energy from this technology, which was originally invented in 1881 by a French engineer, would be supplemented by wind turbines and a "power tower" which captures energy from the sun by using mirrors to focus solar rays on a central "furnace".

    "Each energy island would operate in a similar way to an oil rig, with about 25 people living there to operate the energy systems and food farms," said Alex Michaelis. "Teams of workers would spend six weeks on the island and six weeks off. The islands can be linked together so if you wanted a bigger power output you could simply build a bigger settlement. In the future these energy islands could be linked together to become eco-tourism attractions."

    According to the designs, the "energy islanders" could farm sea food in pens beneath the deck and vegetables could be grown in shaded patches on the platform using some of the cold, desalinated water produced by the plant. The islands are also designed to act as ports for supertankers to transport the 300,000 litres of desalinated water which will be produced each day. Sir Terry Farrell, the architect, has proposed that similar artificial islands should be built in the Thames estuary to provide a new port for London.

    The Michaelis team intends to pilot the energy island in waters off the British Virgin Islands or in the Indian Ocean in the coming year.

    Graphic - see how the energy islands work here (pdf)

    5) DOE Drops Clean-Coal Plant To Focus on Carbon Capture
    By Thomas F. Armistead
    Nearly a week after the Dept. of Energy pulled out of an international program to develop a coal-fired powerplant with near-zero emissions, stakeholders continued to sort out their options. Members of the FutureGen Alliance were meeting Feb. 5-6 in Mattoon, Ill., the site they chose in December for the plant, to determine how to proceed while the state’s congressional delegation called on President Bush to move the program forward.

    Citing soaring cost and advances in electricity-generation technology in recent years, DOE on Jan. 30 withdrew its support from the FutureGen Alliance. The nonprofit public-private partnership was launched in 2005 in response to Bush’s February 2003 call for a program to demonstrate the world’s first near-zero-emissions coal-fired powerplant.

    In 2003, DOE officials described FutureGen as a $950-million initiative to create a coal-based powerplant focused on demonstrating integrated gasification, combined-cycle (IGCC) technology that would produce hydrogen and electricity while providing for capture and storage of carbon dioxide. Seven coal producers and utilities formed the alliance to develop it in 2005 (ENR 10/3/05 p. 22). Having chosen the Mattoon site for the plant, the alliance chafed while DOE withheld the Record of Decision that would allow construction to proceed. Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman’s January announcement to jettison the project provoked angry reactions from Illinois political leaders and consternation from other stakeholders.

    "Carbon capture and storage is a linchpin technology and industry is pulling for developing it. "

    DOE saw FutureGen as a 275-MW research and development testing laboratory for IGCC, hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies because there were few IGCC projects in development. “Now, more than 33 IGCC projects have begun the permitting process,” says Clay Sell, deputy energy secretary.

    DOE first became aware that the cost estimate had risen to $1.8 billion last March when it signed a cooperative agreement with the alliance for the project. Under the agreement, DOE would pay 74% of the project’s cost and the alliance 26%. The consensus was that “costs would only increase,” says Sell.


    To replace FutureGen’s three-part focus on coal gasification, hydrogen production and CCS, DOE will concentrate on research, development and demonstration of CCS, leaving the demonstration of gasification technology to power developers.

    On Jan. 30, DOE issued a Request for Information seeking industry input by March 3 on the costs and feasibility associated with building “clean coal” facilities that achieve FutureGen’s intended goals. By the end of the year this should lead to a competitive solicitation to provide federal funding to equip clean-coal plants of at least 300 MW with CCS technology, says Sell.

    CCS is “a linchpin technology for the future,” and DOE is responding to the industry’s pull in focusing on it, says Revis James, director of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Electric Power Research Institute’s Technology Assessment Center. The industry is saying, “We want to get to a new model” rather than develop a full suite of integrated technologies, he says. “A lot of attention is being put on it.”

    6) Annual Energy Outlook 2008
    Report #:DOE/EIA-0383(2008)
      Released Date: December 2007
      Next Release Date: December 2008
      (full report available early 2008)


    Energy Production and Imports 

    Net imports of energy are expected to continue to meet a major share of total U.S. energy demand (Figure 5). In the AEO2008 reference case, the net import share of total U.S. energy consumption in 2030 is 29 percent, slightly less than the 30-percent share in 2006. Rising fuel prices over the projection period are expected to spur increases in domestic energy production (Figure 6) and to moderate the growth in demand, tempering the projected growth in imports. 

    The projection for U.S. crude oil production in the AEO2008 reference case is higher than in the AEO2007 reference case, primarily due to more production from the expansion of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations and, to a lesser extent, higher crude oil prices. U.S. crude oil production in the AEO2008 reference case increases from 5.1 million barrels per day in 2006 to a peak of 6.4 million barrels per day in 2019, with production increases from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and from onshore EOR projects. Domestic production subsequently declines to 5.6 million barrels per day in 2030, as increased production from new smaller discoveries are inadequate to offset the declines in large fields in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. 

    Total domestic liquids supply, including crude oil, natural gas plant liquids, refinery processing gains, and other refinery inputs (e.g., ethanol), generally increases throughout the AEO2008 reference case, as growth in CTL production offsets the decline in crude oil production after 2019. Total domestic liquids supply grows from 8.2 million barrels per day in 2006 to 10.2 million barrels per day in 2030. 

    In the AEO2008 reference case, the net import share of total liquids supplied, including crude oil and refined products, drops from 60 percent in 2006 to 55 percent in 2010, stays relatively stable through 2020, and then increases to 59 percent in 2030. Net crude oil imports in 2030 are 1.3 million barrels per day lower, and net product imports are 0.3 million barrels per day lower, in the AEO2008 reference case than in the AEO2007 reference case. The primary reason for the difference between the AEO2008 and AEO2007 projections for net imports of liquid fuels is the lower level of total liquids consumption in 2030 in the AEO2008 reference case. 

    Total domestic natural gas production, including supplemental natural gas supplies, increases from 18.6 trillion cubic feet in 2006 to 20.2 trillion cubic feet in 2021 before declining to 19.9 trillion cubic feet in 2030 in the AEO2008 reference case. The projections are lower than in the AEO2007 reference case, primarily because of the higher costs associated with exploration and development and, particularly in the last decade of the projection, lower demand for natural gas. 

    In the AEO2008 reference case, lower 48 offshore natural gas production shows a pattern similar to that in the AEO2007 reference case, growing from 3.0 trillion cubic feet in 2006 to a peak of 4.5 trillion cubic feet in 2019 as new resources come online in the Gulf of Mexico. After 2019, lower 48 offshore production declines to 3.5 trillion cubic feet in 2030. After a small near-term increase, onshore conventional production of natural gas in the AEO2008 reference case declines steadily, as it did in AEO2007. 

    Onshore production of unconventional natural gas in AEO2008 is expected to be a major contributor to growth in U.S. supply, increasing from 8.5 trillion cubic feet in 2006 to 9.5 trillion cubic feet in 2030. As in AEO2007, most of the increase in unconventional production is projected to come from gas shale, which more than doubles over the projection, from 1.0 trillion cubic feet in 2006 to 2.3 trillion cubic feet in 2030. 

    The Alaska natural gas pipeline is expected to be completed in 2020 (2 years later than in the AEO2007 reference case) because of delays in the resolution of issues between Alaska’s State government and industry participants. After the pipeline goes into operation, Alaska’s total natural gas production in the AEO2008 reference case increases to 2.0 trillion cubic feet in 2021 (from 0.4 trillion cubic feet in 2006) and then to 2.4 trillion cubic feet in 2030 as the result of a subsequent expansion. The pipeline connecting the MacKenzie Delta in Canada to the United States is not constructed in the AEO2008 reference case, unlike in AEO2007, because cost estimates recently filed by the industry substantially exceed the estimates included in AEO2007, and as a result the project is not economical with the AEO2008 reference case prices. 

    Net pipeline imports of natural gas from Canada and Mexico, predominantly from Canada, fall from 2.9 trillion cubic feet in 2006 to 0.5 trillion cubic feet in 2030 in the AEO2008 reference case (compared with 0.9 trillion cubic feet in AEO2007).  The difference between the AEO2008 and AEO2007 projections for 2030 is largely a result of increased exports to Mexico. The higher level of exports to Mexico is the result of a lower assumed growth rate for Mexico’s natural gas production in the AEO2008 reference case than in AEO2007. Net imports from Canada also decline, reflecting resource depletion in Alberta and Canada’s growing domestic demand, which are offset in part by increases in unconventional natural gas production from coal seams and tight formations. 

    Total net imports of liquified natural gas (LNG) to the United States in the AEO2008 reference case increase from 0.5 trillion cubic feet in 2006 to 2.9 trillion cubic feet in 2030, as compared with 4.5 trillion cubic feet in 2030 in AEO2007. The lower projection is attributable to two factors: higher costs throughout the LNG industry, especially in the area of liquefaction, and decreased U.S. natural gas consumption due to higher natural gas prices, slower economic growth, and expected greater competition for supplies within the global LNG market. 

    U.S. LNG regasification capacity increases from 1.5 trillion cubic feet in 2006 to 5.2 trillion cubic feet in 2009 in the AEO2008 reference case with the addition of five new regasification facilities that are currently under construction (four along the Gulf Coast and one off the coast of New England). Given global LNG supply constraints, overall capacity utilization at the U.S. LNG import facilities is expected to remain under 35 percent through 2013, after which it is expected to increase to 57 percent in 2017 and remain in the range of 55 to 58 percent through 2030. 

    The future direction of the global LNG market is one of the key uncertainties in the AEO2008 reference case. With many new international players entering LNG markets, competition for the available supply is strong, and the supplies available to the U.S. market may vary considerably from year to year. The AEO2008 reference case has been updated to reflect current market dynamics, which could change considerably as worldwide LNG markets evolve. 

    As domestic coal demand grows in the AEO2008 reference case, U.S. coal production increases at an average rate of 1.1 percent per year, from 23.8 quadrillion Btu (1,163 million short tons) in 2006 to 31.2 quadrillion Btu (1,595 million short tons) in 2030—7 percent less than in the AEO2007 reference case. Production from mines west of the Mississippi River provides the largest share of the incremental coal production. On a Btu basis, 60 percent of domestic coal production originates from States west of the Mississippi River in 2030, up from an estimated 49 percent in 2006. 

    Typically, trends in U.S. coal production are linked to its use for electricity generation, which currently accounts for 91 percent of total coal consumption. Coal consumption in the electric power sector in the AEO2008 reference case, at 28.5 quadrillion Btu in 2030, is less than in the AEO2007 reference case (31.1 quadrillion Btu in 2030). Slower growth in overall electricity demand, combined with more generation from nuclear and renewable energy, underlies the reduced outlook for electricity sector coal consumption. Another fast-growing market for coal is CTL. Coal use in CTL plants grows from 0.7 quadrillion Btu (42 million short tons) in 2020 to 2.4 quadrillion Btu (157 million short tons) in 2030. Coal use for CTL production becomes the second largest use of coal (after electric power generation) in 2025 in the AEO2008 reference case.

    7) New Energy Technology Symposium at the American Chemical Society National Meeting

    CALL for PAPERs 

    Feb. 23, 2008, Jan Marwan, FTA-Berlin, ACS http://oasys.acs.org/acs/236nm/envr/papers/index.cgi

    Dear Colleagues:

    I am organising a symposium entitled "New Energy Technology " to be presented through the Division of Environmental Chemistry of the American Chemical Society at the 234th ACS National Meeting, scheduled for August 17 – 21 2008 in Philadelphia PA, USA.

    I am soliciting contributed papers to be presented and [optional] later published as a symposium proceedings. If you or a colleague is interested in presenting a paper, I need to receive a short abstract (150 words or less) submitted to the ACS online abstract system (Environmental Division ENVR – Symposium on New Energy Technology) (http://oasys.acs.org/acs/236nm/envr/papers/index.cgi) and prepared according to the enclosed instructions (http://oasys.acs.org/acs/236nm/authorinstructions.cgi) plus an extended abstract (of 2 – 3 pages) submitted to me as an e-Mail attachment by March 17, 2008. This is an excellent opportunity to make a timely contribution to the scientific community in presenting your research.

    If you have any questions, please e-Mail or call and we will be happy to assist you.


    Symposium Organizer’s Name: Dr Jan Marwan

    Affiliation: Marwan Chemie, Research & Development

    Address: Rudower Chaussee 29, 12489 Berlin

    Phone: (49) 30 – 6392 2566

    E-Mail: info@marwan-chemie.fta-berlin.de

     Dr. Marwan Chemie
    Forschung & Entwicklung
    Rudower Chaussee 29
    D-12489 Berlin
    Tel: +49 30 6392 2566
    FAX: +49 30 983 12306

    Provided as a public service by www.IntegrityResearchInstitute.org where a free 1/2 hour DVD is available entitled, "Progress in Future Energy Technologies" upon request.