Electricity supply: Sustainable sources remain expensive

October 7, 2008

Ambitious governments' environmental objectives for the electricity sector are only possible at a high price. This is one of the conclusions of researcher ir. Hans Rödel, who is to receive his PhD at TU Delft on Thursday 9 October. He recommends a combination of different modern generation technologies, CO2 capture and storage, the use of biomass and the recycling of waste heat.

The government wants to achieve a general CO2 reduction of 30 percent and to increase the proportion of sustainable energy sources within the total energy supply to 20 percent by 2020.

According to scientist Hans Rödel this can only be achieved at a very high price in the electricity sector. Scenarios involving a low environmental burden lead to high costs and vice versa. 'One of the conclusions is that electricity from sustainable sources will for the foreseeable future remain more expensive than electricity generated from conventional sources.'

Rödel therefore recommends a combination of different modern generation technologies, CO2 capture and storage, the use of biomass and the recycling of waste heat. This can help create a sound environmental balance while containing costs within reasonable limits.

Rödel notes here that CO2 capture technology is still in its infancy and requires further development. Moreover, he believes that the environmental progress made as a result of rapid technological developments in the generation of electricity from fossil fuels is often overlooked.

Rödel developed a technological-economic simulation model which takes as its starting point the current range of generation facilities and which can be used to analyse future scenarios. He used this to create a future analysis of the Dutch electricity supply on the basis of four developed scenarios. The analysis took as its basis the existing, liberalised electricity supply and aimed to determine whether an effective balance could be achieved for the three key factors: environmental burden, cost of the electricity generation system and certainty of supply.

Rödel proposes that the government should at least determine and establish clear growth and stimulatory frameworks for the various production options. 'Choices that are made now will influence the environmental burden, cost and availability of the system for the coming 25 to 40 years.'

Source: Delft University of Technology

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NeilFarbstein
1.9 / 5 (7) Oct 08, 2008

Solar thermal power systems are multiplying as greenhouse warming causes fossil fuel based energy sources to hit price levels with that have no precedent. Solar thermal is already cost competitive with conventional sources of electricity in certain places such as southern California and Vulvox has designed a combination solar thermal-photovoltaic system that will produce a much larger amount of electricity from the same size solar power plants. The result- lower generating costs,more efficient use of land, and an opportunity to replace parabolic troughs in existing solar plants with our dual generating parabolic troughs at less cost than building entirely new plants.

The dual solar thermal-photovoltaic system will wrest approximately twice as much power from an area as regular solar thermal or photovoltaic energy systems. That will be an important advantage in the upcoming industry of rooftop solar power. Apartment buildings, skyscrapers and industrial buildings all have flat roofs that can accommodate our solar power systems and the greater efficiency of of dual thermal-photovoltaic energy generation systems will make it cost competitive with other generation systems.

There are times when the sun is too strong and excess power that could be generated would overtax the turbine generators. Solar thermal utilities have to aim their solar reflectors away from the power towers to cool them, wasting solar energy and lowering efficiency.

The Vulvox solar system will have a photoelectric component that will continue generating electricity and it will be fed into the grid, even if the collectors are aimed in another direction to cool the power towers.

The Vulvox solar system will generate higher power levels than competing solar power towers, while retaining all of the storage capabilities of solar thermal power.
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MikeB
5 / 5 (5) Oct 08, 2008
The preceeding advertisement has been brought to you by Physorg.com, making the world a greener place! :)
lengould100
5 / 5 (5) Oct 09, 2008
Farbstein. That website's a JOKE. If you're going to try to defraud people, at LEAST you could offer them the respect of a decently organized fraud.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (4) Oct 09, 2008
Farbstein. That website's a JOKE. If you're going to try to defraud people, at LEAST you could offer them the respect of a decently organized fraud.


And buy a proper domain name.
GrayMouser
5 / 5 (3) Oct 12, 2008
Just like T. Boone Picket, the alternative energy field is sooooo lucrative that he has to canvas Congress for mandatory 'sustainable' energy laws (and subsidies so that no one will notice how much more it costs) so that he doesn't lose his shirt.

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