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If the G7 can show that they are doing their best for the environment, and at the same time profiting by it,the E7 might follow.


Description

Summary

Where hydrocarbons are plentiful and/or low cost they will be burned. The only means of preventing that is to provide a competitive product that is lower in cost for the same power density. Renewable systems have to be upgraded to become that competitive product.


Category of the action

Decarbonizing energy supply


What actions do you propose?

Power derived from renewable sources falls far behind hydrocarbons in the area of power density.

By implication, this means that you first need a renewable technology which supplies power at a cost to compete with hydrocarbons.

If such a technology existed then the primary stakeholders would be marketeers who are genuinely armed with an alternative.

Such a technology would have company stakeholders. The technology would be built and supplied by those companies on the basis that the technology sold for a reasonable profit.

Solar power is not energy / power dense but, given that it is relatively straightforward to install and is not hindered by lack of incentives, it will be used by those that can afford it. The affordability aspect is a major drawback, particularly in E7 countries.

Providing a consistent electricity supply is the main objective. The unreliability attribute of renewables currently precludes their use in base supply.

Up to the present time, energy storage has also been a stumbling block. The problem is that, to store energy, power has to be expended thus negating the advantage of using storage other than (inefficient) conventional means.

What could be done is to employ a new technology over the range of renewable devices to reduce the cost of capacity and increase the power yield.

As an example, the wind turbine is capable of delivering reasonable electrical power when the wind is blowing to specification.

What if the wind turbine could be made smaller, cost less to produce but supply the equivalent power output of those gargantuan machines of today ? If they were smaller, they could run faster, would be more responsive to the complete range of wind-speeds and would not need stopping at a time when the turbine could be delivering its maximum output.

What is not presently a field-proven (shovel ready) technology could enable this to be a reality. The technology is overviewed in a related contest (Industrial Efficency/Generator Counter Torque Compensation - was this overlooked ?) but the principles are sound.

The scaling up and verification of a single new technology which is proven and can be demonstrated at the proof-of-concept level holds very little risk in terms of cost. The advantages propagate from that point.

As increasing electricity use forces an increase in capacity,  what G7 countries could be doing soon (implementing a hydrogen economy for instance) could be duplicated in E7 countries, particularly when renewables are proven to be cost effective.

Within a hydrogen economy, renewables could steadily gain momentum, first as a means of supplementing hydrogen supplies then gradually replacing hydrocarbons.

New markets would naturally be created in both G7 and E7 countries, the effect of which would likely make inroads to improving the financial health of those countries and possibly even start the process of enabling estranged people (referred to generally as economic migrants) to return to their homelands.

In terms of investment, when an improvement is made at the base level of an already proven technology (i.e. electricity generation) then that improvement will affect every application of that technology.

In the case of E7 countries and the investors who would have to evaluate risk, the main risk would be credit counter-party risk but that risk is present in any cross-border transaction. Technology risk is minimal as the changes involve improvements to existing technologies (increasing the efficiency of kinetic energy conversion to electrical power). Other risks are not aggravated by the changes proposed.

In terms of policies, if renewable energy sources (ignoring hydroelectric) make up only 4% of global generating capacity has any policy aimed at increasing the renewables share of the power market actually succeeded to date ?

There are other benefits to be had if the cost of, say, hydrogen competes favourably with hydrocarbons. Because it burns and produces during combustion only water, one particular chemical cycle is of interest with regard to any country where water supply is a problem.

When seawater undergoes the process of hydrolysis i.e. that process used to produce hydrogen, three useful chemicals are produced. India has major problems in that her water system is in dire need of correction. She also has many major ports around her periphery. One of the three products is hydrogen, the other two being chlorine(from salt) and sodium hydroxide. All are useful, so a scenario could possibly be built around this.

If it could be arranged that factory ships (powered by hydrogen) ran hydrolyser sets (efficiently, given the main context of compensators) which produced and pressurised the hydrogen and at the same time stored the chlorine and sodium hydroxide, clean water supplies would result. The stored products are valuable in their own right, providing a cost balance, and the hydrogen would replenish (partially) that used in the process. The water would then be distributed. Given the spread of sea-ports around India it would appear feasible.

As an aside, Japan is a G7 country but has a large geothermal base and is also the biggest manufacturer of geothermal turbines. The problem is the space required and quite rightly the indiginous population don't want to dig up the whole of Japan for the sake of supplying power. Using compensation on the driven generators might be a solution, given that the power density of geothermal generation would be increased.

There is a related competition which asks how diesel generators might be replaced. Within the framework of this proposal, plus the suggestion that hydrocarbons might be cost effectively converted to hydrogen, the replacement of diesel generators is a natural extension.

While the main fuel would be hydrogen, the generators themselves would be compensated thereby increasing even further the efficiency of the end-to-end generation process. The provision of fresh water in remote areas would likely be a distinct advantage.

This might be an encouragement to speeding up the implementation of renewables given that any installation could provide a supplemental hydrogen source.

A late addition.

If the requirement for high torque is removed, there exists another major consideration. Anyone who has experienced the effect of opening two doors which are at opposite ends of the house in which they are living will know that the pressure difference is more than sufficient to close those doors. There is potential to provide domestic power providing that the required torque is minimalised.

 


Who will take these actions?

It is a natural human trait to follow success. If success is seen to be the result of the implementation of improvements in renewable technologies AND costs are reduced then positive actions will follow naturally.


Where will these actions be taken?

Worldwide


What are other key benefits?

Permitting the building of smaller, less costly renewable devices effectively increases the energy / power density. That being the case, those devices complement the move to a hydrogen economy in the global sense.

Larger existing renewables e.g. Hydro, Wave and Tidal could benefit  in a similar manner because those devices, if compensators were applied to the associated generators, could produce more power from a given magnitude of kinetic energy.

Hydroelectricity has long had a problem with the way in which it deforms the water flow. By reducing the torque required to be sourced, the severity of this problem is reduced.


What are the proposal’s costs?

As with all the benefits which could be realised with the application of compensators, the costs are effectively shared. That being the case, a multiplicity of investors, emulating the crowd source principle, could reduce costs to a more manageable level.


Time line

The time line is variable, dependant upon the urgency necessary to implement power dense renewable systems.


Related proposals

Electrical Power Sector/Re-use of Generated Electrical Current to Magnetically Assist the Turbine

Geoengineering/Scaling up of CO2 Scrubbing Technologies

Transportation Efficiency/Large Solutions Need Large Funding


References