Energy from Oceans Replaces Energy from Fossil Fuels by Mobilize Now
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Thank you for your innovative proposal. It is a tough market with many regulations. Explore what government funding exists in this space to alleviate the capital intensity.
Thank you for your proposal submission. For the next round of judging, please add additional detail that will help shed light on the costs and potential impacts of the solution. We look forward to your revisions for the next round.
Jun 15, 2016
In response to your feedback, extensive revisions were made to the text of our proposal. Affected sections have been copied and pasted below.
Who will take these actions?
Electric utilities and other governmental or private entities involved in supplying electricity will need to take action.
How catastrophic will sea level rise and other consequences of global warming be if Energy Island or a comparable system is not implemented to replace the business-as-usual system for supplying electricity? Nobody actually knows how soon replacement will happen, and predictions vary widely, based on trends in growth of use of renewable energy and expectations about future demand for electricity. Some predictions are optimistic in predicting that demand for electricity will be relatively flat because of increases in efficiency of how electricity is used. Other predictions posit rising demand.
For this discussion, we accept the not-very-optimistic predictions of Tom Randal of Bloomberg Business (10) who predicts a rise in demand for electrical power of about 50 percent between his baseline year of 2012 and 2040. Electricity generated from non-fossil-fuel energy sources will grow from about 8 TWh annually to about 20 TWh annually by 2040.
Figure 1 shows a significant gap is left between the predicted continued use of fossil fuels in 2040 (continuing at a level of about 15,000 TWh per year) versus the desired level of power generation from fossil fuels -- zero TWh.
Figure 1. Global power generation by technology, 2012-40. The Way Humans Get Electricity Is About to Change Forever - Randal at Bloomberg Business.
The impact of Energy Island to cope with rising demand is explored below in the section titled “How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?”
How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?
Above, we deduced an additional 15,000 TWh of “clean” electricity would need to be generated annually to allow emissions from using fossil fuels to approach zero.
Given 1800 Energy Islands, each with generation capacity of 2 GW, operated 24 hrs/day, they should theoretically be able to produce total power in a year of 1800 x 365 days x 24 hrs x 2 GW = 31,536,000 GWh = 31,536 TWh annually of electrical power.
The above calculation of power should be reduced by about half because generation output is typically 40 to 60 percent below theoretical levels. Thus, Energy Islands could be expected to produce a total yearly power output of 0.5 x 31,536 TWh = 15,768 TWh.
Therefore, the calculated output from 1800 Energy islands would be sufficient to cover the estimated extra 15,000 TWh of capacity needed by 2040 to completely eliminate the need to burn fossil fuels to generate electricity.
See Manaugh and Majdi (11) for a more detailed discussion about reducing emissions by employing Energy Islands.
What are the proposal’s costs?
As part of a global plan for wholesale replacement of fossil fuels as a primary source of energy, it is estimated that hundreds of Energy Island sites could be beneficially deployed near population centers around the globe.
The cost of an Energy Island module is derived from the cost of similar floating platforms, such as barges (www.oceanmarine.com), supplemented with CAES at $10 million plus $70 million for a generating capacity of 20 MW at an average cost of $3.50 per watt. That’s $80 million per Energy Island module, or $8 billion per Energy Island site (100 modules per site) (12).
Given that 1800 Energy Island sites will be needed to cover the estimated extra 15,000 TWh of capacity needed by 2040 to completely eliminate the need to burn fossil fuels to generate electricity, the total cost for 1800 Energy Island sites would, therefore, be $14.4 trillion.
The proposed use of Energy Island devices would, preferably, be phased in as soon as possible, given the catastrophic consequences that are sure to follow from continued burning of fossil fuels. Thus, Energy Islands should be built and deployed during the short time range of 5 to 15 years and continued during a medium time range of 15 to 50 years, during which period carbon emissions from electric power generation could be successfully brought down to zero. Thereafter (50 years plus), continued deployments of Energy Islands could occur as needed to maintain emissions at a near zero level.
Nations around the world devote more than $0.5 trillion per year to subsidizing development and use of fossil fuels (10). Ending that counter-productive practice and, instead, devoting those subsidies to building Energy Islands would allow 1800 Energy Islands (at a total cost of $14.4 trillion, as calculated above) to be built in 29 years.
The time line for reducing carbon emissions from power generation could be further shortened if funds were made available by trimming many nations’ bloated and wasteful military budgets. From military budgets totaling over $2 trillion per year, funds could be freed to build Energy Islands so that emissions could be brought to zero in the short range of under 15 years.