Written by Brian Wang of nextbigfuture.com
I have criticized Amory Lovins energy plan. Here is an outline of my energy expectation and suggestions.
62% of the world's energy usage is from coal (26%) and oil (36%).
50% of oil is used for cars and trucks. There are one billion cars and trucks in the world and we add 55-65 million each year. So getting older cars and trucks to be much more efficient can have up to twenty times larger and faster impact than rules for making more efficient new cars and trucks.
Retrofitting old cars and trucks and motorcycles with aerodynamic shells and attachments (commercial CIY aeromodding) can reduce fuel usage by 30-100% at highway speeds.
Retrofitting the older cars and trucks and motorcycles with aerodynamic shells and attachments (commercial CIY aeromodding) can reduce fuel usage by 30-100% at highway speeds.
Retrofit cars and trucks with engine modifications or overhauls to reduce fuel usage. A Honda 125 cc Innova was increased from 114 mpg to 214 mpg with an aerodynamic shell
There are several do it yourself aerodynamic modifications of Honda Civics to get 90-114 mpg.
Here is a list of vehicle efficiency improvements from Ecomodder
Walmart is looking at aerodynamic modifications and driving and operating practices to double truck fleet efficiency.
Cars and trucks use about 50% of the oil. The rest if for industrial heat, plastics, some home heating, some rail, some ships, asphalt for roads, etc... Industrial and building efficiency retrofits should also be pursued but we cannot expect efficiency gains to prevent growth in energy demand.
We should convert several hundreds to several thousand of the largest commercial ships to nuclear power could be done faster than converting tens of millions of cars or trucks. There are already hundreds of nuclear submarines and air craft carriers
The economics of nuclear power for commercial ships makes sense now which is why Cosco ( a large chinese commercial shipping company) is investigating the idea of nuclear shipping.
Economic study showed that a nuclear ship would be $40 million per year cheaper to operate when bunker oil is at $500/ton.
Those studies had indicated improved economics when bunker fuel is over $300/ton. Bunker oil is currently about $375/ton. Also, changing to nuclear powered container ships would reduce air pollution by the equivalent of about 20,000 cars converted to electric per container ship that is converted.
Electrify local transportation - China has 150 million electric bikes. China is converting 500 million regular bicycles users to electric bikes. We need to supply the electric power from nuclear power instead of coal or natural gas for electric bikes. Other countries should also look to electric bikes and ultralight electric vehicles. Not just cars but Segways and Pumas.
We should look city by city to electrify transportation. The EZPass road toll devices can be used to penalize fuel inefficient vehicles and incentivize high efficiency vehicles and the charges can be dynamic.
Exclusive robotic car and vehicle zones can be created in cities. These would be expansions of the pedestrian only areas that are in some cities. The robotic car only zones can start off smaller areas with 10-100 cars covering 10X10 blocks or so and then expanded as the system is proven.
Factory mass produce nuclear reactors like China HTR-PM pebble bed and Hyperion power generation's uranium nitride or uranium hydride reactors (there are other designs for factory mass production reactors) can accelerate the build out of nuclear power.
Nuclear power (2600 TWH/year) has already displaced 20% of fossil fuel electricity usage.
South Korea has 4 year construction times for the latest gen 3.5 reactors built from about 200 modules.
South Korea is developing annular fuel uprates from MIT which have the potential for increasing existing nuclear power plant power by 50%. South Korea is pursuing a cheaper version which minimizes the changes to the plant and just changes the fuel rods. About 20% power boost. This can be combined with existing extended poweruprates and plant operating life extensions.
Deeper burn nuclear reactor technology is being developed. This would reduce the amount of unburned fuel.
Business as Usual is to have the world to increase 20-40 million barrels per day the oil usage. So any plan has to slow and then reverse that trend. currently the world uses about 300 TWH of wind power
Solar energy levels will grow from 0.012 quadrillion Btu (quads) in 2010, to 0.018 quad in 2011 (in the USA which uses about 100 quad of energy from all sources. About 80% from fossil fuel. Wind power will grow by 31% by next year in the utility sector, from 0.909 to 1.189 quad