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Module 1: Fossil Fuel Replacement and Future Energy Systems

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Fossil Fuel Replacement and Future Energy Systems - Lesson Summary

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The key points from this module are: The energy sectors in transition have changed, we need to be able to have the capacity to not get disrupted by these transitions and to be able to cope with these transitions and hence energy security. The implications in terms of security where we want to have reliable energy supplies, so the goal of our energy policy will be trying to increase the security. In most of the energy sectors, especially when we are looking at the fossil fuels, there are adverse environmental impacts, there are adverse human health impacts and one of the goals of energy policies is to reduce the environmental and human health impacts. We want to look at new technologies and accelerate their energy-related technological change. The polystyrene cup is about one fourth this mass of the paper cup. However, the specific energy per kg is much higher for the polystyrene cup and the so the, but still the total and bodied energy lower than that of the paper cup. The cup mass the material-specific energy and then based on this when you multiply this, this gives you embodied energy or the energy per cup. There is gross energy input which is coming from the oil and then there is a net energy output. This is going to your economy. There are some more efficient plants, maybe there are the supercritical ones, and there are some which are operating with a much poorer emission record.In the 1970s and 1980s, the energy payback periods of photovoltaic energy was high, which meant that it would take a large number of years for that energy to pay back and for any new source which we consider as renewable, we can calculate this and see whether or not it is viable. The cumulative energy over the life side is the energy input divide by the number of years into the annual production.Because buildings overall are important, 30 to 40% of the total energy used is associated with buildings and, if we can design the buildings so that the life cycle energy used is drastically lower then we can use renewables to supply that and, we can have a sustainable solution which is distributed. On a CO2 basis if compare a thermochemical process with biomass, then it is possible to go ahead and make the thermochemical process with the PV for the auxiliary and, the thermochemical process turns out to be better than the PV hydrometallurgy option. There are a multiplicity of different possibilities in terms of routes and when we do the initial pilots and the experiments, one can use net energy and life cycle analysis and the carbon footprint as a base for making this comparison. We are looking at transitions in the electricity sector, we can look at transitions in the transport sector. So mainly going to be electric vehicles, hydrogen vehicles, biofuels vehicles, public transport, biking and walking and trying to redesign the buildings, cities, workspaces and then the transitions in cooking, we are going to go from solid fuels which are being used traditionally to modern renewables.