Hydro power once averaged over 20% of U.S. electric power sector net generation in 1970. Over the past decade (2004–2013), hydro power provided an average of 6.8% of U.S. electric power sector net generation. Untapped non-power dam (NPD) resources will transform small hydro into a major energy source.
The U.S. Administration’s goal is to generate 80% of the nation’s electricity to clean energy sources by 2035 and lead the world in clean energy innovation.
The hydro power resource assessment by the Department of Energy’s Hydropower Program has identified 5,677 sites in the United States with acceptable undeveloped hydro power potential. These sites have a modeled undeveloped capacity of about 30,000 MW. This represents about 40 percentof the existing conventional hydro power capacity.
The 80,000+ non-powered facilities represent the vast majority of dams in the country; more than 90% of dams are used for services, such as regulating water supply and controlling inland navigation, and lack electricity-generating equipment.
An assessment of energy potential from new stream-reach development in the United States led by DOE’s ORNL provides a national picture of the remaining new hydropower development opportunities in U.S. rivers and streams. The assessment concluded that the technical resource potential is 85 GW of capacity. When federally protected lands—national parks, national wild and scenic rivers, and wilderness areas—are excluded, the remaining potential is over 60 GW of capacity or 347 TWh/year of generation.
Power stations can likely be added to many of these dams at a lower cost than creating new powered dam structures. Together, these non-power dam (NPD) facilities could power millions of households and avoid millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
If water is not managed better, today’s crisis will become a catastrophe.
As water becomes ever more scant the world needs to conserve it, use it more efficiently. Researchers from MIT predict that by 2050, more than half of humanity will live in water-stressed areas, where people are now extracting unsustainable amounts from available freshwater sources. We can expect a water crisis that will go viral into a catastrophe if we continue with business as usual.
Many people have a strong moral aversion to paying for the life-sustaining liquid. Some feel that water is a right, and should therefore be free. Others lobby governments to subsidize its distribution to favored groups. This results in vast, but preventable waste.
To make matters worse, few places price water properly. Usually, it is artificially cheap, because politicians are scared to charge much for something essential that falls from the sky. This means that consumers have little incentive to conserve it and investors have little incentive to build pipes and other infrastructure to bring it to where it is needed most.
Researchers from MIT predict that by 2050, more than half of humanity will live in water-stressed areas, where people are now extracting unsustainable amounts from available freshwater sources.
One reason is that as the world’s population grows larger and richer, it uses more water. Another is climate change, which accelerates hydrologic cycles, making wet places wetter and dry places drier. The World Resources Institute found that 33 face extremely high water stress by 2040 (see map).
And as the global population rises from 7.4 bn to close to 10 bn by the middle of the century, it is estimated that agricultural production will have to rise by 60% to fill the world’s bellies. This will put water supplies under huge strain.
In many countries people can pump as much water as they like from underground aquifers, because rules are either lax or not enforced. But it is unsustainable: around a fifth of the world’s aquifers are over-exploited.
People do not drink much water—only a few liters a day. But putting food on their tables requires floods of the stuff. Growing 1 lb of wheat takes 125 gallons of water; fattening a cow to produce the same weight of beef involves 12 times more. Overall, agriculture accounts for more than 70% of global freshwater withdrawals. Farmers in parched places grow thirsty cash crops such as avocados, which could easily be imported from somewhere wetter.
In many places water demand is high and the quality is also at risk: as in many of the most stressed watersheds, it is often compromised by pollution. A polluted water source increases the risk of sickness not just of the environment but of the people and communities that depend on it for their survival.Continue reading WATER CRISES: COMING CATASTROPHE→
There are many applications or spin-offs of the HUG, a new invention or a new good, which are named by their function:
The Funnel HUG, used in ‘Run-of-River’ (Run-of-River HUG), and in a waterfall (Waterfall HUG) and the Reservoir HUG used to house an array of Funnel HUGs.
The Pump HUG used in a river (River HUG), at a pylon (Pylon HUG), in an ocean current (Ocean Current HUG) and a tide (Tidal HUG)
The Wave Energy HUG: creating electricity from wave energy
The HUG pipe or HUG pipeline
The Recycle HUG to recycle gray water
The HUG Siphon for Waterfalls, Watermills and Dams
The Pump HUG uses the physics of the vortex to create a spiraling motion to accelerate the flow of fluid in order to generate electricity or provide irrigation pumps from the water flow from tidal flows, waves, rivers, rapids, ocean and other fluid flows using a helical turbine and to transfer this fluid like water, oil or natural gas at near zero friction.
The “prior art” helical turbine is used to provide rotation to either the submersible pump or the electrical generator. One of the companies—GCK Technologies Inc. has a patented turbine using the helical blade. Lucid Energy Technologies patented the same helical turbine in a pipeline, but there is no vortex claimed for either patents.
The Wave EnergyHUG utilizes an artificial reef in order to create a slab wave. The “prior art” artificial surfing reef has a filing date of September 3, 1991. The abstract reads: “The artificial surfing reef is a generally Y-shaped structure made of many large sized polyvinyl chloride pipes…”. As a swell moves toward the shore, its bottom is resisted by the artificial surfing reef to form the perfect surfing waves. The closest competitor is a system called Wave Dragon, which is as heavy as a ship of the same size: the waves are much smaller and the turbines do not use the power of the vortex.
All these prior systems do not use the physics of the vortex in order to increase the velocity of the laminar flow. Hence, many companies have patents for much larger and more expensive turbines, simply because the velocity of the flow has not been accelerated by a vortex. Typically they place their turbine directly into a tidal flow or rapids: the size is so large that maintenance becomes a big factor.
Imagine having a hundred such huge systems in a set of rapids and then having to raise each for maintenance. R.E.R. had such a prototype at the Lachine Rapids near Montreal and they were finally producing electricity at 2.3 kW/m2. The system was so huge that they had to replace the blades of the turbines with stronger alloys and their system required an underwater generator (you never mix electricity with water).
R.E.R. had to declare bankruptcy because they could not find a buy like ABB Inc. (Canada), who was already part of a consortium and who was willing to take on the guarantee of providing constant electricity.
There are ways a business communicates the value of innovation to financiers: industry benchmarks that allow the investor to compare the business to other similar businesses.
How the Technology Innovation is different than the Incumbent Technologies
Presently no patents exist to capture energy from fast moving rivers up to now. The Power Density of any pilot projects designed to capture energy from tides is 2.4 to 6.9 kW/m2.This Power Density is a measurement of the efficiency of a hydro electric system: the area The reason for the low efficiency is that the flow of a current treats all these turbines as obstacles to be avoided.
The HUGPower Density is an unbelievable 73.5 kW/m2. The Power Density increases to the cube of the velocity and the HUG velocity is four times faster than the competition. This is why the HUG can be small and modular.
The most important consideration is the HUG cost: the Cost of Construction for a 100 MW project is $88.5 million, which is 22% of the typical average cost . The HUGcost of $885/kW is unusually lowcompared to most other hydro electric generation systems. In 2009, Hydro-Quebec (Canada) was permitted to build a number of hydro projects totaling 4500 MW, with a total price of US$ 23 billion, which is $5,100/kW.
The present costs of generation of small hydro plants are in the range for small hydro of $45–120/MWh with an average of $83/MWh. There are still many ideal sites, which are close to the existing electric power converter/generators, thereby reducing these costs by a further 40%.
The cost per mega watt hour of the HUG is very low at the rate of $5.46/MWh, which is 360% on the low side and 1,100% on the high side. The Energy Availability Factor (power plant performance) can be increased by the same range
HUG can provide extra revenue from the upcoming sale of carbon credits: those companies, which exceed the emission limits, will soon be forced to buy $284,000 worth of carbon credits for every 1 MW of new clean energy.
The United States Department of Energy has approved a second round for Hydroelectric Production Incentives allow for up to 2.3 cents per kWh — indexed for inflation, which amounts to $180,000/MW.The maximum payments of up to $750,000 per year for energy generated by facilities (4 MW) during the incentive period.
The risk factor is low because the initial Prototype & Feasibility Study of the HUG costs only $750,000. New technology in the form of three-dimensional printing further reduces the risk of a high cost prototype. This 0.24 MW power project has an admirable cost recovery of $65,350/yr. The Return on Investment is 17.5%/yr.
There are 5500 locations for a total of 11,000 MW in Canada alone where this technology can be applied according to studies done to support low head (1.5 m -3 m) turbines . It was estimated that as much as 3,400 MW of electricity generation potential could be exploited in U.S. rivers by small, unconventional systems such as free-flow (damless) turbines.( Hall et al. 2004)
Remote areas do not have access to expensive dams and so electricity is a northern company’s biggest cost after labor. Northerners use costly diesel. Mines in remote areas would pay premium prices for this technology.
HELPING SOLVE THE WORLD’S CARBON POLLUTION
New Trees are the only solution to soaking up Carbon Dioxide:
Our Mission: to help solve the problem of carbon dioxide build up in the world by growing and managing mature forests of foliage, fruit and nut trees that eventually are used in lumber — not firewood. The Carbon Tax Fund supports a Micro finance initiative to support women farmers and their families who will nurture fruit and nut trees over their lifetime. The Net Present Value of each tree is $0.49/tree plus $1.00/tree for auditing and maintenance for 25 years.
Renewable energy companies are increasingly interested in converting the energy of California’s ocean waters into electricity. Wave Energy Conversion Technology is evolving and the need for renewable energy is clear.
Since California is one of the most fossil fuel dependent states in the world, any alternatives are worth investigating.
California Gov. Brown said California emits 12 tons of carbon dioxide a year for every resident and it has to get that down to two. “This is big,” he said.
Ontario’s greenhouse-gas emissions are emitting about 12.5 tons of carbon dioxide a year/per person.
Members of the California Nurses Association march to a rally outside the hearing in Sacramento.
Protecting Lives and Lungs From Smog
An estimated 230,000 missed days of school and 210,000 asthma attacks would be avoided. Cleaner air is also good for our pocketbooks and could yield an annual health benefit of up to $4 billion by reducing medical costs that come from emergency room visits and expenses for treating smog-related illnesses.
By 2040, world energy demand is expected to dramatically increase (in 25 years)
Worldwide energy usage is on track to increase by roughly 40% in the next 20 years and to nearly double by 2050. Carbon emissions still have to be cut 84% by 2050, yet almost 70% of the kilowatt-hours of electricity consumed today comes from coal or natural gas. Electricity has to be the dominant energy form used in the future.
The allure is irresistible. A wave energy system that could harness an inexhaustible, nonpolluting source of energy and be deployed economically in sufficient numbers to generate significant amounts of electricity—that would be a feat for the ages.Continue reading World Wave Energy→