DANGEROUS DECOMMISSIONED DAMS
Around the world, some 5,000 large dams are now more than 50 years old, and the number and size of the dams reaching their half century is rapidly increasing. The average age of dams in the US is now around 40 years. According to a panel on dam aging at ICOLD’s 1991 Congress, “in the future attention and activity [will] be more and more shifted from the design and construction of new dams to the restoration of the structural and operational safety of existing dams”. Many of these are decommissioned dams.
Dangerous dams, however, are far from purely a problem of the ex–Soviet republics. Between 1977 and 1982 the Corps of Engineers inspected 8,800 non–federal dams in the US, most of them privately–owned, which it classified as “high–hazard” – where a failure could cause significant loss of life. One–third of these dams – 2,900 – were considered to be “unsafe”, primarily because of inadequate spillway capacity. A 1994 survey showed at least 1,800 non–federal dams were still unsafe. The situation is similar for federal dams: in 1987 one–fifth of BuRec’s 275 dams were classified as unsafe, as were one–third of the 554 dams operated by the Corps of Engineers.
An Ontario Hydro study of data from several hundred North American dams shows that on average hydro dam operating costs rise dramatically after around 25–35 years of operation due to the increasing need for repairs. When the cost of maintaining an old dam exceeds the receipts from power sales, its owners must decide either to invest in rehabilitating the dam, or, if the cost of repairs would be prohibitive, to disconnect the dam from the grid and cease producing power.
As discussed, small dams and small dam owners collectively, represent as great a risk to the public as large dams and large dam owners, if not more so.
Preliminary estimates indicate that by 2030, from 2% to 15% of the nation’s electricity could come from water power – including hydro power and marine and hydro kinetic energy sources, such as waves and tides.
California Wave Energy
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. Continue reading California, Catch the Next Energy Wave
OCEAN WAVE ENERGY: WAVING GOOD BUY?
THE idea of extracting energy from an ocean wave and turning it into electricity is an alluring one. It has the potential to fill in the gaps that are left by wind and sun power plants when it is calm and dark.
We calculate that the cost of producing electricity from the HUG will be around $0 .003 kilowatt hour. That compares with 16 cents a kilowatt hour for offshore wind farms, six cents for the onshore variety and a grid-connected fossil-fuel power station at five cents or more.
HUG Wave Energy Systems are ultra-simple, only three moving parts: the helical turbine, the submersible pump and the electric generator (which is accessible and kept dry). The simple HUG design will operate for decades with no more maintenance than an occasional scrub to remove accumulated barnacles.
The HUG uses higher waves to fill a higher reservoir to a greater water level than the surrounding ocean. The lower Pump HUG has a helical turbine, which engages a submersible pump in order to send water up a HUG pipeline to a second Funnel HUG above the water line on its own barge where its second helical turbine engages an electric generator in a dry environment.
The real advantage of the HUG is POWER from the action of the vortex in the HUG and the Venturi effect created by the shape of the HUG:
Now let’s explain the real reason for the HUG: HIGH POWER DENSITY Continue reading HUG Wave Energy Systems
Green energy is the way of the future. Look at the Fossil Fuel and Renewable Energy Subsidies.
Coal, natural gas, and oil accounted for 87 percent of global primary energy consumption in 2012.
Our energy needs are growing to such an extent that we are forced to use whatever we have at our disposable without looking at the cost/damage. We are so dependent on conventional sources that the need to change often isn’t there.
Fossil fuel subsidies reached $90 billion in the OECD and over $500 billion globally in 2011. Renewable energy subsidies reached $88 billion in 2011. The IMF estimates that for 2015 the economic cost of energy subsidies worldwide will amount to US$5.3 trillion. This is not to be confused with actual amount of subsidies which are projected to amount to around US$333 billion for 2015. Without fossil fuel subsidies, the price of electricity by about 1.2 cents per kilowatt-hour.
There is no such thing as clean coal, it’s a lie. If you think coal is great, why don’t you go live in Beijing and soak up some of that super clean air.
Hydroelectric energy This form uses the gravitational potential of elevated water that was lifted from the oceans by sunlight. At this time, most of the available locations for hydroelectric dams are already used in the developed world. Hydroelectric energy SUBSIDIES receive $0.01/ kWh.
HUG Wave Energy
Energy from wave energy, tides, the oceans and hot hydrogen fusion are other forms that can be used to generate electricity. These energy sources are often non-centralized, leading to greater consumer control and involvement.
Renewable energy SUBSIDIES receive $0.05/ kWh
Big Hydro’s Big Days are behind us
The $6.5-billion Romaine ” big hydro” development in Quebec, Canada will produce 1,550 MW: $4200/kW. British Columbia’s plan to build a new $8.8-billion hydro project on the Peace River for 1,100-megawatt: $8,000/kW. Manitoba may be in the worst shape of all: it has green-lighted the $6.5-billion, 700-megawatt Keeyask dam: $9286/kW (9 cents per kilowatt-hour).
There are additional indirect costs: damming interrupts the flow of rivers and can harm local ecosystems, and building large dams and reservoirs often involves displacing people and wildlife.
Cheap and abundant U.S. natural gas, with its lighter (than coal) carbon footprint, is eating Canadian hydro’s lunch. Export prices averaged 6.5 cents per kw/h in 2008. By 2012, that was down to 3.1 cents per kw/h – far below the production costs of any new hydro projects being built now.
Comparisons of life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions or global warming, which uses the global warming potential unit, the Carbon dioxide equivalent(CO2e)/kWh: 400 for natural gas and 700 to 1000 (without scrubbing) for coal.