(63d) Solar Based Sustainable Energy Solutions
The recent swings in oil prices again remind us that the world's supply of fossil fuels is finite. Roughly 85% of current energy use is being met by fossil fuels. Furthermore, rapid increase in energy demand by the developing nations is leading to ever increasing use of coal, oil and natural gas. Therefore, alternate primary energy sources are being identified and developed to permit the continued functioning of the future world economy.
The presentation will first paint the current landscape of these alternative sustainable primary energy sources: solar, wind, nuclear, and biomass. It will also review the particular challenges and solutions needed for various end uses of energy.
In a future fossil fuel deprived world, it will be particularly challenging to satisfy the need of the transportation sector due to its requirement of high energy density fuel and associated ease of handling. Novel solutions to meet this challenge and sustain the current transportation sector will be presented. These solutions provide a feasible framework for a sustainable solar economy. They also provide exciting possibilities for scientists and engineers to apply their expertise and contribute to the grand challenge of energy.