Global Climate ChangeGlobal Climate Change cvining
Presentation on Thermoelectrics at Al Gore's Solutions Summit May 1, 2008Presentation on Thermoelectrics at Al Gore's Solutions Summit May 1, 2008 cvining
The following presentation and manuscript (links below) were prepared at the request of the Office of Honorable Al Gore & Mrs. Tipper Gore for presentation at a 'Solutions Summit' panel on ‘Nanotechnology and New Materials’ held May 1, 2008 in New York City.
The roundtable was chaired by the former Vice President as part of a broader discussion about solutions for the climate crisis. He believes, and do I, we have only a limited time to solve this planetary emergency. The discussions themselves were off the record but Mr. Gore is preparing a new solutions-oriented book. I have opted to make my own contribution public. It was a rare privilege for me to participate.
Many people in the thermoelectric community graciously contributed ideas and graphics for this effort. Where I have included citations, please respect the original authors intellectual property rights. Also keep in mind that those cited need not (and many do not) share my opinions or conclusions on the subject. But as Robert Park might say, they should.
I am distributing these materials that they may stimulate some discussion and I welcome comments. The full paper is available below.
Responses are welcome and I will make space available on my website for any reasonable comments. As always, you can reach me through this website's Contact Form
An Inconvenient Truth About ThermoelectricsAn Inconvenient Truth About Thermoelectrics
An inconvenient truth about thermoelectrics - pp83 - 85
Cronin B. Vining
Despite recent advances, thermoelectric energy conversion will never be as efficient as steam engines. That means thermoelectrics will remain limited to applications served poorly or not at all by existing technology. Bad news for thermoelectricians, but the climate crisis requires that we face bad news head on.
Climate Crisis & Science Priorities: A Case Study on Thermoelectric TechnologyClimate Crisis & Science Priorities: A Case Study on Thermoelectric Technology cvining
Climate Crisis & Science Priorities:
A Case Study on Thermoelectric Technology
A Colloquium Energy Research Initiative
University of Rochester
June 10, 2009
Cronin B. Vining
Solar PowerSolar Power
Science Newssn-solar-2007 has a nice introduction to the role solar power may play in fighting global climate change. Some telling statistics:
- Total World Energy Consumption (2001): 13 Terawatts (TW)
- Total World Energy Consumption (2050): 26 Terawatts (TW)
- Total World Energy Consumption (2100): 39 Terawatts (TW)
- Derived from coal, oil & natural gas (2001): 86%
- 1 gigawatt (GW) power plants needed to generate 10 TW: 10,000
- Time to build 10 TW of power plants: one new 1 GW plant/day for 27 years
- Exploitable hydroelectric power worldwide: 0.5 TW
- Extractable wind power worldwide: 2-4 TW
- Solar energy arriving at earth: 120,000 TW
Nathan Lewis of CalTech is a prominent proponent of the argument that solar may be the only primary power source sufficient to fight global climate change. He has written some excellent, technically detailed articles on the subject [bib]lewis2006[/bib],[bib]lewis2007[/bib] and a nice overview-style article with George Crabtree of Argonne [bib]crabtree2007[/bib]