Category Alternative Energy

Former Vice President Al Gore. at New York University, July 17, 2008

There are times in the history of our nation when our very way of life depends upon dispelling illusions and awakening to the challenge of a present danger. In such moments, we are called upon to move quickly and boldly to shake off complacency, throw aside old habits and rise, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of big changes. Those who, for whatever reason, refuse to do their part must either be persuaded to join the effort or asked to step aside. This is such a moment. The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk. And even more—if more should be required—the future of human civilization is at stake.

I don’t remember a time in our country when so many things seemed to be going so wrong simultaneously...

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The "Crisis of Confidence" Speech,. July IS, 1979

Good evening. This is a special night for me. Exactly three years ago, on July 15, 1976, I accepted the nomination of my party to run for president of the United States.

I promised you a president who is not isolated from the people, who feels your pain, and who shares your dreams and who draws his strength and his wisdom from you.

During the past three years I’ve spoken to you on many occasions about national concerns, the energy crisis, reorganizing the government, our nation’s economy, and issues of war and especially peace. But over those years the sub­jects of the speeches, the talks, and the press conferences have become increas­ingly narrow, focused more and more on what the isolated world ofWashington thinks is important...

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President Jimmy Carter’s. Speech Concerning Energy,. April 18, 1977

Tonight I want to have an unpleasant talk with you about a problem un­precedented in our history. With the exception of preventing war, this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes. The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly.

It is a problem we will not solve in the next few years, and it is likely to get progressively worse through the rest of this century.

We must not be selfish or timid if we hope to have a decent world for our children and grandchildren.

We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrink­ing resources. By acting now, we can control our future instead of letting the future control us.

Two days from now, I will present my energy proposals to the Congress...

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Summaries of U. S. Legislation Provisions. Related to Alternative Energy

Calculation of fuel economy for natural gas vehicles is performed in a simi­lar fashion. For the purposes of this calculation, the fuel economy is equal to the weighted average of the fuel economy while operating on natural gas and while operating on either gasoline or diesel fuel. AMFA specifies that the en­ergy equivalency of 100 cubic feet of natural gas be equal to 0.823 gallons of gasoline, with the gallon equivalency of natural gas to be considered to have a fuel content, similar to that for alcohol fuels, equal to 0.15 gallons of fuel (49 U. S.C. §329059(c)). Calculations to determine the adjusted CAFE val­ues for natural gas alternative-fuel vehicles are performed in similar fashion...

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It would appear that the lifecycle of alternative fuels has arrived at a new juncture in human history. Just as wind turbines, a symbol of alternative ap­proaches to power production, are appearing along the ridgelines of Central Pennsylvania, they can now be found revitalizing one of their primary points of origin: the Netherlands. In chapter 2, we explored the early years of energy use—when almost all the power available derived from renewable sources. The windmills of early industry in places such as the Netherlands were private or community enterprises. Today’s efforts are most often developed by private companies, but as part of, or with the help of, large government initiatives.

In the Netherlands, for instance, the government has invested more than $80 million to restore some o...

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Giving Solar a Chance

Another slice of the new energy supply pie will likely derive from the old­est source of power. New, large-scale efforts to put solar power to work have recently taken shape in California. Two separate companies are constructing solar plants that will be ten times bigger than those now in use. Spurred by state mandates to derive 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010, Pacific Gas and Electric will purchase the plants’ electricity.

Each plant uses photovoltaic technology, which turns sunlight directly into electricity instead of using it to heat water...

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The Increasing Use of Biofuels

Possibly the most significant change in the energy transition of 2008 was the broadening of production and use of biofuels. In 2006, when President George W Bush castigated Americans for their addiction to oil, he called for the use of alternatives to produce biofuels, including switchgrass. Most experts expect that in the first decade of the 21st century there will appear a mad rush to biofuels, homegrown gasoline, and diesel substitutes made from crops like corn, soybeans, and sugarcane. These technologies had been around for a century, but now were thrust forward as the most effective tran­sitional energy source as humans considered other ways to power transporta­tion...

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Rebirth of Nuclear Power

Perhaps the clearest sign of a sea change in public acceptance of nuclear power was during the 2008 U. S. presidential campaign. During this cam­paign, the candidates of both major parties made clear their support for the use of nuclear power as part of the energy mix in America. Prior to this, such public support for nuclear power would often mark the end of a political career. Even before this, the company Areva began a national advertising cam­paign for nuclear power. This sea-change was also evident in the actions of many different companies within the energy industry, as they have submitted applications for 26 new reactors in the United States (Deutch, 2009). Prior to 2007, there had been no such proposals made for nearly 30 years.

The driving force behind this desire for more nucle...

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