The Myths of Alternative Energy

Education - Lecture/Discussion - WPI Only

Thursday, September 19, 2013
5:00 PM-6:00 PM

Higgins Laboratories
116

Sponsored by Sustaining WPI On-Campus Project Center & The Energy Sustainability Project Center.

Presenter: Professor Robert W. Thompson

Abstract: Issues regarding the US and worldwide energy problems are in the news every day. Projected shortages of some energy forms, as well as carbon emissions and the associated global climate change, appear to be in conflict, and are debated fiercely in some quarters. The growing human population demands increasing amounts of various forms of energy, and increasing standards of living worldwide require increased energy to satisfy those improvements to the human condition.

Projections of peak oil have caused concern about the longevity of our way of life, and have prompted research into numerous alternatives to burning fossil fuels, including increased emphasis on conservation.

In this presentation, well explore the nature of the energy crisis, and review several proposed alternative energies that are being promoted. The concept of the energy balance in evaluating some of these alternatives will be explained. Land utilization will be discussed in the context of bio-fuels as alternatives to petro-fuels. And, lastly, the wisdom of investments in some of these alternative energy technologies will be considered in the context of these issues.

Suggested Audiences: College

E-mail: CEE@wpi.edu

Last Modified: September 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

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