How to Properly Use Distributed Energy Resources for Resilience
“How should we use distributed energy resources to build resilience?”
Distributed energy resources such as solar and wind energy are shaping up to be the next dominant paradigm in energy. And one of their most touted benefits is the increased resilience that they will bring. However, research has shown that this will only occur if they are deployed in a careful manner. This means that they will need to be planned to provide backup to vulnerable transmission lines, relieve congestion, and be placed under control of grid operators. This is How to Use Distributed Energy Resources for Resilience.
Why Wind Turbines Need Roads
“Why do we need to build roads to have wind energy?”
Wind turbines are one of the greenest sources of energy available to us. However, just because it doesn’t produce any greenhouse gases during operations doesn’t mean that no pollution occurs over its lifespan. Wind turbines need permanent service roads and temporary construction roads for proper service. This is Why Wind Turbines Need Roads.
How Isolating Grid Infrastructure from the Internet can Increase Resilience to a Cyber Attack
“How can we increase security by making the grid go offline?”
In the modern world, it seems like everything is becoming connected to the internet. Although this has brought revolutions in communication, it has also left many components viable to a cyber attack. The grid is no different, and has already been hacked because of this. To prevent this from happening, the grid can simply be disconnected from the internet. That way no attacker can come in and tinker with the components. This is How Isolating Grid Infrastructure from the Internet can Increase Resilience to a Cyber Attack.
Why Seasonal Energy Storage is Necessary for Large-Scale Penetration of Renewables
“Why should we be able to store energy for months?”
Energy storage is the biggest bottleneck in the deployment of renewable energy. Not only are we currently limited in the amount we can store, but also the time, as decay occurs the longer it is stored. And with the deeper penetration of renewables, energy will have to be stored for longer durations, so that charge can be stored during the sunny summer months and extracted in the dark winter ones. This is Why Seasonal Energy Storage is Necessary for Large-Scale Penetration of Renewables.
How Relying Too Much on Natural Gas Can Hurt Resiliency
“How can natural gas be a detriment to resilience?”
In many conversations about the future of the electricity supply, natural gas is thought of as a great stabilizer. However, since it is also used for heating purposes, during cold winter months there may not be enough natural gas for both electricity and warmth, causing major problems. This is How Relying Too Much on Natural Gas Can Hurt Resiliency.
Nuclear Waste Management
“How can we manage radioactive waste?”
Nuclear power is one of the most hefty and carbon-free sources of energy on the planet. However, they also produce large amounts of nuclear waste which is not only deadly to human health but also does not stop being radioactive for tens of thousands of years! As a result, nuclear power operators will need to grapple with Nuclear Waste Management. This includes isolating the byproduct and designing containers such that no radiation escapes.
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Decarbonizing Air Travel
“How can we make air travel carbon-free?”
One of my favorite things to do is travel. Although I don’t get the opportunity often, I love the ability to see new lands, meet new people, and really change my perspective on the world. And one of my favorite parts is traveling to the destination by plane. Being able to gaze upon the entire world through my plane window almost makes me feel like a child again.
However, as a sustainability enthusiast, I feel bad every time I take a flight. I am aware that in one round-trip flight from San Francisco to New York I’ve generated about 20% of the greenhouse gases emitted by the average American car travel. In 1992, it accounted for 13% of all transportation emissions and is expected to grow in the coming years. As a result, Decarbonizing Air Travel is a necessity for achieving a climate-friendly world. This can be done through a multitude of sources, most notably replacement or decarbonization of jet fuel.