Last month we reviewed demand of the peak at your home and on our system. We covered how the base load that we reviewed in September makes the peak possible. Now we are going to look to see what produces CO2 and how we either avoid it or sequester for the climate.
Nuclear gives off zero CO2 emissions while generating power and energy. Did you know that all nuclear waste in this country can fit in an area less than the size of one football field? The new methods of nuclear power generation are using small modular reactors that are much safer and can be combined in multiples of modular reactors to produce large amounts of power and energy. When you hear about nuclear, don’t think of 3-mile island or Chernobyl, think of a new safe technology that has distinct safeguards and nonproliferation goals. If you want to learn more visit: https:// www.energy.gov/ne/advanced-small-modularreactors- smrs
Hydro, or dams, also emit zero CO2 emissions while generating power and energy. Although it is almost impossible to build a new dam in America, the ones we have provide most of the power and energy used in your homes today. There are environmental groups trying to destroy America’s dam infrastructure, but please fight against those groups when you see it or are asked to join a grassroots movement against those that are trying to destroy our dams. There is currently nothing that can replace these dams when it comes to clean energy.
Coal and natural gas give off CO2. Natural gas emits much less CO2 than coa, in fact, about half the amount. Natural gas can also be called upon (turned on) when you need it for an increased load for the grid. This is because of the ability to ramp up the turbine quickly any time, day or night, wind or no wind, sun or no sun. Coal is still the main stay for many in the country and produces CO2 output as a byproduct. However, there are new methods being used and new ones being created that will allow CO2 to be sequestered.
BASIN Electric is headquartered in Bismarck, North Dakota. It is a cooperative power and energy generator that supplies a small portion of our power and energy to the cooperative. Today at BASIN, CO2 is captured and sent via an underground pipeline to Canada that uses the CO2 where it is physically pumped into the ground and does not escape to the atmosphere.
BASIN has also created a center in Wyoming, located at their Dry Forks Station. This project is co-funded by the Department of Energy. The pilot project consists of a Membrane Technology and Research (MTR) carbon dioxide capture plant to prove this technology will work. These membranes have emerged as a capture technology which may offer advantages over mine-based capture alternatives. The membrane technology is simple, compact, and environmentally friendly with no emissions. This would be ideal for the future.
Are we serious about providing energy in the future by using the above technology that will allow us to keep the power on and deliver no CO2? Or do we only want wind and solar, which as we have covered, will not provide a reliable base load? Seems like a straightforward answer.
As always, stay safe and stay healthy.