Energy crisis

The world faces an energy crisis that stems from the confluence of unfavorable developments in the areas of energy supply and demand, climate change, and energy security. Economical clean energy solutions are needed.

Energy supply and demand

From 2010 to 2040, the US Energy Information Administration predicts a 56% increase in the global energy demand and a steady 80% dependence on fossil fuels (liquids, coal, and natural gas) for the global energy supply.

Our technology impacts energy supply and demand by offering an economical (low-cost), safe, and reliable alternative power source.

Energy supply Energy demand

Fossil fuels dominate the global energy market

Supply

A majority of the projected growth in energy supply is expected to be from fossil fuels. The forecasted growth in clean energy (renewables and nuclear) consumption through 2040 is disappointingly low. More specifically, from 2010 to 2040, both renewable and nuclear energy sources are expected to grow at an average rate of 2.5% per year.

Demand

A majority of the projected growth in energy demand is expected to occur in countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), known as non-OECD countries. More specifically, over the next 30 years the forecasted growth in energy consumption is 3% per year in non-OECD countries and 0.5% per year in OECD countries. Energy consumption is proportional to the standard of living. Countries with large populations and low gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, such as China and India, are increasing their energy consumption and increasing their economic output.

Climate change

Could the Earth’s biosphere be approaching a major state shift? Some prominent theories predict a tipping-point around mid-century.

Our technology impacts climate change by offering a fortifiable (from natural disasters and sabotage) power source that has no greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon dioxide concentration Biosphere state shift

Can greenhouse gas emissions induce a critical transition in the Earth's bioshpere?

Greenhouse gas emissions

Fossil fuel combustion is responsible for introducing an unprecedented amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In particular, carbon dioxide (CO2) atmospheric concentrations have risen dramatically over the last century. Before the Industrial Revolution, the CO2 atmospheric concentration was around 280 parts per million (ppm). In 2012, the average CO2 atmospheric concentration was around 394 ppm. Between 2010 and 2040 the global energy-related annual CO2 emissions are predicted to increase by 46%, rising from 31.2 billion metric tons in 2010 to 45.5 billion metric tons in 2040.

Critical transitions

The impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the climate is an ever-evolving topic. It is known that fluctuations in the CO2 atmospheric concentration are directly correlated to the Earth's average temperature. Thus, a high CO2 atmospheric concentration corresponds to a high average temperature. It is also known that the terrestrial climate is a complex nonlinear system that humans are not able to control. Unfortunately, the most likely outcome of tampering with this nonlinear system is a critical transition or tipping-point or state shift in the Earth's biosphere. The consequence of such a change would cause irreparable damage. Therefore it is important to minimize future emissions, improve infrastructure, and prepare for the potential ramifications of climate change.

Energy security

Competition over energy resources can rapidly escalate into international conflict.

Our technology impacts energy security by offering a flexible heat and power source for all energy sectors.

US Energy Consumption in 2011

Energy security

Energy security versus energy independence.

Energy security encompasses the relationship between an individual nation's energy demands and their ability to mitigate energy supply disruptions. Energy independence describes the concept that an individual nation's energy supply completely meets its energy demand. However, after accounting for foreign policy, every country participates in the global energy market and is not energy independent.

US energy consumption

In the illustration above, the primary energy consumption for the United States in 2011 is shown by source and sector. Notice that fossil fuels supplied 82% of the US energy demand in 2011. Also notice that energy sources have preferential energy sectors. For instance, nuclear fuel produces electric power and liquid fuels account for 93% of the transportation sector.

The United States depends heavily on petroleum imports to meet demand. In 2011, the US imported 24.5 PBtu of petroleum to satisfy the 35.3 PBtu of liquid fuels consumed, which amounts to 69% of the demand. This vulnerability in energy security was exposed by the 1973 oil crisis when members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) imposed an oil embargo on the US and is the reason why the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve exists today. In 2014, the US imported 27% of the petroleum consumed.