The Future of Energy - Richard Campbell - NDC Porto 2023

Explore the future of energy with Richard Campbell at NDC Porto 2023. Discover the pros and cons of various energy sources and the challenges and opportunities in transitioning to a sustainable energy future.

Key takeaways
  1. Coal:

    • Expensive power source, ranging from $80 to $160 per megawatt.
    • Uses traditional drilling methods, which are expensive and time-consuming.
    • Emits carbon dioxide, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Natural Gas:

    • Relatively inexpensive and efficient compared to other fossil fuels.
    • Combined-cycle natural gas power plants are highly efficient and generate a lot of electricity per cycle.
    • Still emits carbon dioxide, although less than coal.
  3. Hydroelectric Power:

    • Original green energy source, using the power of flowing water to generate electricity.
    • Long-lived power plants with lifespans of 100 years or more.
    • Can be built smaller, started faster, and shut down faster than other power sources.
    • Dependent on rainfall and water levels, which can be affected by climate change.
  4. Wind Power:

    • One of the cheapest forms of electricity generation today.
    • Wind turbines have become more efficient and reliable over time.
    • Large-scale wind farms can generate a significant amount of electricity.
    • Can be visually intrusive and pose a risk to birds and bats.
  5. Solar Power:

    • Solar panels have become more affordable and efficient in recent years.
    • Can be installed on rooftops or in large solar farms.
    • Intermittent power source, dependent on sunlight availability.
    • Requires energy storage solutions for continuous power supply.
  6. Geothermal Power:

    • Utilizes heat from the Earth’s core to generate electricity.
    • Clean and renewable energy source with minimal emissions.
    • Requires specific geological conditions and can be expensive to drill.
    • Limited availability and potential environmental impacts.
  7. Nuclear Power:

    • Uses nuclear fission to generate electricity, producing large amounts of energy with minimal fuel.
    • Modern nuclear reactors are designed to be safer and more efficient.
    • Concerns about nuclear accidents and waste disposal remain.
    • High upfront costs and long construction times.
  8. Hydrogen Power:

    • Hydrogen can be used as a fuel to generate electricity through fuel cells.
    • Clean and renewable energy source when produced from renewable sources.
    • Difficult to store and transport, requiring specialized infrastructure.
    • Currently expensive to produce and requires further technological advancements.
  9. Pumped Hydro Storage:

    • Uses excess electricity to pump water uphill and then releases it through a turbine to generate electricity when needed.
    • Efficient and reliable energy storage method.
    • Requires suitable geographical locations with large elevation differences.
    • Can be expensive to build and maintain.
  10. Energy Storage Technologies:

    • Batteries, flywheels, and other energy storage technologies are being developed to address the intermittency of renewable energy sources.
    • Can help balance the grid and provide backup power during outages.
    • Still relatively expensive and have limited storage capacity.