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Resources Geology Exam 4
Terms in this set (90)
What percentages are each renewable energy sources used?
Hydroelectric Power: 35%
Wood (Biomass): 22%
What are renewable portfolio standards?
Policies designed to increase electricity generation from renewable sources
What renewable resource do Dominion Power and AEP primarily use?
Hydroelectric and Biomass
Describe the process of hydroelectricity
--Potential energy is stored by dam
--Water flows through penstocks and turns turbine blades
--Turbine blades rotate generators to produce electricity
What are the top three countries for hydroelectricity?
--China, Brazil, and Canada
What country is the largest oil producer?
Norway (yet they don't use any oil power plants)
Where does 99% of Norway's electricity come from?
Where does 100% of Idaho's electricity come from?
What is the cheapest form of electricity?
What is the world's largest hydroelectric dam?
China's Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River
What were the negatives of the Three Gorges Dam?
--Displaced 2 million
--Flooded large areas of cropland and forest
--Project costed $30 billion
What percentage of Virginia's electricity is hydroelectric?
What are the advantages of hydroelectricity?
--Reduces dependence on fossil fuels
--Reduces air pollution
--Reduces CO2 emissions
--Reduces chances of downstream flooding
--Provides reservoirs for drinking water, irrigation, and recreation
What are the disadvantages of hydroelectricity?
--When under construction, floods large land areas/forests
--Siltation => limited life span
--Reduce deposits of nutrient-rich sediments below dam
--Disrupts spawning and migration of some fish below dam
--High initial capital cost
What is geothermal energy?
A heat and power source that utilizes the Earth's natural geothermal gradient
What is the source of geothermal energy?
True or False? If only 1% of the geothermal energy in the upper 10km of the crust could be captured, it would amount to 500 times the total global oil and gas resource
Where is the best place to harness geothermal energy?
What country is almost entirely run on geothermal energy?
True or False? Geothermal plants provide reliable power for over 60 million people in the world
Where are most geothermal areas?
In the West
How is geothermal energy produced?
When upwelling hot water or steam is used to turn a turbine
True of False? Geothermal energy can also be used to run heat pumps for commercial and residential HVAC
What are the concepts behind using geothermal for HVAC?
--Earth is a heat source in winter and a heat sink in summer
--Heat pump used to transfer heat to and from the earth
--Initial cost is high, but costs are regained after 5-10 years
What are the advantages of geothermal energy?
--Very high efficiency
--Moderate energy yield at accessible sites
--Lower CO2 emissions than fossil fuels
--Low cost at favorable sites
What are the disadvantages of geothermal energy?
--Scarcity of suitable sites
--Depleted if used too rapidly
--Can have local air pollution
--Cost high except at the most concentrated and accessible source
What technologies can convert solar energy to electricity?
--Concentrated solar system
What is involved with passive solar heating?
--Large, south-facing windows
--Building materials that can adsorb and release heat
Describe photovoltaic cells
Made of two layers of a semi-conductor between glass and metal plates
True or False? Concentrating solar power systems use mirrors to create a high-intensity heat source
What concentrating solar power system generates electricity to power 100,000 homes?
Ivanpah Solar System
What area in the U.S is optimal for solar energy?
What are the advantages of solar energy?
--No acid rain
--Low Operating Cost
--Okay in Remote Areas
What are the disadvantages of solar energy?
--Battery technology and storage limiting
--Need for backup systems at night and during cloudy weather
--Need for large amount of land to collect on large scale
--High start-up cost
Who was the Chief of the Manhattan Engineering District in 1942?
Where and when was the first nuclear reactor critical?
University of Chicago; Dec 2, 1942
Where and when were the first storage tanks for high-level radioactive waste created?
Hanford WA, 1944
When did the radioactive waste story begin?
August 2, 1939 when Leo Szilard and Albert Einstein sent a letter to President Roosevelt
What were the names of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan?
"Little Boy" and "Fat man"
When were nuclear weapons put under the authority of the Atomic Energy Commission?
1946 under the Atomic Energy Act
True or False? There are currently 177 storage tanks containing ~54 million gallons of high level radioactive wastes from weapons production
Where are electric power plant fuel rods stored?
Swimming Pools and Dry Cask Storage
What sites were chosen for further study in the ERDA respitories?
Yucca Mtn, NV
Deaf Smith, TX
True or False? In 1989 Nevada passed a law prohibiting the disposal of radioactive wastes within its borders
What were the results of the Chernobyl accident?
--31 Immediate Deaths
--203 Persons hospitalized with radiation sickness
--135,000 people evacuated
--Fallout in Russia, Poland, Sweden, Finland
--Estimated Deaths 4,000
What were the causes of the Chernobyl explosion?
--Flawed reactor design
--A power surge
What were the causes of the Three Mile Island explosion?
Mechanical and electrical malfunctions, combined with human error
What kind of wind is needed to generate electricity?
Steady Wind (not gusty wind)
What are the top three states for wind energy?
What is colorados 20/20 campaign?
20% renewables by 2020, 50% by 2050
What does Brazil use 45% of their ethanol for?
True or False? The fuel efficiency of america vehicles has grown significantly
What are future advancements for energy-efficient vehicles?
--Superefficient and ultralight cars
--Gasoline-electric hybrid car
--Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
--Energy-efficient diesel car
--Electric vehicle with a fuel cell, Hydrogen
What are the percentages of outputs for energy?
--43% unnecessary waste
--41% unavoidable energy waste
--9% useful energy
What are the three ways to promote a more sustainable energy future?
1) Sharply reducing energy waste
2) Using a mix of environmentally friendly renewable energy resources
3) Inclusion of the environmental costs of energy resources in their market prices
What are the primary elements of the atmosphere?
What are some common greenhouse gases?
--Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
--Water Vapor (H20)
What are the layers of the atmosphere?
What layer of the atmosphere is the ozone layer?
Where is the largest thinning of the Ozone layer?
Over the poles
What are the causes of the ozone layer thinning?
CFCs that were used as aerosols and refrigerants
What are some solutions to stopping the depletion of the ozone layer?
--Acceptable substitutes available, generally more expensives
--CFC's the US will essentially be eliminated by 2015
True or False? CO2 concentrations are increasing
What is greenhouse gas?
A gas in the atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range
What do global warming gases do?
Warm the lower atmosphere
Why has their been a recent CO2 increase?
Fossil Fuel Burning
What are some effects on rising global temperatures?
--Increased concentrations of CO2, CH4, NOx
--Air/Ocean Temperatures increasing
--Melting of glaciers
--Rising sea level
--Oceans becoming more acidic due to increased CO2
True or False? 2000-20009 was the warmest decade since 1881
What countries have the highest CO2 emissions?
China, US, Europe
What can the federal gov't do to help stop global warming?
--Strictly regulate CO2 and CH4 as pollutants
--Carbon tax on fossil fuels
--Increase subsidies to encourage use of energy-efficient technology
--Technology transfer- Developed to Developing
What is the Kyoto protocol?
The Kyoto protocol is an international treaty that sets binding obligations on industrialized countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases
True or False? The Kyoto protocol has requirements on developing countries
What is the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment?
Reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions by 80% by 2050
What major companies have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions?
How is water used globally?
How is water used in the United States?
Where do the majority of the water withdrawals come?
Where is the majority of fresh water found?
Ice Caps and Glaciers
What percentage of water is fresh water?
Where is the majority of available fresh water?
What percentage of water on earth is readily accessible for human use?
Less than .5%
What affects surface water?
What affects ground water?
Where is infiltration most prevalent?
Where is runoff most prevalent?
Where does 35% of water in Virginia come from?
What controls the distribution of water?
Precipitation and Evaporation
Where is the majority of precipitation? least?
What percentage of Nile River is made up of precipitation in Ethiopia?
What is a watershed?
Water under or over drains to the same discharge point
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