Life cycle cost analysis to examine the economical feasibility of hydrogen as an alternative fuel
This study uses a life cycle costing (LCC) methodology to identify when hydrogen can become economically feasible compared to the conventional fuels and which energy policy is the most effective at fostering the penetration of hydrogen in the competitive fuel market. The target hydrogen pathways in this study are H2 via natural gas steam reforming (NG SR), H2 via naphtha steam reforming (Naphtha SR), H2 via liquefied petroleum gas steam reforming (LPG SR), and H2 via water electrolysis (WE). In addition, the conventional fuels (gasoline, diesel) are also included for the comparison with the H2 pathways.
The life cycle costs of the target fuels are computed and several key factors are examined to identify the economical feasibilities of the target systems: fuel cell vehicle (FCV) price, social cost of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and regulated air emissions (CO, VOC, SOx, NOx, PM), fuel efficiency of FCV, capital costs of H2 equipments at a H2 fueling station. The life cycle costs of a H2 pathway also depend on the production capacity. Although, at present, all H2 pathways are more cost efficient than the conventional fuels in the fuel utilization stage, the H2 pathways have lack competitiveness against the conventional fuels in the life cycle (well to wheel) costs due to the high price of FCV. From future scenario analyses in 2015, all H2 pathways are expected to have lower life cycle costs than the conventional fuels as a transportation fuel. It is evident that the FCV price is the most important factor for encouraging the hydrogen economy and FCVs. Unless the FCV price is below US $62,320, it is necessary for the institution to subsidize the FCV price by any amount over US $62,320 in order to inject H2 into the market of transportation fuel. The incentive or taxes on GHGs and regulated air emissions are also expected to effectively encourage the diffusion of H2 and FCV, especially for the H2 pathway of WE with wind power (WE[Wind]). The uncertainties in the fuel efficiency of FCV and the capital costs for H2 equipment at a H2 fueling station have little influence on the life cycle costs of H2 pathways.
Keywords: Life cycle costing; Hydrogen pathway; Fuel cell vehicle
by Ji-Yong Lee 1, Moosang Yoo 1, Kyounghoon Cha 1, Tae Won Lim 2, and Tak Hur 1
1. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Konkuk University, 1, Hwayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea
2. Research & Development Division, Hyundai Motors Company & Kia Motors Corporation, South Korea
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy via Elsevier Science Direct www.ScienceDirect.com
Volume 34, Issue 10; May, 2009; Pages 4243-4255
International Energy Agency expects energy use by new electronic devices to triple by 2030 but sees considerable room for more efficiency
The International Energy Agency (IEA) calls on governments to urgently implement policies to make electronic devices such as televisions, laptops and mobile phones more energy-efficient. Presenting the new IEA publication Gadgets and Gigawatts today in Paris, IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said “that despite anticipated improvements in the efficiency of electronic devices, these savings are likely to be overshadowed by the rising demand for technology in OECD and non-OECD countries”.
The IEA study finds that over the next seven months, the number of people using a personal computer will pass the one billion mark. Electronic devices currently account for 15% of household electricity consumption but their share is rapidly rising. Already there are nearly 2 billion television sets in use, with an average of over 1.3 sets in each home having access to electricity. Over half the global population subscribe to a mobile telephone service, and the number of external power supplies associated with many electronic devices now exceeds 5.5 billion.
Without new policies, the energy consumed by information and communications technologies as well as consumer electronics will double by 2022 and increase threefold by 2030 to 1 700 Terawatt hours (TWh). This will jeopardise efforts to increase energy security and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. “This increase up to 1 700 TWh is equivalent to the current combined total residential electricity consumption of the United States and Japan”, said Mr. Tanaka. “It would also cost households around the world USD 200 billion in electricity bills and require the addition of approximately 280 Gigawatts (GW) of new generating capacity between now and 2030”.
Gadgets and Gigawatts finds that opportunities for savings are considerable. Electricity consumption from residential information and communications technologies and consumer electronics devices could be cut by more than half through the use of the best available technology and processes which are currently available. This would slow growth in consumption to less than 1% per annum through 2030. This level of energy saving represents a reduction to consumer energy bills by over USD 130 billion in 2030 and the avoidance of 260 GW in additional power generation capacity – more than the current electrical generating capacity of Japan.
“Many mobile devices are already far more efficient in their use of power than other devices which run off a main electricity supply,” explained Mr. Tanaka. “Because extending the battery life of a mobile device is a selling point, manufacturers place an emphasis on designing products which require very little power. This example shows us what can be achieved. Where no such commercial drivers exist, governments must step in to ensure that we make the most of every energy efficiency opportunity.”
Some of these savings can be achieved through better equipment and components, but the largest improvement opportunity must come from making hardware and software work together more effectively to ensure that energy is only used when, and to the extent needed. To deliver these savings, strong public policies are needed. In particular, given that new devices increasingly offer a variety of functions, each of which may have differing energy needs, policies are needed that set maximum energy budgets for each function.
International Energy Agency www.iea.org
Press release dated May 13, 2009
Capturing the carbon dioxide ... has been identified by everyone from President Obama to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as a critical technology to ... combat ... climate change. And now there has been yet another successful demonstration that the technology to capture that CO2 from flue gas might actually work: chilled ammonia can capture more than 88 percent of the greenhouse gas before it goes up the smokestack.
Alstom Power and We Energies have released preliminary data on their carbon capture pilot project at Pleasant Prairie, Wisc. The pilot plant, ... captured it in a more than 99 percent pure form, according to Robert Hilton, vice president of power technologies and government affairs at Alstom...
So far the project has run some 4,600 hours continuously without issue and captured some 18,000 tons of CO2 over the last year.
... Alstom didn’t do anything with the CO2, which in the future would either be sold to industrial users for carbonated beverages or oil recovery or pumped deep underground for permanent storage....
A similar demonstration project using Alstom's chilled ammonia at AEP's Mountaineer power plant in West Virginia this fall aims to be the first to put together the full package....
The company plans to have the chilled ammonia technology available for sale by 2015.
... Employing such technology uses up much of the energy produced by burning the coal in the first place. Although Alstom declined to give exact figures, Hilton claimed the process used up less than 25 percent of the electricity produced: "We expect chilled ammonia to be in the low 20s."
... Capturing that CO2 will cost between $50 and $90 per metric ton, though Hilton believes that scaling up the process and refining it will reduce that cost to as little as $20 per ... ton. ...
The company is also developing amine scrubbers as well as pilot projects in Europe of ... oxyfuel combustion—burning coal....
By David Biello
FOR FULL STORY GO TO:
Scientific American 60-Second Science Blog www.scientificamerican.com/blog/60-second-science
May 20, 2009
On My 19th, 2009, President Obama announced new Federal fuel-efficiency standards for motor-vehicles that would make the current standards -- known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy -- or CAFE -- standards significantly more stringent. These CAFE standards measure compliance as the average of a company's entire fleet of cars, and so are more flexible and less costly than model-by-model standards, better matching consumer preferences and lowering production costs.
Other good news is that the administration's proposal will yield a single standard nationwide, rather than two fuel efficiency standards, one for California and the 13 other states that chose to follow its more stringent ... standards.... The result would have been that the states adopting the more stringent California standard would have brought about no incremental benefit for the environment beyond the national CAFE program.... This has been validated in an interesting research paper by Lawrence Goulder (Stanford University), Mark Jacobsen (University of California, San Diego), and Arthur van Benthem (Stanford University)....
The new standards are greatly inferior to other possible approaches.
First of all, CAFE affects only the cars we buy, not how much we drive them, and so CAFE standards are less cost-effective than gasoline prices at reducing gasoline consumption.....
According to the administration, the increases in CAFE standards (including both scheduled increases already on the books and the new Obama proposal) will add -- on average -- $1,300 to the cost of producing a new car.
Because CAFE standards increase the price of new cars, the standards have the unintentional effect of keeping older -- dirtier and less fuel-efficient -- cars on the road longer....
Also, by decreasing the cost per mile of driving, CAFE standards -- like any energy-efficiency technology standard -- exhibit a "rebound effect," namely, people have an incentive to drive more...
The bottom line is that gasoline prices are a much more effective - and more cost-effective - means of cutting gasoline demand, both in the short term and the long term....
There is ... another policy instrument available that has the same desirable impacts as gas taxes on gasoline prices (and, more importantly, on all other fossil fuel prices, as well), but inspires dramatically less political opposition. And this instrument is not only politically feasible, but is right now achieving remarkable, broad-based political support in Washington. I'm talking about the economy-wide CO2 cap-and-trade system in Congressmen Waxman and Markey's legislation in the House of Representatives....
To seriously and cost-effectively address climate change, it is essential to put in place a single carbon price that affects all fossil fuels and all uses throughout the economy -- not only in the transportation sector, but also electric power, and the manufacturing, commercial, and residential sectors. This is precisely what cap-and-trade does.... The real bottom line is that cap-and-trade is the cheapest, best, and only politically feasible approach that can achieve the significant reductions in CO2 emissions that will be necessary to meet President Obama's ambitious climate goals.
by Robert Stavins, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program
FOR FULL OPINION GO TO:
The Huffington Post www.huffingtonpost.com
Posted: May 22, 2009
On April 23, 2009 Citi announced that its newly completed Citi Data Center in Frankfurt is the first of its kind in the world to have earned the coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating from the US Green Building Council (USGBC). This is the highest achievable award for new construction (V2.2 category).
The LEED Rating System is designed to encourage and facilitate the development of more sustainable buildings and is a leading-edge system for certifying the world's greenest buildings. Not only is this award a world first, it certifies the data center's unique achievement in regard to sustainability and energy efficiency.
Sustainability ... was a primary consideration in the delivery of the 230,000-square-foot building. Its innovative design was executed with no increased cost over more conventional data centers and without adversely affecting reliability and resilience of the systems it houses.
Special attention was focused on the significant impacts of Energy, Water and Waste and notable features include:
* Uses 30% of the power required for services that a conventional data center would use
* Optimized cooling design resulting in enhanced free cooling rate of 63%
* Reverse osmosis water treatment for cooling saves 50M liters per annum
* Overall CO2 emissions reduction of 11,750 t/a
* Water-efficient fixtures has reduced potable water use by 41% as well as utilizing harvested rainwater for 100% of the irrigation needs
* 100% of the construction waste was diverted from the landfill and operational waste is segregated for recycling
* Material selection was a high priority item for Citi, allowing both the LEED requirements and embodied energy calculations to influence the selection
* The recycled content of the materials specified on the project reached 27%, with local sourcing of materials exceeding 40%
* As an example of local consideration a vegetated roof area has been installed for 72% of the roof area as well as a full green wall irrigated from harvested rainwater
* Makes extensive use of virtualized technology, deployed in a modular design which both optimized energy usage and reduced the total amount of cabling required by 250km
Other major Citi projects that have received LEED certification include data centers in Singapore and Georgetown, Texas, two Citi office parks in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and a 15-story skyscraper in the New York City Borough of Queens.
The Information and Communications Technology industry produces 2% of global CO2 emissions, a figure equivalent to emissions from the aviation industry. In addition energy usage in data centers continues to grow as a result of developments in new, more powerful technology solutions.
Therefore efficient data center design plays an important role in our drive to cut carbon emissions. This exemplary building has the potential to change the way that data centers approach energy efficient and sustainable design.
Other special features of the building:
Large reduction in installed plant & elimination of lead acid batteries by use of unique topology of Diesel Rotary Uninterrupted Power units (DRUPs), which reduce UPS running costs
Green roofs minimize and reduce thermal gain into the data center in summer months and a green wall featuring indigenous plants and biodiversity is fully irrigated by water
Enhanced CRAC unit design reducing power consumption 9.3 kW to 3.3 kW per unit
Advanced cooling tower design reducing power consumption from 74kW to 22 kW
High quality work space environment featuring good daylight, natural ventilation and environmentally benign materials selected for the interiors
Enhanced commissioning beyond best practice standards
The office area provision features natural day lighting and ventilation via glazed facades with external louvres of white oak as a renewable resource
Landscaping includes generous green spaces throughout the site, the built mass being set back from the site boundaries buffered to all elevations with "garden zones."
Throughout the building green roofs, a living wall, soft landscaping to many external areas and extensive tree planting are used.
The Frankfurt facility also relies on a filtration process known as reverse osmosis to soften water without the use of chemicals; Citi says this saves 13,208,602 gallons of water per year. ...
For cooling, the Frankfurt data center relies on outside air rather than chillers, using water-side economizers 83 percent of the time (waterside economizers rely on cold outside air to cool an exterior water tower). While the facility is kept a bit warmer than traditional data centers, the internal environment is monitored closely and kept at a constant temperature.
In 2006 Citi set a goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions globally by 10 percent by 2011 and in 2007 the firm committed $50 billion toward supporting environmentally friendly initiatives including $10 billion to reduce its corporate environmental footprint through new procurement procedures, minimized energy use and its own real estate portfolio.
After 9/11 Citibank was compelled to locate data centers away from New York City.
Project Management: Citi Realty Services assisted by Drees & Sommer GmbH
Architecture/ Mechanical & Electrical Engineering Services: Arup Associates
Main Contractor: BAM Deutschland AG/Imtech Deutschland GmbH & Co.KG
Citi Group www.citigroup.com
Press Release dated April 23, 2009
also see "Citi’s Green Data Centers Provide Environmental and Business Benefits" by Penny Crosman Wall Street Technology www.WallStreetandTech.com
http://www.wallstreetandtech.com/it-infrastructure/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=217600323 May 20, 2009
Many environmental justice studies argue that firms choose to locate waste sites or polluting plants disproportionately in minority or poor communities. However, it is not uncommon for these studies to match site or plant location to contemporaneous socioeconomic characteristics instead of to characteristics at the time of siting. While this may provide important information on disproportionate impacts currently faced by these communities, it does not describe the relationship at the time of siting. Also, variables that are important to a plant's location decision – i.e., production and transportation costs – are often not included. Without controlling for such variables, it is difficult to evaluate the relative importance of socioeconomic characteristics in a firm's initial location decision. This paper examines the role of community socioeconomic characteristics at the time of siting in the location decisions of manufacturing plants while controlling for other location-relevant factors such as input costs.
When plant location is matched to current socioeconomic characteristics, results are consistent with what the environmental justice literature predicts: race is significant and positively related to plant location, while income is significant and negatively related to plant location. When plant location is matched to socioeconomic characteristics at the time of siting, empirical results suggest that race is no longer significant, though income is still significant and negatively related to plant location. Poverty rates are sometimes significant but act as a deterrent to plant location. Variables traditionally considered in the firm location literature – such as land and labor costs, the quality of labor, and distance to rail – are significant. The presence of pre-existing TRI plants in a neighborhood and average plant size are also significant.
by Ann Wolverton, U.S. EPA
The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy via The Berkeley Electronic Press www.bepress.com/bejeap
Volume 9, Issue 1; Published March 27, 2009; Article 14