Alternative energy sources

Question about soft power sources is not simple. It is also called alternative, countering the traditional polluting — coal, oil, gas (37). The largest Soviet physicist academician p. Kapitsa argued that alternative sources for the foreseeable future will not be able to seriously suggest that traditional energy sources. Apparently, such a view is valid, although the important role it can play in oil prices.
First, not to speak of absolute environmental performance of alternative sources. For example, for the construction of the SES (solar station) to a large number of mirrors, metal and other materials, and if you include the environmental cost of their production, the picture will be different. Second, account should be taken of the costs of inevitable alienation of lands for the construction of these types of stations (table 13).

Area of alienated lands (on average) is required to produce 1 MW of electricity per year from power plants of various types

Type of station area, M2
NPP 630
THERMAL liquid-870
natural gas-1500
100000 solar power
HES 265000
Wind power station 1700000

Third, and most important, the cost of energy on alternative stations remained extremely high, however for different types of stations break very uneven.
Wind energy is the closest alternative to the threshold of profitability. California has already become the world's largest area of development of wind power. This is followed by the West coast of the Jutland peninsula, where WEST GERMANY and Denmark have set up their "wind parks". In 1995, the power of similar stations in North America has reached 1000-1600 MW in Western Europe — 1000 — 1500 Mw. A significant proportion of the WEC 2000 g. Denmark — up to 10%. The total number of such plants in the world is 20 thousand, with wind energy in these areas is becoming almost competitive (1 kVt'C is 6-8 cents). Denmark is one of the pioneers of wind power — has become the biggest exporter of medium power turbines and sells them in the same California. India in the second half of the 1990s, is planning to bring the sector up to 5 million kW. An ambitious plan to create wind stations adopted and in the people's Republic of China. However, for the replacement of the nuclear reactor thermal power to 1 million kW largest by today's concepts of vetroustanovkami (with a capacity of 100 kW) would have to be 10 thousand, it is not equivalent because the wind does not blow all year round, even in the most "scavenged" areas.
In the leading countries of the world increasing attention attracted by solar power. World record efficiency solar cells was made first in Stanford University (California), United States, where 28.5% of solar energy falling on the battery, turned into electricity. Later this record to 2% has been blocked by PaloAl?to (in Silicon Valley, the largest naucnoproizvodstvennom complex of the world).

The major SES are also in California, their typical power is small (30 000 kW), but the technology is simple — system of concave solar reflectors, hot up to 100-400 "by one such station is able to supply up to 10 thousand. American homes. In the desert, where the Mohava training center United States aerospace industries, operates 355 Mw power STATION, which is about the same as the average coal or fuel oil station.
If in 1970, the cost of 1 kW "h the SES was incredibly high and absolutely uncompetitive — $ 60, in 1980, it dropped to $ 1, and in 1990 he is up to 30 cents, however, and now exceeds the cost of energy at gas stations in 5 times.
In General, however, the development of solar energy in the world has been slow, mainly because of the high cost of solar cells.
The use of geothermal energy is the oldest source of alternative energy. In 1994, the world has worked 330 units of such stations and it dominated the United States (168 units on "deposits" Geyser Valley of geysers, Imperial Valley, etc.). The second place was Italy, but in recent years it had overtaken CHINA and Mexico. The largest share of the geothermal energy in Latin America, but it is a little more than 1%.
In Russia, in this sense, promising areas are Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands. From the 1960s on Kamchatka is a fully automated Pauzetskaa geothermal power plants with capacity of 11 Mw, the Kuriles — kunashir on station. Such stations can be competitive only in areas with high selling price of electricity, and in Kamchatka and the Kurils, it is very high in shipments of fuel and lack of railways.
Tidal station is the most expensive construction and so far this is only a potential source of energy. Parts of their buildings can become bays and estuaries with very high tides. In the Bay of Fundy (Canada) it reaches 16.2 m, at the mouth of the River Severn (United Kingdom)-14.5 m, in the port of Granville (France) is 14.7 m.
France has large PES on the Wound with 240 Mw, built on 25 years of experience of its operation has shown absolute ecological cleanliness of such facilities: SeMalo Bay has become a tranquil lake, became a place of recreation and tourism, the dam of PES has fish routes and does not affect the migration of fish. In Russia since 1968, the Kislogubskaa PES, the installed capacity of its negligible — 0.7 Mw. Potential areas for the construction of large PES from a few: Mezenskaa Guba, Tugurskij Bay of the sea of Okhotsk. The first would have a capacity of 15000 Mw, second-10300. However, the capital cost for the construction of a giant dam long and difficult construction of PES in the pit with the jumpers are so great that in today's world, these projects are completely unrealistic.
Energy carrier "biomass" only can be called renewable and alternative, for crop ripening (let's say, sugar cane) is required for one season, but for "quick-fix" tree species (as done on the cut "sites" in the Amazon) is a few years old. Besides the biomass also pollutes the atmosphere.