classes Biofuel/Biomass company pitches
1. In the classes Biofuel/Biomass company pitches, some of your classmates chose a technology that relied on an anaerobic digester. What is an anaerobic digester? In lay terms, how does it work? Find one company who is using this technology and describe how they applied it in their business model.
2. What is passive solar energy? If you were building a new home, how could you incorporate passive solar energy into your design? How has passive solar been incorporated on BHCC’s campus?
3. Please describe one community that has successfully implemented solar power for electricity generation or water heating. What type of technology did this community use? What kind of strategies did the community take to ensure that they would have a successful project? What kinds of lessons from that project would be helpful to other communities who are thinking about solar power? You may want to consult class notes or Chapter 2 of “The Citizen Powered Energy Handbook” to help inform your answer.
4. What is the photovoltaic effect? Describe how it creates electricity. How is this different that other ways of generating electricity that we discussed in class? What advantages does solar generated electricity have over other forms of energy? What are some of the drawbacks to using solar energy?
5. Describe a few types of landscapes that (in general) may be good for wind energy production. What types of landscapes do wind developers seek out when looking to site a wind farm project? Based on the NREL map of US windspeeds (http://www.nrel.gov/gis/images/80m_wind/awstwspd80onoffbigC3-3dpi600.jpg), describe a specific location (area of a particular state or coastal area) that you would the area that would chose to site your wind farm in order to have the best return on your investment. Why that location for a wind farm? If you actually were a developer or wind power company, what are some potential problems that you might encounter in getting this fictitious wind farm installation up and running? (Hint: look back to your notes and through the readings about communities who tried and failed to get wind power.)
6. You are having a discussion with your friends about the potential for the US to stop using fossil fuel by “switching” to alternative energy source such as wind for all of our electricity needs. From our class discussions and readings, you know that making a full “switch” to all nuclear or all wind power is difficult, if not impossible. Please explain why the US cannot simply generate all electricity from one of this. What factors might limit this hypothetical switch?
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