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Transition to Sustainability With Natural Gas From Fracking

[+] Author Affiliations
Kangqian Wu, Frank Kreith

University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO

Paper No. ES2014-6436, pp. V002T03A003; 7 pages
  • ASME 2014 8th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2014 12th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Volume 2: Economic, Environmental, and Policy Aspects of Alternate Energy; Fuels and Infrastructure, Biofuels and Energy Storage; High Performance Buildings; Solar Buildings, Including Solar Climate Control/Heating/Cooling; Sustainable Cities and Communities, Including Transportation; Thermofluid Analysis of Energy Systems, Including Exergy and Thermoeconomics
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, June 30–July 2, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4587-5
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


This paper is an analysis of the energy and money needed to construct a renewable energy system with the excess energy available from natural gas obtained by hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”. Using data from the Energy Information Administration regarding the future availability of natural gas obtained by fracking and the energy required to build a sustainable system consisting of wind power, photo-voltaic energy generation and hydraulic storage, a scenario for the construction of a sustainable system is generated. Finally, a preliminary financial analysis of the cost of the renewable system is made. The analysis demonstrates that it is possible to build a sustainable system from the excess natural gas obtained by fracking in less than 30 years. After that time the energy produced from the renewable system is sufficient to replace those parts of the system that have reached their expected life and construct new sustainable generation technology as required by population growth.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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