Energy density and spatial footprints of various electrical power systems

Vincent K M Cheng, Geoffrey P. Hammond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Conventional and renewable power generators have been evaluated in order to determine their energy densities and spatial footprints on a life-cycle (or 'cradle-T o-gate') basis. The nuclear fuel cycle (both with diffusion and centrifuge enrichment) was found to have the highest energy density, with bioenergy plants having the lowest. Onshore wind power exhibited a relatively promising energy density; being greater than that for its offshore counterpart. The energy density of the latter fell below that of solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays. Thus, renewables produce 'dilute electricity' overall with a spatial footprint that is orders-ofmagnitude higher than for conventional sources, although there are many other sustainability criteria that will determine their usefulness in the transition towards a low carbon future.

LanguageEnglish
Pages578-581
Number of pages4
JournalEnergy Procedia
Volume61
DOIs
StatusPublished - 2014

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Centrifuges
Nuclear fuels
Wind power
Sustainable development
Life cycle
Electricity
Carbon

Keywords

  • Electrical power systems
  • Energy densities
  • Fossil-fuelled power plants
  • Nuclear power stations
  • Renewable energy technologies
  • Spatial footprints

Cite this

Energy density and spatial footprints of various electrical power systems. / Cheng, Vincent K M; Hammond, Geoffrey P.

In: Energy Procedia, Vol. 61, 2014, p. 578-581.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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