Analysis of US 2100 Energy Needs and Sustainable Energy Sources

USA nightlights
USA nightlights

By James Michael “Mike” Snead, PE

The Spacefaring Institute LLC released Analysis of US 2100 Energy Needs and Sustainable Energy Sources. This analysis provides a quantitative assessment of US energy needs and what terrestrial and space-based sustainable energy sources will be able to practically replace fossil fuels and provide for the energy needs of a growing US population.


Environmental and energy security threats will bring an end to the general use of fossil fuels in the United States this century. To replace fossil fuels, the United States will need to build an immense sustainable energy capability. Nuclear fission energy, wind energy, and ground solar energy are the three primary terrestrial alternatives while space solar power is the primary space-based sustainable energy alternative. None of the three terrestrial energy alternatives provide a practical replacement for fossil fuels. Space-based sustainable energy, including space solar power, provides a practical alternative. US immigration policy will substantially influence the life of the remaining US fossil fuel endowment and the cost of building the replacement energy sources.

Key words: United States, fossil fuels, 2100, CO2, carbon dioxide, nuclear energy, nuclear power, solar energy, wind energy, space solar power, immigration, energy security threat, environmental security threat, hydrogen, electrolysis, immigration policy, zero net immigration

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1. Introduction
1.1 The end of the era of affordable fossil fuels
1.1.1 The environmental security threat posed by fossil fuel carbon emissions
1.1.2 The US energy security threat posed by a diminishing fossil fuel endowment
1.1.3 What will replace fossil fuels?

2. Units of energy and power
2.1 Barrel of oil equivalent (BOE)
2.2 Electrical power and energy

3. United States historical energy use in 2007
3.1 US gross thermal energy consumed in 2007
3.1.1 Energy used in 2007 for generating electrical energy and as end-consumer fuels
3.1.2 US per capita energy use in 2007
3.2 US per capita GTE use in 1950–2014

4. US energy needs in 2100
4.1 US per capita GTE use in 2100
4.2 US population in 2100
4.3 US GTE need in 2100
4.4 US 2100 electrical energy and fuel needs
4.4.1 US zero net immigration case
4.4.2 US most likely immigration case
4.4.3 US 2100 population based on US Census Bureau 2014 update

5. Future hydrogen production energy requirements and costs
5.1 Hydrogen production by electrolysis
5.2 Hydrogen fuel heating values
5.3 Electrolysis energy requirement
5.4 Hydrogen compressor energy requirement
5.5 Electrical energy required per BOE of hydrogen fuel (LHV)
5.6 Electrical energy required per BOE of hydrogen fuel (HHV)
5.7 Hydrogen electrolyzer costs
5.8 Hydrogen compressor costs

6. Nuclear power
6.1 Advanced nuclear power plants
6.1.1 GWh per plant-year
6.1.2 Nuclear plant overnight capital cost estimate
6.1.3 LHV hydrogen produced per plant-year
6. .1.4 Cost of hydrogen electrolysis and compression
6.2 Number of 1-GW nuclear power plants needed in 2100
6.2.1 US 2100 zero net immigration case
6.2.2 US 2100 most likely immigration case
6.2.3 US 2100 population based on US Census Bureau 2014 update

7. Wind power
7.1 Wind power fundamentals
7.1.1 Inability to directly use wind-generated electrical power
7.1.2 Wind turbine power output curves
7.1.3 Wind turbine capacity factor
7.2 Wind energy infrastructure model
7.3 Sizing the needed wind infrastructure
7.3.1 Efficiency of converting wind-generated electrical power into utility dispatched electrical power
7.4 Nameplate wind power needed in 2100
7.4.1 Zero net immigration case
7.4.2 Most likely immigration case
7.4.3 US 2100 population based on US Census Bureau 2014 update
7.5 US wind power potential
7.6 Meeting US 2100 energy needs with wind power alone
7.6.1 Net zero immigration case
7.6.2 Most likely immigration case
7.6.3 US 2100 population based on US Census Bureau 2014 update
7.7 Practicality of building extensive wind farms

8. Ground solar energy
8.1 Ground solar energy fundamentals
8.1.1 Types of ground solar energy
8.1.2 Ground solar energy variability
8.2 Ground solar energy infrastructure model
8.3 Sizing the needed ground solar energy infrastructure
8.3.1 US ground solar energy potential
8.3.2 Ground commercial photovoltaic solar generation installed per sq. mi.
8.3.3 Average solar PV nameplate AC power per sq. mi. used in this analysis
8.3.4 US commercial solar PV capacity factor
8.3.5 Required 2100 size of an all-ground solar PV energy infrastructure Zero net immigration case Most likely immigration case US 2100 population based on US Census Bureau 2014 update
8.4 Available land for solar PV in the Southwestern United States
8.5 Combination of maximum wind plus balance from ground solar
8.5.1 Zero net immigration case
8.5.2 Most likely immigration case
8.5.3 US 2100 population based on US Census Bureau 2014 update

9. Other US terrestrial renewable energy sources
9.1 Hydroelectricity
9.2 Geothermal-electricity
9.3 Biomass

10. Space solar power (SSP)
10.1 Space solar power fundamentals
10.1.1 Solar irradiance level in space
10.1.2 Solar energy available in Earth orbit
10.1.3 Geostationary Earth orbit (GEO)
10.1.4 Space solar power platform illustration
10.1.5 Electrical power produced by space solar power
10.1.6 Space solar power ground receiving station
10.2 Size of all-space solar energy infrastructure required to meet US 2100 energy needs
10.2.1 Zero net immigration case
10.2.2 Most likely immigration case
10.2.3 US 2100 population based on US Census Bureau 2014 update

11. Summary of results

12. Author information