WSU researcher studies the cost of renewable energy
Thursday, June 25, 2009 11:06 AM

The scripts are available for printing and for sound bite identification.

Go to http://www.wichita.edu/newsline to get the current Wichita State University Newsline. If you cannot access the Newsline at the Web address above, contact Joe Kleinsasser at (316) 978-3013 or joe.kleinsasser@wichita.edu. Newsline cuts may be edited to suit your needs. If you have additional questions for Ward Jewell after listening to the WSU Newsline, please contact him at (316) 978-6340 or ward.jewell@wichita.edu.

Most of us take electricity for granted, until a thunderstorm or ice storm knocks out power. The real challenge for researchers such as electrical energy engineer Ward Jewell at Wichita State University is helping companies meet deadlines on greenhouse gas regulations in the next five years. Jewell is among a number of researchers in the United States studying climate change regulations that challenge the way companies supply power.

Voice wrap:
The public interest in providing energy in a more environmentally friendly way is gaining momentum. But moving toward cleaner energy isn't without challenges, according to researcher Ward Jewell, an electrical energy engineer at Wichita State University. Renewable energy is one of the options being studied, as Jewell explains.

Jewell: "For wind and renewable, the positive sides are it is clean; there are no carbon emissions. It's reasonably cost effective, and it's abundant. On the downside, it's a variable resource. It doesn't always blow when we want it to, and not everyone likes the sight of wind farms."

Announcer: In Kansas, coal generates about 70 percent of the electricity, while wind energy accounts for only about 3 percent. The issue, according to Jewell, is cost. It's going to cost more to generate electricity that does not emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere using either nuclear generation or renewable generation such as wind turbines, solar cells and geothermal. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.

Sound bite #1
Jewell looks at the issues facing electric energy. The sound bite is 19 seconds and the outcue is "political expediency."

Jewell: "The issues that we're faced with in electric energy, which is my field, are the cost; in renewable energy the availability, when it's available because we use electricity the instant it's generated; public policy and political expediency."

Sound bite #2
Jewell says 70 percent of electricity in Kansas was generated by coal. The sound bite is 14 seconds and the outcue is "CO2 emissions."

Jewell: "In Kansas, 70 percent of our electricity was generated with coal last year because coal is cheap and quite available. On the downside of coal, it has very high CO2 emissions."

Sound bite #3
Jewell says nuclear power produces about 21 percent of electrical energy in Kansas. The sound bite is 20 seconds and the outcue is "waste disposal."

Jewell: "Nuclear, which generated 21 percent of the electricity in Kansas last year, is technically ready to go. We could build lots of nuclear plants right away. The question is, will the public accept it, and how are we going to deal with the political or public policy question of waste disposal?"

Sound bite #4
Jewell looks at natural gas as an energy source. The sound bite is 23 seconds and the outcue is "much more expensive."

Jewell: "The good thing about natural gas is that it is quick to build a natural gas-fired power plant, and they emit about half the CO2 as a coal-fired plant. Gas generated about 6 percent of our electricity in Kansas last year, but it is becoming a scarce resource, and as it does it's becoming much more expensive."

Sound bite #5
Jewell says we will have to remain diverse in our electric generation. The sound bite is 26 seconds and the outcue is "natural gas less."

Jewell: "For the future in Kansas, we'll have to remain diverse in our electric generation. We will continue to burn a lot of coal if we can figure out the CO2 capture and sequestration issue, and do that cost effectively. We'll be using a lot more wind generation, a lot more solar generation as its cost comes down. I think we'll be building new nuclear plants and we will rely on natural gas less."

Sound bite #6
Jewell offers some energy tips for homeowners. The sound bite is 20 seconds and the outcue is "solar water heat."

Jewell: "The first thing homeowners should do is make sure their homes are sealed and insulated as well as they should be. They can look at replacing doors and windows next. Look into more efficient heating and air conditioning units and, if they want to continue beyond that, look at solar water heat."

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Contact: Ward Jewell, (316) 978-6340 or ward.jewell@wichita.edu.
Created on Jun 25, 2009 11:06 AM; Last modified on Jun 25, 2009 2:27 PM