New (February 20, 2021): Professor Lewis will also be looking at the implications of the Texas power disaster for our consideration of alternative energy sources.
Tuesday, March 9, surveys the amounts of electricity currently produced from fossil fuel as well as low-carbon sources. The challenges facing the two classes of low-carbon sources are then compared: intermittent power from renewable solar and wind energy, and dispatchable power from hydroelectric and nuclear energy. The lecture’s remainder focuses on challenges facing dispatchable sources, particularly the public’s risk aversion to nuclear energy.
The second lecture on Tuesday, March 16, will first address the challenges of large-scale use of intermittent solar and wind energy, emphasizing the ancillary requirement for backup generation or large-scale electricity storage. The economics of electricity supply are then examined, centering on the effects widespread use of intermittent production and the transformation from regulated utility monopolies to competitive markets are likely to have on the reliability and affordability of our electrical power supply.
This mini-course will be taught by Professor emeritus Elmer Lewis, former chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Northwestern University.
We also welcome high school students interested in this subject.
Note, too, that by registering for this mini-course you are signing up for both class sessions, March 9 and March 16. Attendance of both sessions is NOT required, but is highly recommended!
Class 1 on March 9: https://northwestern.zoom.us/j/92541466424?pwd=TXpERXhFMW82UG9JdUhnK0gwY3NIUT09 passcode: 089934
Class 2 on March 16: https://northwestern.zoom.us/j/98258235411?pwd=cEFyVXRhNUFNRjNhVGtiWUpSUkZ2QT09 passcode: 490286