ACM: The Difference

The generation of energy at large scales is one of the more pressing problems currently facing humanity. As developed world energy demands increase, and rapidly growing numbers of the developing world achieve middle class status, the need to produce additional energy in both an environmentally and financially reasonable fashion escalates.

Current technology does not appear to be capable of answering this call. While the traditional methods - coal, nuclear, gas and hydro - can dependably produce cost-effective energy in significant enough quantities, the environmental side effects (and other issues) are rendering them increasingly problematic. The alternatives that have garnered a great deal of interest - largely wind and solar - are better from an environmental perspective, but are not currently financially suitable as replacements, and are quite limited in a number of other well known ways.

The ACM technology is virtually unique in its ability to dependably generate energy in a manner as environmentally friendly as the alternative generation methods, but at a cost below that of coal, nuclear, gas and hydro.

METHOD CENTS / KWh LIMITATIONS & EXTERNALITIES
ACM .03 - 1.0 Typical installation requires 1 - 2 pipelines approximately 300km in length. Endpoints are placed to maximize historical atmospheric pressure differentials. After construction is complete, however, maintenance is minimal, no raw materials are required, and no environmental externalities are produced.
TRADITIONAL POWER GENERATION
Coal

Currently supplies around 38% of the global electricity demand.

4.8 - 5.5 Increasingly difficult to build new coal plants in the developed world, due to environmental requirements governing the plants. Growing concern about coal fired plants in the developing world (China, for instance, imposes less environmental overhead, and has large supplies of high sulphur content coal). The supply of coal is plentiful, but the coal generation method is perceived to make a larger contribution to air pollution than the rest of the methods combined.
Nuclear

Currently supplies around 24% of the global electricity demand.

11.1 - 14.5 Political difficulties in using nuclear in some nations. Risk of widespread (and potentially lethal) contamination upon containment failure. Fuel is plentiful, but problematic. Waste disposal remains a significant problem, and de-commissioning is costly (averaging approximately US $320MM per plant in the US).
Gas

Currently supplies around 15% of the global electricity demand.

3.9 - 4.4 Gas-fired plants and generally quicker and less expensive to build than coal or nuclear, but a relatively high percentage of the cost/KWh is derived from the cost of the fuel. Due to the current (and projected future) upwards trend in gas prices, there is uncertainty around the cost / KWh over the lifetime of plants. Gas burns more cleanly than coal, but the gas itself (largely methane) is a potent greenhouse gas.
Hydro

Currently supplies around 14% of the global electricity demand.

5.1 - 11.3 Hydro is currently the only source of renewable energy making substantive contributions to global energy demand. Hydro plants, however, can (obviously) only be built in a limited number of places, and can significantly damage aquatic ecosystems.
ALTERNATIVE POWER GENERATION
Wind

Currently supplies less than 1% of the global electricity demand.

4.0 - 6.0 Wind is currently the only cost-effective alternative energy method, but has a number of problems. Wind farms are highly subject to lightning strikes, have high mechanical fatigue failure, are limited in size by hub stress, do not function well, if at all, under conditions of heavy rain, icing conditions or very cold climates, and are noisy and cannot be insulated for sound reduction due to their size and subsequent loss of wind velocity and power.
Solar

Currently supplies less than 1% of the global electricity demand.

> .20 Solar power is (relatively) extremely expensive, and is not dependable enough to replace traditional methods. Large amounts of land are required to produce little energy. For the foreseeable future, solar is likely to be little other than a supplemental source of power for grids (though even that has problems), or used at a micro level - by homeowners or businesses using solar panels on individual structures.

 

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