Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Frank Kreith

Second Advisor

Jana B. Milford

Third Advisor

Victor Diakov

Abstract

This thesis is an analysis of the energy needed to construct a renewable energy system with the excess energy available from natural gas obtained by fracking. Using data from the Energy Information Administration regarding the future availability of natural gas and the energy required to build a sustainable system consisting of wind and solar PV, a scenario for the construction is generated. Greenhouse gas emission reduction by replacing the fossil powered plants with the sustainable system is calculated. Finally, a preliminary financial analysis of the cost of building the renewable system is made. The analysis demonstrates that it is possible to build a sustainable system from the excess natural gas obtained by fracking in less than 30 years. After that time the energy produced from the renewable system is sufficient to replace those parts of the system that have reached their expected life and construct new sustainable generation technology.

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