Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
5 Clean Energy Innovations That Could Transform
Oil Price, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, May
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Innovations in energy storage, smart grid, and electricity
generation technologies will affect every part of the source-to-consumer
supply chain for powering the planet. Energy storage tech improves the
viabilities of wind and solar power – two energy sources that remain
cost prohibitive due to expenses related to batteries that would store
generated energy. Smart grids will regulate the movement of energy
throughout a city or state, insuring the areas from crippling blackouts.
Developments in electricity generation make sure we make the most out of
fossil fuels and other energy sources to improve efficiency.
What follows is a survey of progress in the development of five
different technologies that promise to change the face of the energy
industry in the next 20 years.
1. Fuel Cell: Truck manufacturers
Kenworth, Toyota, and UPS have begun investing in fuel cell
technologies, which would allow transport vehicles to run on hydrogen
and oxygen, releasing only heat and water as emissions. Modern hydrogen
production still requires copious fossil fuel use, but the process could
soon be powered by renewable energies, making fuel cell vehicles
extremely clean alternatives to current trucking solutions.
Europe, fuel cell production facilities will begin pumping out
50,000 fuel cell stacks by the year 2020, making United Kingdom-based
Intelligent Energy the market leader in bringing the green technology to
the masses. "Hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles are available now, but
to continue to drive customer adoption, we need to ensure future fuel
cell stacks are robustly industrialised and remain cost competitive in
the future," said the company’s Manufacturing Head Richard Peart.
2. Lithium-air batteries: These storage units, also known as
Lithium-oxygen fuel cells, have been gestating in scientific labs all
over the world since the beginning of electric vehicles.
Science Daily says two instabilities in the technology’s current
form have prevented it from hitting mass markets: unpredictable short
circuiting and speedy loss of battery power. Cornell University recently
tackled the second capacity face problem, meaning we could be just one
witty solution away from long-range electric cars.
Generation Smart Grid: The first step in making a reliable and
responsive smart grid system requires the installation of smart meters
in every household and building. The new meters will send usage
information in real time to your energy provider, allowing adjustments
in availability to fluctuate according to the area’s latest needs. So
far, countries like the
United Kingdom are having trouble adjusting the technology to fit
the national infrastructure and business norms. The United States jumped
on the smart grid bandwagon in
2007 and set up a taskforce to ensure a synchronized adoption of the
new technology. The process has been slow, but small communities have
projects that will allow consumer demand to drive implementation.
4. Tidal turbines: Much like wind turbines, these underwater
pinwheels harness energy from wave movement. This green energy has had
small-scale success so far, but objections from fishermen, as well as
accidents, have set the technology back in California – tidal energy
Ground Zero – in recent months. But the science behind tidal energy
continues its march forward. Scotrenewables Tidal Power
announced the launch of a new low-cost turbine off the coast of
Scotland. It’s also the "largest and most powerful" turbine of its kind
in the world with a power generation capacity of two megawatts,
according to its manufacturers. A retractable arm gives the facility a
separate transport mode and an operation mode, which allows easy
portability and an impermanence that would please local fishing
5. Space-based Solar Power: Solar power captured
from-the-beyond has been a sci-fi concept since the 1970s. The
high cost of transporting the panels and other equipment into space
has prevented the idea from becoming fruitful for commercial energy
production. In addition, the transfer of generated energy back to Earth
has been a concern. Solar power panels installed on the ground connect
to the local power grid to deliver their harnessed goods, but it is
comical to imagine a satellite in space hooked to the planet via cable
for efficient energy delivery, prompting scientists to develop wireless
energy transfer technologies akin to the iPhone 8’s anticipated wireless
charging feature. None of the existing methods have proven to be
feasible on a massive scale. Suggestions are welcome.
advances mentioned above are inter-related: progress in the lithium-air
battery efforts will pave the way for the success of electric cars,
which could be recharged with energy hardheaded from the tides or
space-based solar power. It's one small step for science, one giant leap
for green energy-kind.
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