Too little of the research being done on renewable energy options is taking potential ecological implications into account, a major new review of the ecological implications of offshore renewable energy published in the British Ecological Societys Journal of Applied Ecology has found.
The review by Dr Andrew Gill of Cranfield University found that despite an explosion of academic interest in the subject - almost 400 papers on renewable energy were published in peer-reviewed journals in 2003, compared with fewer than 35 in any year before 1991 - only a fraction of the papers looked at environmental impact, either positive or negative. “Less than 1% of the articles considered the potential environmental risks of renewable energy exploitation and none was specifically related to coastal ecology. Ecological factors are not being considered properly and are under-represented in any discussion of the costs and benefits of adopting offshore renewable energy sources,” Dr Gill says.
Climate change and rising fossil fuel prices are driving interest in developing renewable energy sources, including offshore renewable energy. Northern Europe leads the world in offshore renewable energy developments (ORED) in coastal waters where many human pressures already exist. While offshore developments may attract less opposition from communities concerned about their aesthetic impact, they are likely to have a range of direct and indirect environmental effects.
Becky Allen | alfa
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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