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Energy policies relating to alternative energy

Current energy policies are still based heavily on natural resources. Meanwhile, the trend is increasingly toward alternative resources, such as wind power.

It's only a matter of time before natural resources, such as petroleum, are depleted. Petroleum, a fossil-based energy source deposited across millions of years, is used to produce fuel or electricity. Taking stock of the fact that 260 billion barrels (one barrel = 159 liters) of oil were extracted over the last 11 years, it's evident that the world's petroleum resources will be depleted one day. New developments in solar or wind power are aimed at providing alternative energy sources that will enable us to maintain our current standard of living. Petroleum is also required by the chemical industry to manufacture special plastics.

The advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy sources

When discussing the subject of petroleum and alternative energy, one must bear the advantages and disadvantages in mind. Our resources are running short . Because we cannot count on petroleum for the future, there will come a time when everyone will rely on the efficiency of wind power and other alternative energy sources . Unlike petroleum, wind power can be managed to ensure that it constantly renews itself. Wind power meanwhile makes it possible to have enough resources to supply entire cities. Petroleum has the additional disadvantage of harming the environment through CO2 emissions. This has resulted in increasing demand for resources such as wind power. Wind power can be classified into different categories. A class 4 wind turbine can meanwhile provide resources in a much more efficient manner than petroleum resources for instance. In addition, unlike petroleum, resources such as wind power offer a decentralized energy supply. This means that in contrast to petroleum, the utilization of wind power does not require a large power plant. Instead, it makes "transporting" the energy easier and faster. Decentralized wind power entails a massive infrastructure change. Resources such as wind power certainly bring disadvantages when it comes to the environment, although they pale in comparison to the disasters that can result from petroleum. The utilization of our resources determines how we continue to maintain our standard of living. This makes it important to continue public discourse on the issues of wind power and petroleum.

Resource shortage

It's only a matter of time before there is no petroleum left. For this reason, from a resource standpoint we should already be moving toward heavy reliance on wind power instead of petroleum. After all, from a pure scientific point of view, new petroleum resources won't be available for millions of years. Unlike petroleum, wind power is a resource that will never run dry. In Germany alone, wind power is serving as a popular alternative resource to petroleum. The demand for wind power will increase in line with the consumption of petroleum. For this reason, it is imperative that we gradually move away from petroleum and make more use of wind power or other alternative energy resources. The environmental pollution caused by petroleum is reason enough for an environmentally-conscious society to use solar or wind power. In contrast to petroleum, wind power is significantly better for the environment and offers a unique resource balance.

Power and Electrical Engineering

This topic covers issues related to energy generation, conversion, transportation and consumption and how the industry is addressing the challenge of energy efficiency in general.

innovations-report provides in-depth and informative reports and articles on subjects ranging from wind energy, fuel cell technology, solar energy, geothermal energy, petroleum, gas, nuclear engineering, alternative energy and energy efficiency to fusion, hydrogen and superconductor technologies.

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Producing electricity during flight

Sayonara windmills? Researchers show current developments in energy production through airborne wind turbines.

Anyone who has ever flown a kite during a strong windstorm is familiar with the kind of power tugging at the kite’s line. Stunt kites and drones can utilize...

20.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

A simple additive to improve film quality

Simple chemicals called glycol ethers help make better perovskite thin films for solar cells.

Thin films for use in solar cells are more effective when simple chemicals called glycol ethers are added to the film-forming mix, a KAUST team has found.

19.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene

Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis

Scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have harnessed the power of photosynthesis to convert carbon...

19.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Flexible OLEDs with adjustable colors – new design options for lighting designers

The Fraunhofer FEP specializes in the development and fabrication of OLED modules with unconventional properties for specific client designs. The Institute will debut flexible adjustable-color organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) at ISAL 2017 in Darmstadt, Germany from September 25-27, 2017 at its booth No. 31.

With their unique characteristics like bendabilty, segmentation, transparency, and their nearly unlimited range of shapes, organic light-emitting diodes...

14.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Gazing into the flames of ionic winds

The ability to precisely control flames could lead to greater energy efficiency and fewer harmful emissions from transport and industry. Flames contain charged ions and electrons, which can be manipulated using electricity. KAUST researchers have now produced the first detailed 3D visualizations of ionic winds flowing from a flame in response to both direct (DC) and alternating (AC) electric fields.

Min Suk Cha and coworkers had developed a theoretical model explaining how ions in a flame respond to electric fields. For their latest work, the researchers...

13.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Virtual technology center for efficient solar cells

Linking up systems to a virtual network in order to make solar cell production in Baden Württemberg more efficient – this was the aim of the “InES” research project. With a cloud infrastructure developed by Fraunhofer IPA and both mobile and browser-based applications, the consortium is now able to share the use of machines at different sites. Remote monitoring of processes and automated test data transfers were also implemented.

Photovoltaics of the University of Stuttgart (ipv) and the International Solar Energy Research Center (ISC), founded the “Solar Cells Technology Center 4.0” to...

11.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Supercharging silicon batteries

OIST scientists designed a novel silicon-based anode to provide lithium batteries with increased power and better stability

As the world shifts towards renewable energy, moving on from fossil fuels, but at the same time relying on ever more energy-gobbling devices, there is a...

07.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Stanford professor tests a cooling system that works without electricity

It looks like a regular roof, but the top of the Packard Electrical Engineering Building at Stanford University has been the setting of many milestones in the development of an innovative cooling technology that could someday be part of our everyday lives. Since 2013, Shanhui Fan, professor of electrical engineering, and his students and research associates have employed this roof as a testbed for a high-tech mirror-like optical surface that could be the future of lower-energy air conditioning and refrigeration.

Research published in 2014 first showed the cooling capabilities of the optical surface on its own. Now, Fan and former research associates Aaswath Raman and...

06.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Engineers develop tools to share power from renewable energy sources during outages

The algorithms allow homes to draw on power from renewable energy sources while they're disconnected from the grid

If you think you can use the solar panels on your roof to power your home during an outage, think again. During an outage, while your home remains connected to...

06.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Did you know that specialty light sources help to analyze undesirable pollutant emissions?

Smog hanging over cities is the most familiar and obvious form of air pollution. But there are different kinds of pollution—some visible, some invisible.

Generally any substance that people introduce into the atmosphere that has damaging effects on living things and the environment is considered air pollution.

04.09.2017 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

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