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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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Thermo-Optical Measuring method (TOM) could save several million tons of CO2 in coal-fired plants

Coal-fired plants as alternative energy source to nuclear power are essential for ensuring the energy supply. But due to the high CO2 emission their combustion process requires optimization. In various projects the Center of Device Development CeDeD of Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC could improve the combustion process to reduce large amounts of CO2 and save energy. CeDeD presents its competencies at the 8th International Freiberg Conference (June 12 to 16 2016) in Cologne.

On account of the energy turn and the turn away from the nuclear energy, alternative energy sources win more and more in meaning. However, the electricity...

25.05.2016 | nachricht Read more

Atomic precision: technologies for the next-but-one generation of microchips

In the Beyond EUV project, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena are developing key technologies for the manufacture of a new generation of microchips using EUV radiation at a wavelength of 6.7 nm. The resulting structures are barely thicker than single atoms, and they make it possible to produce extremely integrated circuits for such items as wearables or mind-controlled prosthetic limbs.

In 1965 Gordon Moore formulated the law that came to be named after him, which states that the complexity of integrated circuits doubles every one to two...

24.05.2016 | nachricht Read more

Tampering the current in a petri dish

Electricity plays a key role in cell studies, but practical issues linked with the shape of the laboratory cultureware have troubled this research. Laboratory cultureware are the plastic containers used by researchers to grow cells. These containers are typically shallow cylinders: a classic example is a petri dish.

While a petri dish is circular, the simplest way to create a uniform electric field is based on a rectangular shape. These different geometries prevent...

19.05.2016 | nachricht Read more

MinXSS CubeSat deployed from ISS to study Sun's soft x-rays

On May 16, 2016, the bread loaf-sized Miniature X-Ray Solar Spectrometer, or MinXSS, CubeSat deployed from an airlock on the International Space Station to begin its journey into space. The NASA-funded MinXSS studies emissions from the sun that can affect our communications systems.

MinXSS will operate for up to 12 months. The CubeSat observes soft X-rays from the sun, which can disrupt Earth's upper atmosphere and hamper radio and GPS...

17.05.2016 | nachricht Read more

This 5-fingered robot hand learns to get a grip on its own

Robots today can perform space missions, solve a Rubik's cube, sort hospital medication and even make pancakes. But most can't manage the simple act of grasping a pencil and spinning it around to get a solid grip.

Intricate tasks that require dexterous in-hand manipulation -- rolling, pivoting, bending, sensing friction and other things humans do effortlessly with our...

10.05.2016 | nachricht Read more

Glass-on-glass lamination for large-area OLEDs right from the roll

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP will be presenting flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) at AIMCAL 2016 in Dresden, Germany, from May 30th to June 2nd, 2016. These OLEDs have been fabricated on ultra-thin glass and encapsulated with a ultra-thin glass foil in the same process.

Organic light-emitting diodes have already found acceptance as a light source in first luminaires on the market on rigid glass. However, far larger shares of...

09.05.2016 | nachricht Read more

Transforming waste heat directly into electricity

With car engines, when heating homes and in industrial processes, part of the energy used is emitted as heat to the surroundings. Thermoelectric generators, however, are able to exploit this energy reservoir, which has previously been largely untapped. Across 24 pages, the new BINE Themeninfo brochure entitled "Thermoelectrics: power from waste heat" (I/2016) presents the technical principles, ongoing research projects and promising application areas.

Thermoelectric generators can utilise the smallest temperature differences

03.05.2016 | nachricht Read more

Did you know that Heraeus PID lamps have been used in the measurement of air quality at the London airport?

Air pollution such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and fine particulates - mostly from vehicular emissions - puts a strain on the environment and affects people’s health, which could result in reduced life expectancy.

In a research project with the University of Cambridge, UK in and around London Heathrow airport a sensor network with 50 stations has been installed measuring...

02.05.2016 | nachricht Read more

Could off-grid electricity systems accelerate energy access?

Small off-grid electricity systems are growing rapidly in South Asia. A new study provides the first assessment of how these systems are impacting communities in the region.

Small-scale electricity systems provide uneven benefits and limited service options, according to a new study published today from researchers at the...

26.04.2016 | nachricht Read more

Test of the no-harm-criteria of additives

Studies on effectiveness and on minimum requirements

Within the scope of a research project, the Oel-Waerme-Institut examines the effectiveness of mineral oil additives and their fulfillment of minimum...

19.04.2016 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Computational high-throughput screening finds hard magnets containing less rare earth elements

Permanent magnets are very important for technologies of the future like electromobility and renewable energy, and rare earth elements (REE) are necessary for their manufacture. The Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, Germany, has now succeeded in identifying promising approaches and materials for new permanent magnets through use of an in-house simulation process based on high-throughput screening (HTS). The team was able to improve magnetic properties this way and at the same time replaced REE with elements that are less expensive and readily available. The results were published in the online technical journal “Scientific Reports”.

The starting point for IWM researchers Wolfgang Körner, Georg Krugel, and Christian Elsässer was a neodymium-iron-nitrogen compound based on a type of...

Im Focus: Atomic precision: technologies for the next-but-one generation of microchips

In the Beyond EUV project, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena are developing key technologies for the manufacture of a new generation of microchips using EUV radiation at a wavelength of 6.7 nm. The resulting structures are barely thicker than single atoms, and they make it possible to produce extremely integrated circuits for such items as wearables or mind-controlled prosthetic limbs.

In 1965 Gordon Moore formulated the law that came to be named after him, which states that the complexity of integrated circuits doubles every one to two...

Im Focus: Researchers demonstrate size quantization of Dirac fermions in graphene

Characterization of high-quality material reveals important details relevant to next generation nanoelectronic devices

Quantum mechanics is the field of physics governing the behavior of things on atomic scales, where things work very differently from our everyday world.

Im Focus: Graphene: A quantum of current

When current comes in discrete packages: Viennese scientists unravel the quantum properties of the carbon material graphene

In 2010 the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for the discovery of the exceptional material graphene, which consists of a single layer of carbon atoms...

Im Focus: Transparent - Flexible - Printable: Key technologies for tomorrow’s displays

The trend-forward world of display technology relies on innovative materials and novel approaches to steadily advance the visual experience, for example through higher pixel densities, better contrast, larger formats or user-friendler design. Fraunhofer ISC’s newly developed materials for optics and electronics now broaden the application potential of next generation displays. Learn about lower cost-effective wet-chemical printing procedures and the new materials at the Fraunhofer ISC booth # 1021 in North Hall D during the SID International Symposium on Information Display held from 22 to 27 May 2016 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

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