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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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Transparent solar technology represents 'wave of the future'

See-through solar materials that can be applied to windows represent a massive source of untapped energy and could harvest as much power as bigger, bulkier rooftop solar units, scientists report today in Nature Energy.

Led by engineering researchers at Michigan State University, the authors argue that widespread use of such highly transparent solar applications, together with...

24.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

Waste from paper and pulp industry supplies raw material for development of new redox flow batteries

Use of renewable resources for the more efficient generation of sustainable energies / Focus on electrosynthesis

With the increasing use of renewable energies, stabilizing electricity networks is becoming an ever greater challenge. Redox flow batteries could represent a...

12.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

Low-cost battery from waste graphite

Lithium ion batteries are flammable and the price of the raw material is rising. Are there alternatives? Yes: Empa and ETH Zürich researchers have discovered promising approaches as to how we might produce batteries out waste graphite and scrap metal.

Kostiantyn Kravchyk works in the group of Maksym Kovalenko. This research group is based at both ETH Zurich and in Empa’s Laboratory for Thin Films and...

11.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

Electro-organic synthesis that allows sustainable and green production of fine chemicals developed

Innovative contribution to the energy transition / Publication in Science Advances

In the cooperative EPSYLON research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University...

09.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

Solar power also available at night

If the superheated steam for the turbines is already generated in the collector, this is referred to as direct solar steam generation. If this is utilised, solar thermal power plants work particularly efficiently. Combined with a new storage solution, they can also deliver electricity at night and at times with low solar irradiation. The newly published BINE-Projektinfo brochure 11/2017, entitled “Night-time electricity from solar power plants”, presents the system consisting of latent heat and cascade storage units.

Storage system for solar thermal power plants further developed

09.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

Paper-based supercapacitor uses metal nanoparticles to boost energy density

Using a simple layer-by-layer coating technique, researchers from the U.S. and Korea have developed a paper-based flexible supercapacitor that could be used to help power wearable devices. The device uses metallic nanoparticles to coat cellulose fibers in the paper, creating supercapacitor electrodes with high energy and power densities - and the best performance so far in a textile-based supercapacitor.

By implanting conductive and charge storage materials in the paper, the technique creates large surface areas that function as current collectors and...

06.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

Center for High-Efficiency Solar Cells – Cornerstone laid for laboratory building at Fraunhofer ISE

For more than 30 years, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has been one of the world’s leading research institutes for solar energy. In the field of photovoltaics, which focuses on converting sunlight into electrical energy, the institute has repeatedly set world records for efficiency for various solar cell technologies, thereby helping to put Germany at the forefront of international research and development in this area. In order to strengthen Germany’s leading position, the institute is now constructing a new building with a clean room equipped to handle the latest technological challenges.

The cornerstone of the “Center for High-Efficiency Solar Cells” was laid on October 4, 2017 in Freiburg. By financing this building, the federal government and...

05.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

Do you know how your wine bottle is related to UV light?

Grape harvest is at its peak now. Ripe grapes are collected and will be processed to tasteful wine. Before the liquid will be filled, the bottles need to be very clean and free of germs. Bottles and cups can be treated and disinfected with special UV radiation.

The UVC radiation, effective at wavelengths from 200 nm to 300 nm, has a strong bactericidal effect. It is absorbed by the DNA of microorganisms such as...

02.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

A flexible new platform for high-performance electronics

A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has created the most functional flexible transistor in the world -- and with it, a fast, simple and inexpensive fabrication process that's easily scalable to the commercial level.

It's an advance that could open the door to an increasingly interconnected world, enabling manufacturers to add "smart," wireless capabilities to any number of...

29.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Safe and effective energy storage media of the future: lithium-sulphur technology

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in-house LiScell joint project was successfully concluded in May 2017. Lithium-sulphur technology was studied because it might offer an attractive energy-storage solution for future mobility thanks to its low cost of materials and high energy density.

Efficient storage of electrical energy is the bottleneck for all mobile electronic applications.
The weight and cost per kWh of battery storage capacity...

28.09.2017 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

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