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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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New solid-state power switch safeguards electric service

Electricity moves across miles in seconds to power manufacturing and utilities nationwide. But, for all its speed, the loss of just fractions of seconds of electric power is costing the U.S. economy $100 billion a year. "The nation’s electric grid is operating so close to capacity that many of today’s electric load demands for fast and dynamic voltage support cannot be provided fast enough," says Alex Huang, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech. 15.08.2003 | nachricht Read more

"Spintronics" could enable a new generation of electronic devices

Moore´s Law - a dictum of the electronics industry that says the number of transistors that fit on a computer chip will double every 18 months - may soon face some fundamental roadblocks. Most researchers think there´ll eventually be a limit to how many transistors they can cram on a chip. But even if Moore´s Law could continue to spawn ever-tinier chips, small electronic devices are plagued by a big problem: energy loss, or dissipation, as signals pass from one transistor to the next. Line up all t 11.08.2003 | nachricht Read more

Space shows way to Europe’s renewable energy future

How can we more effectively harness the free and endless energy resources of the Sun, wind and water? One answer is orbiting above us. Satellites provide us with a wide variety of data that can help with many aspects of the building and management of renewable energy plants. ESA recently held a workshop at its Frascati-based centre in Italy, attended by representatives of the Earth Observation (EO) service industry together with renewable energy companies and utilities to explore how 31.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

Australian Windpower goes global

Australian windpower technology is reaching out to a global market, as science, technology and industry come together in a new wind energy consulting company based in Canberra. Former CSIRO scientists, Dr Keith Ayotte and Dr Nathan Steggel developed what is seen to be world’s best available wind resource technology, WindScape and Raptor NL. Windscape is believed to be the leading wind mapping tool and enables power prospectors to find the windiest spots down to property boundaries 15.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

Tufts researchers find new cost-effective catalyst for hydrogen production for fuel cells

Discovery could ignite ‘engine of the future’ — Eliminating millions of dollars on use of precious metals Researchers at Tufts University have discovered that it’s possible to make hydrogen from fossil fuels using far less platinum or gold than current fuel processing technology has required. Their research shows that 90 percent of precious metals used today may be removed from the catalyst without affecting its ability to produce hydrogen. This finding could have potential 04.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

New catalyst paves way for cheap, renewable hydrogen

Scientists have developed a hydrogen-making catalyst that uses cheaper materials and yields fewer contaminants than do current processes, while extracting the element from common renewable plant sources. Further, the new catalyst lies at the heart of a chemical process the authors say is a significant advance in producing alternate fuels from domestic sources. In the June 27 issue of the journal Science, James Dumesic, John Shabaker and George Huber, of the University of Wisconsin at Madis 27.06.2003 | nachricht Read more

Fuel cells agreement: EU and US forge links to provide sustainable energy sources for the future

In the transition to a hydrogen economy, fuel cells could provide the planet with a sustainable energy supply to replace rapidly diminishing fossil fuels. Turning this vision into a reality took a further step forward today with the signing of a EU-US co-operation agreement on fuel cells technology. The agreement brokered by European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin and the US Secretary or Energy, Mr. Spencer Abraham, aims to strengthen research links, by bringing together EU and US researchers 16.06.2003 | nachricht Read more

Breakthrough “Interface Tuning” is Macro Step for Microelectronics

The ability to make atomic-level changes in the functional components of semiconductor switches, demonstrated by a team of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, North Carolina State University and University of Tennessee physicists, could lead to huge changes in the semiconductor industry. The results are reported in the June 13 issue of Science. Semiconductor devices, the building blocks of computing chips that control everything from coffee makers to Mars landings, depend on microscopic solid-sta 13.06.2003 | nachricht Read more

Portable CT Scanner Joins Hunt for Alternative Energy

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists have developed the world’s first x-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner capable of examining entire core samples at remote drilling sites. The portable device, which employs the same high-resolution imaging technology used to diagnose diseases, could help researchers determine how to best extract the vast quantities of natural gas hidden under the world’s oceans and permafrost. The scanner images the distribution of gas hydrate 13.06.2003 | nachricht Read more

Powering Fuel Cells: Oxide Materials that "Exhale and Inhale" May Facilitate Small-scale Hydrogen Production

A unique group of oxide materials that readily gives up and accepts oxygen atoms with changes in temperature could be the basis for a small-scale hydrogen production system able to power fuel cells in homes -- and potentially in automotive applications. Scientists have long known that oxides of the rare earth elements cerium (Ce), terbium (Tb), and praseodymium (Pr) can produce hydrogen from water vapor and methane in continuous "inhale and exhale" cycles. By doping iron atoms into the oxid 10.06.2003 | nachricht Read more
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