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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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Efficient, Economical and Aesthetic: Researchers Build Electrodes from Leaves

A research team from the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena has built electrodes with outstanding optical and electronic properties from leaves. The researchers have coated leaf veins with copper and thus transformed them into electrically conductive and optically transparent electrodes. Designed on the basis of nature, the leaf-structure electrodes could be used to design novel solar cells, LEDs or displays.

"We took our inspiration from nature's perfectly ingenious system and used the leaf veins of deciduous leaves to construct electrodes with a high power density...

03.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

03.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

02.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Energy-saving servers: Data storage 2.0

A research team of Mainz University has developed a technique that will potentially halve the energy required to write data to servers and make it easier to construct complex server architectures

Whether it's sending the grandparents a few pictures of the kids, streaming a movie or music, or surfing the Internet for hours, the volume of data our society...

01.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Mobile robot cleaner takes production hygiene to a higher level

Production lines and hygiene zones have to be spotlessly clean. And absolute cleanliness is critical wherever food is processed and medical instruments are handled. Now Fraunhofer researchers have come up with a mobile cleaning device that sanitizes equipment and production spaces to standards in a reproducible way. Equipped with self-learning and autonomous motility systems, this robot automatically detects the degree of fouling and selects the appropriate cleaning procedure.

There is no room for compromises when it comes to hygiene in industrial food production. Manufacturing equipment and rooms need regular cleaning.

01.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Impact assessment of F-gas free medium voltage switchgear

Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) plays an important role as an insulating gas in electrical switchgear at various voltage levels when interrupting and diverting current flows. But it is one of the most effective greenhouse gases with a very long lifetime and, although the concentration of SF6 in the atmosphere is currently still very low, it accumulates steadily over the years. The Fraunhofer IEE and the Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) finalized a research study investigating the development of MV switchgear installations under different boundaries showing the impact on SF6 emissions, and analyzing the market acceptance of SF6-free alternatives, as well as barriers and drivers to adoption.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology
IEE in Kassel designed a model for estimating the installed base and analyzing the...

30.06.2020 | nachricht Read more

Hot patterns in cold space

Fraunhofer IWS prints heaters for space flight

Building satellites and spaceships is anything but cheap. One reason is the fact that cosmic technology must be designed far more fail-safe than on earth. In...

25.06.2020 | nachricht Read more

Batteries for electric cars: Fact check and answers to the most important questions about electric mobility

How well do electric cars perform environmentally? How will their range, economic efficiency and charging infrastructure develop in the long term? Will electric mobility mean job losses? These and many other questions to do with the battery value chain are addressed by the Fraunhofer ISI in a Policy Brief, which was presented at the Battery Forum Germany in Berlin. Main message: there is nothing to stop the widespread market diffusion of electric cars between 2020 and 2030+, although numerous challenges still have to be addressed.

The technological maturity of batteries for electric cars and whether these make economic and environmental sense is still being questioned by critics today,...

24.06.2020 | nachricht Read more

What grade do our electronic products get? Life cycle assessment in the electronics industry

Although life cycle assessments do not save the environment, it can make industry think, as the example of life cycle assessments for electronics shows. Every electronic product, useful as it may be, comes with a heavy ecological backpack: From the extraction of raw materials used and design decisions to the use and disposal of an electronic product, every step in the manufacturing process leaves its mark on the environment. Researchers at Fraunhofer IZM analyse the entire life cycle of electronic products and product groups on the basis of standardised benchmarks and ISO norms and develop optimisation proposals.

Ever more manufacturers and users are interested in the environmental impact that products have. The focus is not only on what a product can do but also on the...

18.06.2020 | nachricht Read more

Four-legged robot makes research comparable worldwide

Solo 8 is a new research robot, developed as an open-source project in the German cities of Tübingen and Stuttgart. The dog-resembling, torque-controlled quadruped is capable of very dynamic movements. It is made entirely of 3D printed parts and off-the-shelf components, which makes it an easy to replicate platform ideal for fundamental research in legged locomotion and robotic education. The project aims to provide robotic research labs around the world with an easy-to-assemble legged robot kit that doesn’t break the bank.

In collaboration with roboticists in New York, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Germany developed an agile,...

16.06.2020 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

Im Focus: AI monitoring of laser welding processes - X-ray vision and eavesdropping ensure quality

With an X-ray experiment at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble (France), Empa researchers were able to demonstrate how well their real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams works. With almost 90 percent reliability, they detected the formation of unwanted pores that impair the quality of weld seams. Thanks to a special evaluation method based on artificial intelligence (AI), the detection process is completed in just 70 milliseconds.

Laser welding is a process suitable for joining metals and thermoplastics. It has become particularly well established in highly automated production, for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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