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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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Power Electronics for the Energy Transformation

On July 4, 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg officially inaugurates its new Center for Power Electronics and Sustainable Grids. With a propriety connection to the 110 kV high-voltage grid and 40 MVA transformer, the new center offers a worldwide unique research infrastructure which enables it to meet the growing demands on power electronics, a key technology for the energy system transformation.

“In the future energy system, electricity will be provided not by a small number of conventional power plants but by many wind and solar power plants with...

05.07.2019 | nachricht Read more

New record for flexible thin-film solar cells

Never before has such an efficient flexible CIGS solar cell been built. Empa researchers achieve an efficiency of 20.8% for the first time - breaking their own record.

Flexible solar cell with unprecedented efficiency: The Empa Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics, headed by Ayodhya N. Tiwari, has broken its own...

04.07.2019 | nachricht Read more

Cooling with the sun

Can you cool with waste heat? Sure. A Swiss research project involving Empa, which ended in November, demonstrated this in an impressive way. Now a large-scale EU project is starting: industrial cooling – thanks to the Spanish sun.

Every now and so often heating something up is unavoidable. Potato soup or risotto, tomato sauce or chocolate pudding – all unfeasible without heat. A small...

25.06.2019 | nachricht Read more

New combustion process - Record efficiency for a gas engine

At the end of May, the final meeting of the "Horizon 2020" project "GasOn" with the EU Commission took place in Brussels. The aim of this EU project was the further development of gas engines for cars and vans. Around 20 partners participated, including ETH Zurich and Empa as well as four European automobile manufacturers and well-known suppliers. Gas-powered vehicles generally emit less pollutants than petrol or diesel cars. They are likely to gain importance in the future due to their possibility of being powered by renewable energy.

In addition to electric and hydrogen powertrains, gas engines also play an important role in the Swiss Competence Centre for Energy Research in the Field of...

21.06.2019 | nachricht Read more

The new technology will significantly enhance energy harvest from PV modules

The whole world is inevitably moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Sustainability of the environment requires changes in the current way of life and introduction of new, more sustainable solutions in our everyday consumption.

The TalTech Power Electronics Research Group led by Researcher-Professor Dmitri Vinnikov has been working on improvement of the efficiency of alternative...

12.06.2019 | nachricht Read more

NextGenBat: Basic research for mobile energy storage systems

In the new infrastructure project NextGenBat, six institutes are paving the way for the research and development of future battery systems. RWTH Aachen University, Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are involved in the project, which will particularly strengthen the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia as a high-tech location for energy storage development. NextGenBat was launched on September 5, 2018 within the “Research Infrastructures“ funding initiative of North Rhine-Westphalia as part of the operational NRW-EFRE program.

It is already expected that the solid fuel battery will have a significant impact on electromobility over the next ten years. To successfully industrialize...

12.06.2019 | nachricht Read more

Did you know, what Carbon Infrared Emitters have to do with your T-Shirts?

Especially in the hot summer months, t-shirts are a must have! But the imprint is what makes them a genuine eye-catcher. Infrared emitters help to dry these imprints fast and energy efficient.

Lots of motives are applied as screen print inks on textile and need to be dried afterwards.

07.06.2019 | nachricht Read more

Cost-effective and individualized advanced electronic packaging in small batches now available

Fraunhofer IZM is joining the EUROPRACTICE IC Service platform. Together, the partners are making fan-out wafer level packaging (FOWLP) for electronic devices available and affordable even in small batches – and thus of interest to research institutes, universities, and SMEs. Costs can be significantly reduced by up to ten customers implementing individual fan-out wafer level packaging for their ICs or other components on a multi-project wafer. The target group includes any organization that does not produce in large quantities, but requires prototypes.

Research always means trying things out and daring to do new things. Research institutes, universities, and SMEs do not produce in large batches, but rather...

06.06.2019 | nachricht Read more

Economical energy storage for the electric car of tomorrow

Dresden dry electrode coating technology allows environmentally friendly battery cell production

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden have developed a new production process with the aim of efficient and...

03.06.2019 | nachricht Read more

Researchers introduce novel heat transport theory in quest for efficient thermoelectrics

NCCR MARVEL researchers have developed a novel microscopic theory that is able to describe heat transport in very general ways, and applies equally well to ordered or disordered materials such as crystals or glasses and to anything in between. This is not only a significant first--no transport equation has been able so far to account simultaneously for these two regimes--it also shows, surprisingly, that heat can tunnel, quantum-mechanically, rather than diffuse away, like an atomic vibration.

The new equation will also allow the accurate prediction of the performance of thermoelectric materials for the first time. With ultralow, glass-like, thermal...

28.05.2019 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: MOF@SAW: Nanoquakes and molecular sponges for weighing and separating tiny masses

Augsburg chemists and physicists report how they have succeeded in the extremely difficult separation of hydrogen and deuterium in a gas mixture.

Thanks to the Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology developed here and already widely used, the University of Augsburg is internationally recognized as the...

Im Focus: Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms

Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.

In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...

Im Focus: First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure

Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.

Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...

Im Focus: Megakaryocytes act as „bouncers“ restraining cell migration in the bone marrow

Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.

Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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