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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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Hubble’s solar arrays - behind the scenes

The power for Hubble’s scientific discoveries comes from solar cells. Designing and constructing Hubble’s first two sets of solar cell arrays constituted a huge technological achievement for the European Space Agency and European industry. After an in-orbit life of more than 8 years, this example of pioneering space technology was this morning (European time) replaced by new, more powerful arrays. For the last week a dedicated team of engineers, technicians and scientists from the European 06.03.2002 | nachricht Read more

Offshore wind technology ready for application

European research co-ordinated by TU Delft Offshore wind technology ready for application The technology for the construction and operation of offshore windfarms is ready for large-scale application. Companies in the fields of engineering and services are preparing to take part. This can be seen in the conclusions of the project Concerted Action on Offshore Wind Energy in Europe (CA-OWEE) of the European Union, in which seventeen parties from thirteen European countries have brou 05.03.2002 | nachricht Read more

Mini Fuel Cell Power Source Could Replace Existing Rechargeable Batteries

The days of fast-fading cellular phone batteries may soon be over. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) recently developed a working prototype for a portable fuel cell energy source that could power a cellular phone 300 percent longer than existing rechargeable batteries do. Indeed, the new technology would be less expensive, smaller and more powerful than any battery currently in use, according to Jeff Morse of LLNL’s Center for Microtechnology Engineering. He predic 25.02.2002 | nachricht Read more

Cylinders make circuits spontaneously

Carbon nanotubes assemble themselves into electronic grids Tiny electrical circuits with a single molecule for each wire have been created in the United States 1 . These grids could replace silicon chips, making computers and memory devices much more compact and powerful than they are today. The grids comprise carbon nanotubes - long, hollow cylinders of pure carbon a few millionths of a millimetre (nanometres) across and several thousand nanometres long. Dep 30.01.2002 | nachricht Read more

Car work for quantum mechanics

A quantum afterburner extracts laser light from vehicle exhaust. The hot gases belching out of your car’s exhaust are not just useless waste. They are a laser waiting to happen, says physicist Marlan Scully1. All you need to harness this potential, suggests Scully, of Texas A&M University in College Station, is a quantum afterburner. This hypothetical modification would use quantum mechanics to boost the engine’s efficiency by clawing back waste heat and turning it 30.01.2002 | nachricht Read more

Crystals For Extreme Electronics

Like silicon, silicon carbide is semiconductor and in some aspects, its characteristics are even better. Electrical strength of silicon carbide is ten times higher than that of silicon, heat conductivity is three times higher. Crystals of silicon carbide are almost perfect for power electronics. They can work at high current density (more than 10 kA per square centimeter) and voltage up to 4.5 kV, unachievable for silicon. Moreover, charge-drift velocity is twice higher in silicon carbide providing b 24.01.2002 | nachricht Read more

Carbon Nanotubes Could Lengthen Battery Life

Carbon nanotubes — tiny tubular structures composed of a single layer of carbon atoms—could lengthen the life of batteries, according to new research. Findings published in the current issue of Physical Review Letters suggest that the diminutive tubes can hold twice as much energy as graphite, the form of carbon currently used as an electrode in many rechargeable lithium batteries. The reduction and oxidation reactions that occur at the electrodes of batteries produce a flow of electrons t 10.01.2002 | nachricht Read more

Electronic tongue has good taste

Hand-held tasting device displays highly discriminating palate. A new hand-held electronic tongue promises to give accurate and reliable taste measurements for companies currently relying on human tasters for their quality control of wine, tea, coffee, mineral water and other foods. Human tasters are still irreplaceable for subtile products such as fine wines and whiskies. But their sense of taste saturates after a while, losing its discriminating edge. The device made by An 09.01.2002 | nachricht Read more

Scientists Use Temperature to Tune a Tiny Laser’s Color

The tell-tale signature of most lasers used in everyday applications—from bar-code scanners to pen-size pointers—is a bright red glow. The color is determined by the light’s wavelength, and most lasers emit at only one wavelength. Now a new report published in the current issue of the journal Nature describes a light source measuring only tens of millimeters across that changes color according to temperature. To make the new laser, Diederik Wiersma and Stefano Cavalieri of the European 19.12.2001 | nachricht Read more

Water power

A new material helps to make clean fuel from water. Scientists in Japan have found a more efficient way to extract hydrogen, the ultimate ’green’ fuel, from water. They have developed a material that uses sunlight to break water molecules into their constituent elements of hydrogen and oxygen 1 . The material is not yet efficient enough to be commercially viable, but its inventors believe that it can be improved. If they are right, hydrogen may soon be on tap 06.12.2001 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

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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”.

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

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Im Focus: Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Bayreuth researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects

An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".

The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...

Im Focus: Modelling leads to the optimum size for platinum fuel cell catalysts: Activity of fuel cell catalysts doubled

An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has built platinum nanoparticles for catalysis in fuel cells: The new size-optimized catalysts are twice as good as the best process commercially available today.

Fuel cells may well replace batteries as the power source for electric cars. They consume hydrogen, a gas which could be produced for example using surplus...

Im Focus: The secret of mushroom colors

Mushrooms: Darker fruiting bodies in cold climates

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