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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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Engineers visualize electric memory as it fades

While the memory inside electronic devices may often be more reliable than that of humans, it, too, can worsen over time. Now a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Argonne National Laboratory may understand why. The results are published in the early online edition (May 23) of the journal Nature Materials. Smart cards, buzzers inside watches and even ultrasound machines all take advantage of ferroelectrics, a family of materials that can retain informa 02.06.2004 | nachricht Read more

The search for fuels without contaminant components

To convert a gaseous fuel into a clean liquid one is the target of the research project being undertaken by the School of Industrial Engineering and Telecommunications Engineers of Bilbao in the Basque Country. It involves, in the final analysis, obtaining fuels which do not have contaminant components, i.e. sulphur, nitrogen or aromatic components. Participating in this project, financed by the MARCO programme of the European Union, are nine groups from different European countries, under t 26.05.2004 | nachricht Read more

Conserving hydrocarbons would save $438 billion

Just as low-carbohydrate diets are trimming the American waistline, more judicious use of hydrocarbon-based fossil fuels would reduce U.S. energy consumption by 33 percent and save consumers $438 billion a year by 2014, according to an analysis by Cornell University ecologists. David Pimentel, Cornell professor of ecology, and 11 student ecologists found the most fat for trimming -- with the best potential for major energy savings -- in the transportation, residential heating and cooling, i 25.05.2004 | nachricht Read more

From fryer to fuel tank, U-M students make a case for waste elimination and energy recovery

University of Michigan engineering students have discovered a redeeming quality in junk food: waste grease produced in campus cafeterias that can be used to make biodiesel fuel for U-M buses. During a term project for a course in environmental sustainability, a four-student team led by Lisa Colosi and Andres Clarens concluded and demonstrated that it is economically and technically feasible to harvest the 10,700 gallons of waste grease produced in the 10 campus dining halls to make an effec 21.05.2004 | nachricht Read more

Waste not, want not

Converting waste heat into electricity "Waste heat" might not be such a waste after all. The excess heat produced in everything from microelectronics to large ship engines is generally thought of as a problem for engineers to solve. But a new leap in semiconductor technology funded by the Office of Naval Research could put that troublesome heat to good use. Dr. Mihal Gross of ONR’s physical sciences division explains, "With this class of semiconductors, when you have a 19.05.2004 | nachricht Read more

Mini-batteries for mobile phones

CIDETEC is working on a project the aim of which is to carry out a direct assessment of the technology of fuel cells for “mini” applications which have between 1 and 10 watt power requirements – such as for mobile phone or PDA chargers or for remote signalling, etc. to this end, a series of technologies are being developed in order to obtain a house technology mini fuel cells, including the design and enhancement of EMAs (electrode-membrane assemblies), of structural elements (current collectors, sh 19.05.2004 | nachricht Read more

Europe could ride the wave of Ocean Energy

Up to 20 million homes in Europe could be powered by clean renewable energy from the sea, according to ocean energy expert Teresa Pontes of Portugal, who was speaking at the EurOCEAN marine science and policy event in Galway today (12th May). She estimated that, by harnessing energy from waves and marine currents, Europe would produce around 200 TerraWatt (200 million megawatt) hours per year of electrical power. “The oceans contain a huge energy resource with different origins,” said Ms. Te 13.05.2004 | nachricht Read more

In step toward ultrasmall radio, UF team demonstrates on-chip antenna

Like the signals it emits, the radio may soon disappear from sight. University of Florida electrical engineers have installed a radio antenna less than one-tenth of an inch long on a computer chip and demonstrated that it can send and receive signals across a room. The achievement is another step in the team’s continuing efforts to build an "ultrasmall radio chip" – a transceiver, processor and battery all placed on a chip not much larger than a pinhead – and one that could one 12.05.2004 | nachricht Read more

Superconducting R&D wire achieves major milestone

Using improved processing equipment developed with support from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Advanced Technology Program, American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) has produced lengths of record-breaking high-temperature superconductor (HTS) wire. The company recently announced that it achieved electric current carrying capacity in multiple 10-meter lengths of second-generation (2G) HTS wire equal to or better than 250 Amperes per centimeter of width, an indust 10.05.2004 | nachricht Read more

Sandia polymer electrolyte membrane brings goal of a high temperature PEM fuel cell closer

A new type of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) is being developed by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories to help bring the goal of a micro fuel cell closer to realization using diverse fuels like glucose, methanol, and hydrogen. This Sandia Polymer Electrolyte Alternative (SPEA) could help fulfill the need for new, uninterrupted autonomous power sources for sensors, communications, microelectronics, healthcare applications, and transportation. 06.05.2004 | nachricht Read more
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