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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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Microbial Fuel Cells: Optimization Of The Anode Compartment For Improved Electron Transfer

A microbial fuel cell mimics a biological system, in which bacteria do not directly transfer the energy-rich electrons gained out of the feeding to their characteristic electron acceptor. Instead, the electrons are diverted towards an electrode (anode) and subsequently conducted over a resistance or power user, and a cathode (see figure). At the cathode, these electrons are used to reduce oxygen with the formation of water. This way, bacterial energy is directly converted to electrical energy. 14.11.2003 | nachricht Read more

Energy subsidy is not always favourable

Dutch research has revealed that energy subsidies can delay the dissemination of new energy-saving technologies. Furthermore, companies do not always want to get rid of the old technology straightaway and therefore new ideas are confined to the top shelf for longer. Ph.D. student Peter Mulder demonstrated that subsidies for investments in energy-saving can have an adverse affect in the longer term. These subsidies can be counter-effective, since they only stimulate investment in existing te 11.11.2003 | nachricht Read more

Illinois researchers create world’s fastest transistor -- again

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have broken their own record for the world’s fastest transistor. Their latest device, with a frequency of 509 gigahertz, is 57 gigahertz faster than their previous record holder and could find use in applications such as high-speed communications products, consumer electronics and electronic combat systems. "The steady rise in the speed of bipolar transistors has relied largely on the vertical scaling of the epitaxial layer 10.11.2003 | nachricht Read more

Nanowire film brings cheaper, faster electronics a step closer

Researchers at Harvard University have demonstrated for the first time that they can easily apply a film of tiny, high-performance silicon nanowires to glass and plastic, a development that could pave the way for the next generation of cheaper, lighter and more powerful consumer electronics. The development could lead to such futuristic products as disposable computers and optical displays that can be worn in your clothes or contact lenses, they say. Their research appears in the November is 07.11.2003 | nachricht Read more

Bad Mileage: 98 tons of plants per gallon

Study shows vast amounts of ’buried sunshine’ needed to fuel society A staggering 98 tons of prehistoric, buried plant material – that’s 196,000 pounds – is required to produce each gallon of gasoline we burn in our cars, SUVs, trucks and other vehicles, according to a study conducted at the University of Utah. "Can you imagine loading 40 acres worth of wheat – stalks, roots and all – into the tank of your car or SUV every 20 miles?" asks ecologist Jeff Dukes, 27.10.2003 | nachricht Read more

Workshop Tackles Biological Hydrogen Production

Available report outlines goals, challenges, and research areas The results of a two-day workshop on hydrogen production through biological and artificial systems now is available. The workshop, sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and hosted jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), included key scientists from the Air Force, NREL, DOE, other national la 23.10.2003 | nachricht Read more

MIT’s plasmatron cuts diesel bus emissions, promises better gas engine efficiency

A bus in Indiana is the latest laboratory for MIT’s plasmatron reformer, a small device its developers believe could significantly cut the nation’s oil consumption as well as noxious emissions from a variety of vehicles. The work will be the subject of an invited talk next Thursday, October 30, at a meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics in Albuquerque, NM. The researchers and colleagues from industry report that the plasmatron, used with an exhaust t 22.10.2003 | nachricht Read more

New fuel consumption-cutting product to be trialled by Stagecoach

Cerulean International Limited, the Oxford, UK-based subsidiary of the British nanomaterials company Oxonica Limited, has announced that its new product Envirox is to be commercially evaluated by Stagecoach UK, with a view to adopting the product over Stagecoach’s 7000 strong UK bus fleet. Using new technology, Cerulean has developed Envirox, a product based on a well-established oxidation catalyst, that has now been formulated for use within the fuel, delivering a cleaner and more complete 16.10.2003 | nachricht Read more

Power from hydrogen moves a step closer

An invention being developed jointly by the Low Temperature Engineering Group at the University of Southampton and BOC Edwards could help turn the dream of hydrogen technology into reality. In future, electricity, and in some applications useful heat, could be generated in a fuel cell through the combination of hydrogen and oxygen, with water being produced at the end of the process. Howard Stone, an Engineering Doctorate student, and his supervisor Dr Neil Richardson of the School of Engine 15.10.2003 | nachricht Read more

A giant wind-powered generator

The new TWT-1650 wind-powered generator presented in Pamplona has 36-metre vanes which, in a circular movement, sweep an area greater than that of a football pitch and which can withstand extremes of weather, including winds of up to 110 kilometres an hour. This device, made by Grupo Mtorres in collaboration with the Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy (IDAE), is beginning its commercial life, after three years of tests. The new model, with a power of 1,650 kilow 14.10.2003 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

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