Technology solutions to change…

The energy of change

Technology solutions to change…

Turning the Renewable Dream into a Reality

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Energy-related research is making tremendous progress to secure sustainable and clean energy. This is now achieving the desired result of renewables that are now robustly defining the fossil fuel prices proving that economic growth is possible at the same time and emissions that drive climate change are reduced. Today we will read about some of these groundbreaking ideas that we feel will soon be emerging in a big way; such as, thin film PV and perovskites.
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As our planet’s appetite for energy increases, so does the responsibility of researchers and technologists to develop affordable and alternative sources of energy. In fact this is not a new idea, several decades ago and therefore years before the climate change dialogue started, Mahatma Gandhi stated, “We should act as trustees and use natural resources wisely as it is our moral responsibility to ensure that we bequeath to the future generations a healthy planet”.

“Secure, sustainable and clean energy is critical to our society.

Years later we would agree with him even more. Secure, sustainable and clean energy is critical to our society, as non-sustainable power and by that we mean power which contributes to global warming processes is seen as impractical in the long run. Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, European Union president pointed out in a reference to the Paris climate submit, that the European Union“ has long been the global leader in climate action” and is committed to transforming Europe into a highly energy-efficient, low carbon based economy. One of the ways it has achieved this is by capping the per capita coal consumption to 0.5MT.

At the Paris Conference of Parties (COP21), 195 countries pledged to cut emissions in order to keep the rise in temperatures, as a result of global warming, to below 2o Celsius from the projected 2.7o Celsius. Only by increasing the share of renewable energy in our consumption this target can be achieved. A battery of technologies is called for to address one of the most daunting challenges in the human history.

“The opportunity to harvest light with the use of materials such as perovskites at a cut rate prices will open the way for its wide scale deployment

This has also fuelled energy-related research in recent decades as finding innovative, scalable and affordable materials are of utmost importance. European Research Council (ERC), which supports scientists of the highest standard with truly ground-breaking ideas, is convinced that investment in their success will pay back.Solar energy has the potential to provide 23000 TW, if it can be harvested judiciously at a cost-competitive price. Thin film PV, which utilizes innovative materials, is on the verge of making a high-market impact and the opportunity to harvest light with the use of materials such as perovskites at cut rate prices will open the way for its wide scale deployment and strengthen the EU’s commitment to the decarbonisation process.

.Year 2016, will be remembered as a landmark year in the sustainable energy market; solar power (70 GW) became the cheapest form of new electricity for the very first time, overtaking wind energy (59 GW) not only in the cost but also in installation.

From a wider perspective in some countries the energy obtained from a renewable source (eg. Chile) can be as low as half the price of conventional coal power. It will be not unrealistic to put forward that renewables are here to stay and the fossil fuel monopoly will soon fade away.

Shahzada Ahmad, Principal Scientist at Abengoa Research

Shahzada Ahmad, Principal Scientist at Abengoa Research

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