News

Increase Renewable Energy Sources – Generate More Jobs

This has been the slogan that GE, one of the leading power suppliers and energy delivery technology pioneers, propagated all through the ‘Capture the Wind’ tour across US. GE Energy, comprised of GE Power& Water, GE Energy services and GE Oil & Gas is on an all out effort to promote wind industry’s growth in USA. GE, largest supplier of wind turbines producing some 40% of US’ wind power, has been sponsoring the ‘Capture the Wind’ tour for garnering support at grass-root level for a cleaner energy in future.

They have been toting a 131-foot-long wind-turbine blade serving as a mobile petition to be signed by all supporters. This is to create awareness that promoting wind power industry will generate new jobs and make US self-sufficient in energy production. Their goal is the Wind-Power 2010 Convention at Dallas where the blade will be on display.

Texas, as the country’s largest wind power producer is hosting Wind-Power 2010 – world’s largest wind-power conference – at the Dallas Convention Centre. Along with Matt Guyette, Renewables Global Strategy Leader, GE Energy, Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, and AWEA CEO Denise Bode attended the opening ceremony. The need for strong leadership support from federal government for focussing on development of renewable energy sources was the hot topic.

Emphasizing that wind energy is a more affordable and purer form of energy available in US, Mr. Body called for a “strong national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES)”. Mr. Guyette said, “The key message of our tour is that the people of America have the power to choose a cleaner, smarter energy future.” Congress inaction in this field was greatly regretted.

In spite of a 10-gigawatt production and 85,000 strong work force, wind power accounts for not even 2% of entire nation’s power supply. A positive approach by the congress towards long-term wind energy power policy and establishing a national level renewable and cleaner energy standard will boost power generation and employment opportunities.

Mr. Guyette quoted the examples of China and Europe and requested for quick action on the part of government to promote wind power energy sources. He expressed hopes that, “American technology and innovation, combined with strong public support, can help to drive continued growth in the wind power industry, leading to the creation of thousands of new jobs.”

back to top

Advantages of Renewable Energy at Macro and Micro Level

It is now certain that the current energy systems and technological advancements available in the world are not sufficient to make the planet free from the carbon dioxide that is emitted from those resources. To solve this problem, there is a scope to build new technologies and to bring the existing technologies together to get maximum benefit from the entire energy system including energy production, transformation, to energy transportation and distribution. Work in this direction will have to be taken at both macro and micro level.

Need for renewable energy resources

The world will have to switch to renewable energy resources very fast, because despite the availability of renewable energy resources, a large part of the world is still dependent on traditional energy sources such as coal and gas. This over-dependence of these traditional resources will lead to a situation where by the end of 21st century, resources like coal and gas will become extinct from the world. Thus, continuous efforts need to be made to switch over to renewable energy resources. This switch can help many countries make a successful environment policy and reduce the consumption of imported oil and gas.

Use of energy resources with low carbon at macro level

If Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy is to be believed, by the year 2050, the world will be in a position to use sources of energy with very low or no carbon emissions. The global energy system with low emissions will now have to use this new energy system in such a way that the cost of using these resources is also reduced.

The Risø energy report 9 gives a list of a number of energy technologies that will be commercially available for use in times to come. These technologies with no emission of greenhouse gases will help in reducing pollution.

The Risø energy reports, which have been prepared by the joint efforts of Danish and international experts look at energy issues of today and tomorrow from the perspective of the needs of Danish people, the region and the world. These reports are monitored by an independent panel of international experts and are based on scientific material that is internationally recognized.

Use of energy resources with low carbon at micro level

The new technologies in energy sources have to reach the end user. The producer should keep in mind what the users want at the local level and make technological advancements in the goods being used by the common person on a more regular basis. New technologies are being used in items like electronic equipment, heat pumps, local energy supplies such as solar cells and energy storage that people use on a daily basis.

Use of renewable energy resources in Denmark

In countries like Denmark, there is a strong need to start encouraging renewable energy systems right away. This will have several advantages like,

• It will help to eliminate traditional fuel like gas and oil at a very fast pace
• It will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases
• It will help to stop the use of traditional fuel in generating power and heat production by the year 2040.
• It will help to eliminate the use of gas and oil in the transport sector in Denmark by 2050.

There is a need to invest and take maximum advantage of the developments taking place in renewable energy sector. If we do not invest in this sector and make use of the opportunities given to us, it is likely that the scarcity of traditional resources will put so much pressure on the generations to come that they will never be able to bear.

back to top

Is It Possible To Convert To 100% Wind Power?

With all the talk of going green, the question had been thrown out many times if there will ever be a time that we can use nothing but renewable energy to power our world. A small island in Denmark is trying answer that question with a resounding yes as they power up every single day via nothing but wind power. The Danish island is the ideal setting as the wind literally never stops blowing. The North Sea offers the perfect opportunity to capitalize on the winds that come off of the sea and for them to use wind power as their primary source of power. As a matter of fact, the wind power that they are using is their ONLY source of power.

Samso Island has about 4,000 people who reside on the island and they have a direct stake in how well this project works out. You see, the residents are the ones that own shares in most of the windmills that are being used to power the island. That being the case, they don’t mind the noise of the windmills as the blades are whipping around to create electricity.

While the naysayers of the world would argue that this is great on an island, but how would it work in a city, they need only know that this “island” is far larger than Manhattan, NY. It gives hope that one day, regardless of the location or size, that an entire US city can use some sort of renewable energy to get their power. To be able to erase the entire carbon footprint can actually become a reality.

The one thing that holds many of these projects back is the financing of them. They can be quite expensive to get rolling, but because of islands like Samso, improvements will continue to be made and over time, these prices will come down. We just need to keep plugging away and sooner or later the world is going to come around to greener way of thinking.

back to top

Sun Shines on Solar Energy Future

The chances of producing solar power as a more commercially viable source of alternative energy seem brighter now with the positive research results pioneered by University of Illinois professors. The Department of Energy and National Science Foundation-funded team led by Professors John Rogers, and Xiuling Li, has been exploring ways to find more optimal ways to reduce the cost of semiconductors other than silicon.

Superiority of semiconductor gallium:

The semiconductor gallium arsenide and other compound semiconductors are twice as efficient as the standard silicon semiconductor. But the prohibitively high production cost has been the stumbling block which has been circumvented by the innovative methods used by this group. To boot, their methods have been shown to be more advantageous cost-wise as well open a well of opportunities to utilize high-speed gallium or other semiconductors to make flexible thin-film electronics.

Multi-layer technique:

Instead of thin single-layer gallium arsenide deposited on small wafers, the Illinois group tried to create ‘pancake’-like stacks of 10 layers deposited at one go and peel the layers off individually, transfer them and lay them side by side. Giving all details of this procedure, Professor Rogers, the Lee J. Flory Founder Chair in Engineering Innovation & Professor of materials science and engineering and of chemistry said, “We’re creating bulk quantities of material, as opposed to just the thin single-layer manner in which it is typically grown…. “You really multiply the area coverage, and by a similar multiplier you reduce the cost, while at the same time eliminating the consumption of the wafer.”

Illinois team & research paper:

The Illinois team led by Professors John Rogers, and Xiuling Li, is planning to publish their research paper online on May 20, 2010, in the journal ‘Nature’. Along with the multi-layer technique and other details of their research, they will demonstrate three types of devices – light sensors, high-speed transistors and solar cells which will use gallium arsenide chips.

The team also includes University of Illinois post-doctoral researchers Jongseung Yoon, Sungjin Jo and Inhwa Jung; students Ik Su Chun and Hoon-Sik Kin; also Professor James Coleman of electrical and computer engineering, from Hanyang University in Seoul Ungyu Paik and Semprius Inc, scientists, Matthew Meitl and Etienne Menard.

back to top