For the past several decades, we have grown more and more aware of the negative impact we have on ecology. Climate change has become quite a worrying issue for a lot of young adults. If previously some were just discussing it, nowadays it is a hot topic for many people. The number of those who turn a blind eye to it is fewer than it was a decade ago. And those who claim that there is no problem get vilified by the press and social media.
And there are various methods of expressing your concerns about natural resources. You may write an essay on it, or you can order it from some essay writing service so you have time to join the relevant protests. But, while protesting is important, we need to think about the alternatives as well. We will stop using oil, but what are we going to use instead? Gladly, there is renewable energy:
- Energy production without greenhouse gas emissions
- Dependence on imported fuels reduction
- Creating new jobs
So far, renewable energy offers solutions to lots of issues that go beyond just a negative impact on ecology. And if a decade ago those solutions seemed like something from the faraway future, they are far more real now. Yes, no one can say for sure how soon dependence on fossil fuels is going to be abolished. Yet, the latest developments in renewable energy are quite positive.
Implementation of Advanced Photovoltaics
Photovoltaics can be the answer for future energy resources, and at the time of writing, several European startups are working on their implementation. The said startups are developing methods to focus solar energy using mirrors and lenses in order to enhance photovoltaics’ performance.
One of the latest developments is perovskite — one of the novel photovoltaic materials being used to multiply energy conversion. Additionally, these developments are combined with photovoltaic architectures for optimal effectiveness and high output. But there’s more to solar energy than just that.
For example, Lusoco, a Dutch startup, develops a luminescent solar concentrator technology. It concentrates light to the edges where thin-film solar cells are positioned using refractive index materials like glasses and polymers as well as fluorescent ink. Moreover, the fluorescent coating produces light at night, making self-sustaining signage possible.
Renewable Energy Generation and Storage Systems
One of the biggest problems with renewable energy is production irregularity. But there’s a solution to it, which is renewable energy generation and storage systems. A lot of startups offer battery-based – and solutions that work without batteries. As for the batteries, let’s be honest; no one will surprise you with lightweight batteries that provide substantial energy. Battery-free renewable energy is far more interesting.
So, how do batteryless solutions work? The answer is compressed air technology. This method decreases the necessary storage volume while boosting energy solidity. It doubles heat and cold extraction while also supplying heat energy and cooling, which can be used for households. There’s a Swiss startup Green-Y-Energy that already works on this technology.
Imagine a fuel with a high energy density that produces close to zero greenhouse emissions. Sounds fantastic, right? But that fuel does exist, and it’s hydrogen gas. You may wonder why being aware of all the negative impacts we had on ecology, we didn’t switch to hydrogen. The point is that hydrogen gas is produced from non-renewable sources. But things have changed in the past decade.
The developments in renewable energy eventually led to green hydrogen. But things were still problematic, as, although producing almost no greenhouse gas emissions, green hydrogen suffered from low energy conversion. But the Australian startup Lavo found the solution. It manufactures green hydrogen cells that can produce electricity with little help from water and solar power.
At the same time, the US-based startup ElektrikGreen utilizes green hydrogen for charging vehicles. So, give a decade or so, and green hydrogen can become one of the sources of renewable energy that may solve some of the issues that are constantly arising with the climate change crisis.
One of the more simple solutions, in other words, instead of searching for or developing new energy sources, is using sources that are here all the time. Hydropower is already being used for various purposes. And, unlike anything else on this list, H20-based energy is predictable, thus, more reliable. Energy derived from moving water is not a new concept, but there are new approaches to it.
There’s OETC or ocean thermal energy conversion. The method works the following way: the temperature gradient that is formed between the surface and deep water is used to capture energy. But you can also get energy by converting the gradient formed from the difference between saltwater and freshwater. And few startups are working on solutions that utilize both methods.
One of the oldest alternatives – if it can be called that way – or sources of energy. Basically, people were using wind power long before they discovered fuel and electricity. The usage of wind originated approximately around 3000 BC.
The electricity-producing windmills started to appear in the late 1880s. The search for renewable energy without harmful ecological impact drew new attention to wind power and placed it among the latest trends. And there are several promising innovations.
To decrease the demand for land-based wind energy, startups are developing offshore and aerial wind turbines. Developments in this area frequently connect with other energy sources like solar, tidal, or floating wind turbines. The aerodynamic designs of the blades are constantly improving to increase efficiency even more. Moreover, startups create effective turbines and generators for high-energy conversion.
Yet, the industry is facing several difficulties. The main one is the sustainability of the blade material. But, startups are trying to find a workaround by developing bladeless technology. Another solution is using recyclable thermoplastic materials to make blades.
It took us way too long to notice the impact our lifestyle has on the environment. It took us even longer to acknowledge it. Yet, with the developments in renewable energy technology, the future looks a bit brighter than it did several decades ago.