Renewable energy is seen as a way to both invigorate an economy in need of new job sectors, reduce the amount of pollution that is spread across the world, and manage fuels and resources in a sustainable manner.
Renewable energy innovations are developed by universities and private firms to address public concerns over climate change, energy resource depletion, and environmental hazards to human life and health.
The amount of innovations that have spawned over the last 30 years include an incredible leap in technological progress and energy savings.
Solar energy is just one example of a revolutionary innovation with renewable energy.
Solar energy is a catch-all term that describes the use of energy cells that absorbs the photons from sunlight and converts them into electrical energy. Although solar energy requires more infrastructure (only 0.1% of the US electricity market is powered by solar for example), there is great potential to utilize the sun exclusively for energy.
Another example of renewable energy is the increase use of wind power.
Wind power utilizes wind turbines that generate electricity based upon the force of wind. Hence, the windier the environment for the wind turbine, the more electricity that is produced. This is why many wind farms, or collectives of wind turbines, are being built on mountains and off into the ocean where wind speeds are at their highest. As a renewable energy, wind power has immense potential since consistent energy from air movement could meet all global demand for electricity.
Other innovations in renewable energy include the use of bio-fuels to produce electricity.
Bio-fuels are a relatively new innovation where plant life or bacteria is mass produced in scientific labs. These organisms are allowed to perform their natural biological functions, such as photosynthesis for plants or alcohol production for bacteria and fungi, and utilizing these remains as a form of electrical energy. Fuels such as ethanol, bio-diesel, and electric plants known as biomass plants that capture the heat created by plants during photosynthesis are some of the latest innovations in the field of bio-fuels. In theory, because these biological life forms, like bacteria and plants, can re-grow and reproduce asexually, there is a constant supply of biological fuels in energy plants and labs that focus on bio-fuels. This gives bio-fuels an immense potential on the global market.
A potential innovation for the future is the utilization of hydrogen fuel cells.
Fuel cells turn chemicals and elements directly into energy, and using the plentiful element hydrogen would drastically reduce emissions on all transportation. The technology is a few years away, but many private firms are investing heavily to utilize hydrogen as a source of fuel to cut all emissions across the world.
However, when it comes to smaller scale, family, innovations, the ground source heat pump mustn’t be overlooked. It can be implemented on an individual property basis, so, like solar panels, is a much more viable option for the average family. After the initial spend, it is possible to reduce your monthly heating bills to zero.
Geothermal International offer heating and cooling solutions using renewable energy sources.