As we aim to accelerate the transition towards a carbon-neutral economy, the performance of such solutions as wind turbines and solar power is a major innovation challenge to achieve a sustainable future.
We know by now that these natural elements that technology turns into energy can be intrinsically inefficient. By their nature, they are intermittent, bound to never be available 24/7, year-round: as the wind stills and the sun comes and goes. If we aren’t able to predict how much energy a plant will be able to produce, it is harder to make the most of this energy and make it reliable enough to supplant more polluting, but consistent, sources.
Fortunately, recent developments are enabling scientists and businesses to optimise the use and production of renewables. Through a combination of Artificial Intelligence, computing and more accurate weather forecasts, a range of studies have granted access to more precise wind and sun power data, fuelling a flurry of projects to improve the efficiency of renewables. Here’s a taste of some that are worth tracking:
BETTER WEATHER FORECASTS
POWER OF WIND
Wind power is surging around the world — growing 19% in 2019 alone, thanks to several major projects in the US and China.
SUN AND CLOUDS
Like wind turbines, the output of solar energy systems also depends largely on the weather — in this case, cloud cover. A recent study proposed a new method to use data from recently launched NASA satellites to predict the optical effects of clouds and the output of solar panels around the world.
HYFLEXPOWER: ENGIE Helps Lead Breakthrough Green Hydrogen Project
Hydrogen is increasingly seen as an energy solution that is both flexible and powerful. Now ENGIE Solutions is teaming up with a consortium of European companies, research institutes and universities to demonstrate that a single “green hydrogen” project can store and distribute renewable electricity, and fuel a high-power industrial turbine.I'm interested
The molecules of the energy transition
Whatever the path to a zero-carbon world, electricity will not be the sole source of energy: molecules such as hydrogen, methane and ethanol will be required for a long time to come.I'm interested
Space As A Resource For Eco-Friendly Initiatives
As the renewables industry continues to gain traction, new potential resources and cleaner methods of working are continually being discovered: from artificial jellyfish capturing carbon to innovative ways of harnessing sunlight to create energy for humans.I'm interested
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