Several new developments have been announced over the past week that advance the wider applicability of alternative energy sources as a replacement for fossil fuel sources.
- Solar Energy Breakthrough – Heliogen, a solar start-up funded by billionaire Bill Gates, announced on November 20 that it has been able to create solar energy temperatures reaching 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 degrees Fahrenheit), a development that could be used in several industries that require extremely high temperatures, such as steel, glass and cement. The cement manufacturing process alone accounts for 7% of global CO2 emissions, according to the International Energy Agency. For more information, click here and here.
- Wind Energy Output Expected to Increase More than One-Third – A new study published November 18 by the journal Nature Climate Change concludes that global wind speeds are increasing after decades of stalling, creating the potential for wind turbines to increase their average output by 37% in the next five years. The study, led by a team of scientists from Princeton University and other academic institutions throughout the world, states: “These findings are important for those vested in maximizing the potential of wind as an alternative energy source. . . and is central to energy scenarios that keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius.” For more on the study, click here; for a copy of the study, click here.
- Battery Storage for Utilities Make Major Strides – A briefing paper released November 13 by Climate Central, an independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the public, released a report on recent advances in battery energy storage technology. The paper found that battery storage capabilities for electric utilities quadrupled between 2014 (214 MW) and 2019 (1,000 MW) and is expected to increase over the next 4 years by an additional 2,500 MW. The paper also notes that the cost of battery storage has fallen by 75% between 2012 and 2019. For a copy of the report (6 pages), click here.