Thursday November 23, 2017

‘Power paper’ to store electricity soon

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London: Researchers at Linkoping University in Sweden have developed a ‘power paper’ that can store energy. The material consists of nanocellulose and a conductive polymer.

Unlike the batteries and capacitors currently on the market, power paper is produced from simple materials like renewable cellulose and an easily available polymer.

It is light in weight, requires no dangerous chemicals or heavy metals and it is waterproof.

One sheet of this new material, 15 cm in diameter and a few tenths of a millimetre thick, can store as much as 1F, which is similar to the supercapacitors currently on the market.

The material can be recharged hundreds of times and each charge only takes a few seconds.

“Thin films that function as capacitors have existed for some time. What we have done is to produce the material in three dimensions. We can produce thick sheets,” said study co-author professor Xavier Crispin.

The material, power paper, looks and feels like a slightly plastic paper.

The structural foundation of the material is nanocellulose, which is cellulose fibres which, using high-pressure water, are broken down into fibres as thin as 20 nm in diametre.

With the cellulose fibres in a solution of water, an electrically charged polymer, also in a water solution, is added. The polymer then forms a thin coating around the fibres.

“The covered fibres are in tangles, where the liquid in the spaces between them functions as an electrolyte,” explained researcher Jesper Edberg.

The new cellulose-polymer material has set a new world record in simultaneous conductivity for ions and electrons, which explains its exceptional capacity for energy storage.

The study was published in the journal Advanced Science.(ians)

(picture credit:cdn.ndtv.com)

 

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India along with others moving towards centre stage of clean energy transition: Clean-energy leadership begins in China

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Solar panels absorbing sunlight. Pixabay

China, May 30, 2017: There is a new reality in clean energy. The world’s major emerging economies — including China, India, and several others — are moving to the centre stage of the clean energy transition. By betting heavily on energy efficiency, on wind, solar and other renewables, as well as other less carbon-intensive technologies, these countries are increasingly leading the way.

This is the significance of the top-level meeting of energy ministers from the world’s biggest economies in Beijing next month. The fact that representatives from fossil-fuel producers like Mexico and Saudi Arabia will join renewable-energy pioneers like Denmark and Germany for a top-level meeting in China is not a coincidence. We are witnessing a global consensus that the key to energy transition will reside with decisions made in emerging economies.

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There are many reasons to stand for clean energy today. These can range from reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also battling the scourge of air pollution, improving energy security by reducing the dependency on fossil fuels, diversifying supply, creating high-tech jobs or fostering innovation. As such, approaches to clean energy will vary from country to country.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), all of the projected growth in energy demand in the next 25 years will take place in emerging and developing countries. This means that implementing the right kind of policies and technologies will be critical to ensure stable supplies as well as meeting desirable environmental outcomes.

The good news is that this is happening. India was the first country to set comprehensive quality and performance standards for light emitting diodes (LEDs), and it expects to save as much as 277 terawatt-hours of electricity between 2015 and 2030, avoiding 254 million metric tons of CO2 emissions or the equivalent of 90 coal-fired power plants.

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Another upshot is that by committing to these new clean technologies, countries like China are helping drive down costs for the benefit of the world. China is now the undisputable global leader of renewable energy expansion worldwide, and the IEA forecasts that by 2021, more than one-third of global cumulative solar PV and onshore wind capacity will be located in China.

Recently announced renewable projects have broken new records, with power purchase agreements for several onshore wind and large solar PV farms now below $50/MWh.

As clean energy is increasingly driven by the emerging economies, global political leadership in advancing clean energy will be increasingly shared. This is precisely the function of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), which was created in 2010, and whose goal is to form a partnership that brings together major industrialised and emerging economies to focus on clean energy technologies and policies, reduce environmental impacts, and ensure reliable and affordable supplies.

Our timing is critical. Action by the 25 CEM members, representing 90 per cent of global energy investment and 75 per cent of global emissions, is crucial for making the world less carbon-intensive than today.

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In Beijing, our focus will be to provide a collaborative environment to tackle these challenges in areas ranging from transportation, buildings to the power sector. Our governments will seek to increase electric mobility, with a target to reach 30 per cent of the new vehicle fleet by 2030. The recent announcements of the Indian government will go a long way towards this end. Another challenge for CEM governments will be to increase EV charging providers by a factor of 10 in the next five years. Other priority areas include improving efficiency in buildings, which account for nearly a third of all energy consumption and 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.

In the power sector, the CEM is seeking to move away from the coal-or-renewables paradigm. Coal was the fuel of the last 100 years, and renewables will likely be the dominant fuel of the next century for many countries. At the same time, we must recognise that so-called dispatchable power plants — including thermal generation — are key for many countries to ensure energy security during the transition to a cleaner energy system. And so, the Beijing meeting will launch new work to address this challenge.

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To succeed, this energy transition will require the full backing of industry. This is why the CEM includes top-level executives from companies involved in all aspects of the energy field who offer a unique on-the-ground perspective and ultimately determine where investments end up going. They are often the first to recognise what drives clean energy uptake.

This is a unique time for the CEM, which is entering a new phase of cooperation and growth in our short history. The world of energy is changing. Facts on the ground unequivocally point to the key role of emerging economies in clean energy. Come the meeting in Beijing June 6-8, we are likely to see this reflected in the leadership of the CEM. (IANS)

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Google aims to secure enough Renewable Energy to meet all of its Electricity needs throughout the World

Google is aiming to secure enough renewable energy to meet all of its electricity needs

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Technology Giant Google. Pixabay

San Francisco Dec 7, 2016: Reduction of environmental pollution is a major concern of the entire world today. In an effort to do so, Google has taken a major step in its quest to reduce pollution caused by its digital services that devour massive amounts of electricity.

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In the beginning of next year, Google is aiming to secure enough renewable energy to meet all of its electricity needs throughout the world.

The initiative is of enormous significance since the internet company has the ravenous appetite for electricity to power its offices and the huge data centres that process requests on its dominant search engine, store Gmail, YouTube video clips and photos for more than a billion people.

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According to PTI, nearly 13 data centres and offices of Google consume about 5.7 terawatts of electricity annually, which is nearly the same amount as that of entire San Francisco, where more than 800,000 people live and tens of thousands of others come to work and visit.

Although, this is not an easy task and cannot be accomplished any sooner relying solely on the wind, and solar power for its operations. The complicated way of arrangements of power grids and regulations around the US and rest of the world makes it quite difficult.

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Google instead believes it is now in a position to offset every megawatt hour of electricity supplied by a power plant running on fossil fuels with renewable energy that the Mountain View, California, company has purchased through a variety of contracts.

About 95 percent of Google’s renewable energy deals come from wind power farms, with the remainder from solar power.

Gary Cook, senior energy campaigner for the environmental group Greenpeace said nearly 20 other technology companies also have pledged to secure enough renewable energy to power their worldwide operations.

prepared by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram with PTI inputs. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon

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Propose to have cities buy power generated from waste: Piyush Goyal

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New Delhi:Local bodies in India will compulsorily need to purchase any electricity generated from city waste as per a proposal under the new tariff policy, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday.

“Besides, every bit of water waste water coming out of cities that can be reprocessed must be compulsorily used by electricity plants, so that the clean water is available for use by citizens,” Goyal said here while giving away the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation’s “Social Entrepreneur of Year-India 2015 award.

These changes, he said, were being proposed were to help India realise its commitments towards tackling climate change.

“Our policy is to encourage the processing of garbage and its conversion to wealth, in this case being electricity,” the minister said.

He told reporters on the sidelines of the event that the new tariff policy would provide incentives to renewable energy projects as well as to those power generation plants that are efficiently using conventional sources of energy.

On resolving the issues of debt-ridden power distribution companies across the country, he said the ministry would soon approach the cabinet with a proposal that has been worked out. He added that the state-run distribution companies’ losses are around Rs.60,000 crore.

Goyal also the government has set a target of replacing regular bulbs with LED bulbs in the next three years, which will save 20,000 MW power and 10,000 crore units of electricity per annum.

(IANS)