The Unexpected Future of the Renewable Energy Sector

FACT: The top 700 metres of Oceans have warmed by 0.167 degrees Celsius since 1969 (as reported by NASA)

climateChange

Image by ‘Social Journalism’

FACT: Data from NASA‘s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment demonstrate that Greenland has lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometres of ice per year between 2002 and 2006.

FACT: The largest portion (36%) of Australia’s carbon emissions come from the production of electricity  (reported by ‘Carbon Neutral‘)

Despite these facts, in the ‘Fourth Survey of Australian Attitudes to Climate Change’ by the CSIRO participants ranked Climate Change as:

  • the 14th most important concern out of 16 general concerns.
  • 7th out of 8 possible environmental concerns.

Despite these facts demonstrating that climate change is occurring and that production of electricity is the main contributor, the Australian Government once elected in 2013 cut a large chunk of funding to the renewable energy sector ($438 million to be exact).

As stated by our current Prime Minister:

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Image by ‘Perth Now News’

 

“I am, as you know, hugely unconvinced by the so-called settled science on climate change.”

~ Tony Abbott, 7:30 Report ABC

 


FACT
: The 2014 renewable power percentage (RPP) is 9.87%

Despite the fact that solar power is readily available and the implementation of wind-farms, our renewable energy power use in Australia is still less than 10%.

What next?
A new solution is desperately needed…

Two European scientists may just have the answer the world needs.

Dr Alvaro Garcia and Professor Manfred Partl released a paper detailing how roads can be transformed into a solar turbine device.

On a hot summers day have you ever walked on the road without shoes? 

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Image by ‘The Human Edge’

Essentially the technology developed by these European scientists uses the fact that asphalt roads absorb the heat from the sun. A simple pipe system consisting of many horizontal pipes connected to a single vertical-chimney like pipe are embedded into the road structure.

The road absorbs heat continuously hence increasing the temperature of the road. Assuming the external environment does not change temperature, a temperature difference occurs. As a result of this temperature difference an airflow is created through the horizontal pipes which then flows up and out of the chimney pipe. This airflow can then be used in the same way natural wind is used by a wind turbine.

FACT: In 2009, the word bank measured that the total road network in Australia to be 817,089km in length.

That is a lot of power-producing potential…

Could this technology be the future of our renewable energy sector?

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