Energy, intangible yet the most significant force. Fossil fuels today serve as the most extensive transportation and industry fuel. However, they do not hold the promise of forever, nor are they any allies of the environment. Nonetheless, in this threat of their extinction lies a latent blessing, a blessing in the form of a more efficient and greener fuel. The quest is on. Let’s have a look at some of the devices savants have to suggest.
Five biggest ideas that could promise a green world are given below.
1. Setting up a Carbon Cap
Lowell Ungar, senior policy analyst advocates the idea of using energy efficiency as a fuel by rationing it. The crux of the idea is that energy efficiency is the primary fuel and needs to be at the heart of our nation’s energy policy. Energy efficiency is not an ancillary source, rather the focal concept and it’s just begun being tapped by us. A variety of methods, both collective and personal can be employed to tap this efficiency in a cost effective fashion. One needs to expand their knowledge even at the trivial fronts such as which light bulb to get. Whether it’ll be possible to set up a heat pump (ground source)? Will tightening the walls at home lead to decreasing air leaking thereby resulting in lesser heating and cooling expense? To tap energy efficiency more ergonomically, one can try and coax the legislation to impose a carbon cap. Imposing a carbon cap would imply setting strict limits on CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions emanating from organizations such as power and industrial plants. Another significant policy could be the use of efficiency labels which are the stickers on home appliances showing their power consumption. So while purchasing, a consideration regarding the choice can be made in going for a similar appliance consuming lesser energy which maybe a bit pricy but returns the benefit in utility bills.
2. Encouragement to biofuels
Brooke Coleman, executive director, New Fuels Alliance considers encouragement to open competition between biofuels and petroleum as a means of promoting clean energy consumption. As with petroleum, the bio gas agencies would also like to monopolize the bio fuel scene. But a free play should be allowed for the bio fuels and petroleum to compete against each other. There should be heavy induction of flex-fuel vehicles running on a variety of bio gas fuels. The popular notion in United States is that all this is very difficult and expensive whereas it’s as easy as and cheap as putting a seatbelt in a car and certainly cheaper than equipping the car with luxurious accessories and entertainment gadgets. Bio fuel companies must invite and attract investment by showing it as promising and yielding, and producing gallons ahead of the market ready to be deployed in need.
3. Biomass Compounds to replace petroleum fuels
George Huber, chemical engineer, University of Massachusetts at Amherst extends the idea of producing ethanol or additional renewable fuels from biomass which is not consumed as food. Edible crops and corn make up for sparse biomass. In order to enable biofuels to capture a substantial market share, energy must be sourced from non-edible plants known as cellulosic biomass. Examples are wood and agro waste and also energy crops. A cheap conversion is required yielding the highest value in the following fashion. We begin primarily by breaking the biomass into a liquid or gaseous state. Now we add catalysts to transform these broken down products into a variety of compounds. From the resultant, all the contemporary fuels can be extracted which in the present date are been extricated form petroleum such as petrol and diesel. Forestry products can chiefly act as a source of cellulosic biomass since it does not even directly compete with the food crops.
4. Storing renewable energy for future use
The idea of Ralph Masiello, innovation director KEMA has proved to be very successful in preserving energy for future use. Renewable energy sources specially wind and solar energy needs storage. It is kind of strange because we always try to reduce inventory in the manufacturing process but while generating renewable energy the motive is to store as much of energy as we can. Inability to store energy means more electricity is being consumed in households. But now we have grids to store energy whenever we have it and won’t have to get troubled because of fluctuations and imbalance. These days, the price per megawatt changes every now and then, ranging from $20 to $500. It is impossible to store power in batteries for 9 billion people in coming 50 years. To solve this problem, we will have to think deeply about smart grids which could prove helpful in this case. Smart grids can help us to decouple the renewable power production when needed. To facilitate energy storage, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the states are planning to work together to sort out some policies issues. The energy storage will not only bridge gap between the countries but also prove useful in securing the future.
5. Use natural light and intelligent designs to make buildings efficient
This idea has been brought into light by Vivian Loftness, an architect at Carnegie Mellon. After transportation, buildings are the most significant player in carbon production. Designers have come up with various ideas to make building eco friendly and most of these ideas embrace nature, for example, the House Buildings and Senate building in Washington D.C use eco friendly concepts. They have natural ventilation to use day light to full efficiency and are self efficient to a great extent. The energy, if got right could be used four times. It is like using each watt of energy three times and similarly using free air to meet breathing air needs. Thus, if we use daylight as dormant source for lighting our work environment, passive energy will be required to provide only 20 to 30 percent of the heating loads.