Securing affordable energy supplies, changing the energy mix towards a more sustainable and renewable portfolio, as well as providing energy to those who currently have no access ranks high on the global agenda. In order to discuss these issues as part of Swiss Re's 150-year anniversary event series 'connecting generations', Swiss Re organised a small conference entitled 'Meeting the energy challenge'.
The EU-funded IURBAN project, which kicked off in October 2013, aims to develop an intelligent tool that gives consumers greater control of their energy use and energy suppliers greater flexibility in providing the energy needed.
Engineering researchers have developed new technology and techniques for transmitting power wirelessly from a stationary source to a mobile receiver - moving engineers closer to their goal of creating highway stations that can recharge electric vehicles wirelessly as the vehicles drive by.
A new research project will contribute to the everyday practicality of lithium-ion batteries, thus improving consumer acceptance of electric vehicles. In the course of the project, the researchers will consider the entire development process, from materials to suitable operating strategies.
Researchers studying more effective ways to convert woody plant matter into biofuels have identified fundamental forces that change plant structures during pretreatment processes used in the production of bioenergy.
Nature designed lignin, the tough woody polymer in the walls of plant cells, to bind and protect the cellulose sugars that plants use for energy. For this reason, lignin is a major challenge for those who would extract those same plant sugars and use them to make advanced biofuels. As part of their search for economic ways to overcome the lignin challenge, researchers have characterized the enzymatic activity of a rain forest microbe that breaks down lignin essentially by breathing it.
Thermal radiation from the sun is largely lost on most silicon solar cells. Up-converters transform the infrared radiation into usable light, however. Researchers have now for the first time successfully adapted this effect for use in generating power.
The DTOcean (Optimal Design Tools for Ocean Energy Arrays) initiative will allow a suite of design tools to be developed for the deployment of ocean energy arrays. These tools will be contributing towards open-sea demonstration in ocean energy arrays of the technologies for capturing ocean current energies and wave energies.
The Centre for Carbon Measurement at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is partnering with Astrium Services to deliver a new emissions measurement service to enable countries and cities to better quantify their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The WINDTRUST project kicked off in September 2013 with the objective of improving the competitiveness of the wind energy sector by developing and testing innovative components to further improve turbine reliability.