Renewable Energy Innovations SEAI’s New Funding
New technological innovations in the area of energy transformation are needed now to meet the increasing demand on our energy network. Such innovations, however, face a lot of challenges before becoming widely recognised and implemented. Sustainable energy innovation needs to be promoted worldwide by encouraging applied research, market development and providing increased government funding.
There are several innovations and technologies with enormous potential that are yet to be implemented. Forbes mentions a few renewable energy trends that can play a crucial role in sustainable energy generation:
- Forbes mentions that energy storage plays a vital role in balancing power supply and demand and should be implemented to tackle the intermittent sources of renewable energy. A storage system installed with a renewable source of energy can ensure continuous supply even in severe weather conditions. Most common energy storage devices used in renewable energy systems are batteries.
- Use of microgrids provide energy independence, efficiency and protection during emergencies. Microgrids are local energy grids that can operate either separately or while connected to a larger grid. Implementing the machine learning capabilities of Artificial Intelligence with microgrid controllers can lead to an improvement of the overall operation.
- German Architect Andre Broessel’s company, Rawlemon, created a spherical sun power generator prototype called the beta.ray. This technology combines spherical geometry principles with a dual axis tracking system. This yields twice the amount of energy than a conventional solar panel in a comparatively smaller surface area. The beta.ray is fully rotational and can be set up anywhere with access to the outside environment.
- New Windis a French company that installed tree-shaped wind turbines at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, France. The tree-shaped wind turbines can be used to exploit small wind currents along buildings and streets. The 26-foot-high trees use tiny blades inside the ‘leaves’ to capture the wind flows and can potentially be profitable after a year of wind speeds averaging 7.8 mph. They can produce energy in wind speeds as low as 4.5 mph.
- Japanese Space Agency (JAXA)has been working since 2008 toward developing technologies to wirelessly transmit electricity. A transmitter device is driven by electric power from a power source and generates a time-varying electromagnetic field. The power is then transmitted across space to a receiver device which in turn supplies power to an electrical load. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) successfully conducted a ground demonstration test of wireless power transmission. 10 kilowatts of electricity was transmitted through a microwave unit. Power reception was confirmed at a receiver located 500 meters away.
- Wave energyis produced when electricity generators are placed on the ocean surface. The energy provided is most often used in distillation plants, power plants and water pumps. Energy output is dependent on wave height and speed, wavelength and water density. Mechanical Engineer David Hartmann and Craftsman Jason Ballash have designed a new wave power technology called the KymoGen, which has the potential to produce clean and low-cost energy using the power of waves. The estimated average output per day is 25 to 100 kilowatt hours. It will be constructed of high strength Marine Composites, and the platform can accommodate wind or solar technologies to increase the energy output.
- NASA has used liquid hydrogen since 1970s to propel space shuttles and other rockets into the orbit. Hydrogen is high in energy and yet an engine that runs on pure hydrogen generates almost no pollution. Fuel cells are often compared to batteries as they both convert the energy produced by a chemical reaction into usable electric power. A fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat, and water. However, for the fuel cell to be able to produce electricity hydrogen must continuously be supplied, never losing its charge. Fuel cells are a promising technology as a source of heat and electricity for buildings, Fuels like natural gas, or even gasoline, can be reformed to produce the hydrogen required for fuel cells. Hydrogen can also be transported to locations where it is needed.
SEAI’s Research, Development and Demonstration Funding Programme
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is Ireland’s national sustainable energy authority that works with householders, organisations, communities and the government to create a cleaner energy future. The government has launched the 2019 SEAI Research Development and Demonstration (RD&D) funding programme worth €4m. The programme is designed to fund innovative energy research projects, which will help drive Ireland’s shift to a clean and secure energy future. Applications were open to companies, universities, institutes of technology, publicly funded research institutions, public sector bodies and semi-State bodies based in Ireland. Successful applicants will be leading research projects on ways to decarbonise Ireland’s national energy supply and will be able to demonstrate potential for promising results.
Key objectives include the following:
- Support solutions that enable technical and other barriers to market uptake to be overcome
- Accelerate the development and deployment in the Irish marketplace of competitive energy-related products, processes and systems
- Grow Ireland’s national capacity to access, develop and apply international class RD&D
- Provide guidance and support to policy makers and public bodies through results, outcomes and learning from supported energy projects