GPM is seeking and securing business development opportunities, alliances and partnerships with select companies and industry leaders in many of these fields.
We are building our team of experts to support clients in the alternative energy arena. To learn more about the field, please review the renewal energy glossary.
Algae fuel is a biofuel which is derived from algae. During photosynthesis, algae and other photosynthetic organisms capture carbon dioxide and sunlight and convert it into oxygen and biomass. The benefits of algal biofuel are that it can be produced industrially, thereby obviating the use of arable land and food crops (such as soy, palm, and canola), and that it has a very high oil yield as compared to all other sources of biofuel.
The road to sustainability is paved with advanced materials. Advances in rechargeable batteries would enable widespread adoption of practical electric vehicles taking us beyond hybrids and obviating the need for fuel-cells.
The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions plus the freedom from reliance on overseas sources of petroleum with attendant geopolitical implications give special value to an all-electric fleet. Innovation in stationary electrical energy storage at high amperage would enable us to store off-peak power from the grid for subsequent delivery on demand during high usage periods. Adoption of wind or photovoltaic generation hinges to a large extent on the advent of proper storage technology: renewables are enabled by colossal batteries. (source: MIT)
Biomass briquettes are being developed in the developing world as an alternative to charcoal. The technique involves the conversion of almost any plant matter into compressed briquettes that typically have about 70% the calorific value of charcoal.
Biogas digestion deals with harnessing the methane gas that is released when waste breaks down. This gas can be retrieved from garbage or sewage systems. Biogas digesters are used to process methane gas by having bacteria break down biomass in an anaerobic environment. The methane gas that is collected and refined can be used as an energy source for various products.
Biological Hydrogen Production
Hydrogen gas is a completely clean burning fuel; its only by-product is water. It also contains relatively high amount of energy compared with other fuels due to its chemical structure.
2H2 + O2 → 2H2O + High Energy
High Energy + 2H2O → 2H2 + O2
This requires a high-energy input, making commercial hydrogen very inefficient. Use of a biological vector as a means to split water, and therefore produce hydrogen gas, would allow for the only energy input to be solar radiation. Biological vectors can include bacteria or more commonly algae. This process is known as biological hydrogen production. It requires the use of single celled organisms to create hydrogen gas through fermentation. Without the presence of oxygen, also known as an anaerobic environment, regular cellular respiration cannot take place and a process known as fermentation takes over.
A major by-product of this process is hydrogen gas. If we could implement this on a large scale, then we could take sunlight, nutrients and water and create hydrogen gas to be used as a dense source of energy.
Gothermal electricity is electricity generated from geothermal energy. It is considered to be sustainable because the heat extraction is small compared with the Earth's heat content.
One option in use today is a geothermal heat pump. It is an increasingly popular energy technology that can help decrease energy costs while reducing their carbon footprint.
How does it work? A geothermal heat pump system moves heat from the ground, which has a fairly consistent temperature year-round, to a building (or from a building to the ground) through a series of flexible pipe "loops" containing water.
In the winter, heat from the relatively warmer ground goes through the heat exchanger into the building. In the summer, hot air from the building is pulled through the heat exchanger into the relatively cooler ground.
Heat pump systems are so efficient that they have proven that they can lower energy bills by up to 70% over traditional types of heating systems.
Hydropower offers advantages over other energy sources but faces unique environmental challenges. It is:
- Fueled by water, so it's a clean fuel source.
- Does not pollute the air like power plants that burn fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas.
- A domestic source of energy, produced in the United States.
- Relies on the water cycle, which is driven by the sun, thus it's a renewable power source.
- Generally available as needed; engineers can control the flow of water through the turbines to produce electricity on demand.
Enough energy from the sun hits the earth every hour to power the planet for an entire year—and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are a clean, cost-effective way to harness that power for homes and businesses. The literal translation of the word photovoltaic is light-electricity—and this is exactly what photovoltaic materials and devices do—they convert light energy into electrical energy.
PV systems generate power without pollution—and recent advancements have greatly improved their efficiency and electrical output. U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steve Chu announced in 2011 the “SunShot” initiative to reduce the cost of solar power by about 75 percent before the end of the decade – making it cost competitive with other forms of electricity.
The Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Program works to improve the performance, lower the costs, and accelerate the deployment of innovative wind and water power technologies. Greater use of the nation's abundant wind and water resources for electric power generation will help stabilize energy costs, enhance energy security, and improve our environment.
It is currently embarking on a program and has created a report called, “20% Wind Energy by 2030.” The report's conclusions include:
- Reaching 20% wind energy will require enhanced transmission infrastructure, streamlined sitting and permitting regimes, improved reliability and operability of wind systems, and increased U.S. wind manufacturing capacity.
- Achieving 20% wind energy will require the number of turbine installations to increase from approximately 2000 per year in 2006 to almost 7000 per year in 2017.
- Integrating 20% wind energy into the grid can be done reliably for less than 0.5 cents per kWh.
- Obtaining 20 percent wind energy is not limited by the availability of raw materials.
- Addressing transmission challenges such as siting and cost allocation of new transmission lines to access the Nation's best wind resources will be required to achieve 20% wind energy.
Floating Wind Farms
Floating wind farms are similar to a regular wind farm, but the difference is that they float in the middle of the ocean. Offshore wind farms can be placed in water up to 40 metres (130 ft) deep, whereas floating wind turbines can float in water up to 700 metres (2,300 ft) deep.
The advantage of having a floating wind farm is to be able to harness the winds from the open ocean. Without any obstructions such as hills, trees and buildings, winds from the open ocean can reach up to speeds twice as fast as coastal areas.
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