What might the future of energy look like?

The Future of Energy

When it comes to today’s energy market, demand is growing, supply is primarily based on fossil fuels, and global energy-related CO2emissions hit an all-time high last year. There can’t be many people left on the planet who haven’t yet got the message that, when it comes to the generation of energy, we need radical change. However, even when people agree that something must be done, they can disagree about what that should be and how the future should look. So, what will the future bring? Here are some thoughts on possible future scenarios.

A clean-tech cold war

Each nation pursues clean technology that would result in discovery with the potential to alleviate climate change and remove the need for the use of fossil fuels – and one achieves a revolutionary breakthrough. However, that breakthrough sparks an escalation of political tension, and the nations of the world split into opposing factions. The result is that some countries are excluded from the benefits enjoyed by others, and continue to pursue old tech, reducing the global benefits that could potentially be gained from new tech.

Circle the wagons

Each nation plows its own furrow when it comes to energy production. Knowledge and tech advancements aren’t shared, and neither are values, ideals, and targets, as individual nations fail to agree on a united global policy. This spells the end of, for example, the Paris Agreement on climate change. Global warming is not slowed, and international conflict flares over limited resources.

Business as usual

Nations bury their heads in the sand to ensure the energy status quo – a global dependence on fossil fuel sources – prevails. As a result, fossil fuels retain their dominance, and climate change problems continue to escalate.

Global green accord

Nations appreciate the urgency of the situation and come together to find a solution. In this scenario, within a decade, green tech companies could dominate the landscape. Everyone wins – including “old tech” companies, who are compensated for loss and/or funded to evolve.

Now what?

According to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, “How can humanity prevent the global temperature rise more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial level,” commissioned following the adoption of the Paris Agreement, emissions resulting from human activity must decline by 45% (compared with 2010 levels) by 2030, and reach net zero by 2050, to limit global warming. To be clear, this isn’t a get-out strategy – even if we achieve this target, we can still expect to see widespread drought, famine, and poverty in the world as a result of the climate crisis.

At Clean Energy Enterprises, we recognize the need to keep striving toward the reduction of emissions resulting from human activity, to keep innovating when it comes to relevant new tech – and to keep talking about the effect our industrialized society can have upon our planet. No matter our differences, we are all in this together. We welcome and endorse any enterprise that leads us closer to a clean energy solution that is also sustainable and renewable. All our lives may depend on it.

Establishing a network to fuel the green revolution

Green Evolution

The search for sustainable sources of clean, renewable energy is ongoing, worldwide, not least when it comes to powering the millions of vehicles that crowd the planet’s roads. One of the principal sources of the carbon dioxide that’s released into the atmosphere – particularly in urban areas – is motor vehicle exhaust emissions. The resulting smog has been linked to lung disease, damage to the natural environment, climate change, and harm to animals.

Increasingly, fuel cell devices are considered as a replacement to the internal combustion engine. Fuel cells provide propulsion by converting chemical energy into electrical energy. Hydrogen fuel cell technology is becoming progressively popular, in part because refueling is quicker than for a battery-powered electric vehicle whose charging time counts in tens of minutes, and the range per tank/charge is greater. What they both have in common is that neither type of vehicle emit CO2. Fuel cell vehicles emit water vapor from their exhaust pipes, battery-powered electrical vehicle have no excaust pipe.

However, as people open to embracing these new green technologies, they often run into another problem – the lack of supporting infrastructure. This can be a particular issue for the transportation industry, where there’s a specific need to keep vehicles fueled and mobile.

In Germany, the hydrogen filling station network is growing. A recent addition is a state-of-the-art facility in the city of Halle an der Saale, which plugs a gap that existed in the “hydrogen highway” between Leipzig and Magdeburg. The refueling process is not unlike conventional refueling and takes no more than five minutes to complete. By 2020, there are expected to be around 100 stations for drivers to choose from.

It is likely to be some time before the same kind of network is available for hydrogen refueling as exists for gasoline and diesel, but it is encouraging to see positive action being taken. We can also expect an exponential growth of these stations, comparable to the exponential growth of battery-powered electrical vehicles charging stations between 2014 and 2018.

At Clean Energy Enterprises, we applaud all efforts to promote and enable the use of clean energy. Moreover, by our pioneering technologies that turn waste biomass into clean, renewable hydrogen fuel, two of the world’s most pressing problems are being addressed.