OIL PRICES SOAR, RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY REMAINS NEW HOPE
October 9, 2004
12:55 AM Eastern
As crude oil hits record highs exceeding $52 per barrel, scientists from Australia's University of New South Wales claim that unlimited new energy is possible from the sun and water. They also say this new revolutionary way of harnessing the power of the sun from an abundant energy source, water, will be a reality within the next seven years. These scientists state: "It would be the cheapest, cleanest and most abundant energy source ever developed. The main by-products would be oxygen and water.
"This is potentially huge, with a market the size of all the existing markets for coal, oil and gas combined, says Professor Janusz Nowotny who, with Professor Chris Sorrell, is leading a solar hydrogen research project at the University's Centre for Materials and Energy Conversion. Professor Sorrell's team is considered the most advanced in developing light sensitive materials that are cheap and would be the basis for the new technology: special titanium oxide ceramics which would harvest the sunlight and split water to produce hydrogen fuel. Researchers say a simple engineering process can be used to make a device with no moving parts that harvests the energy which gives off no greenhouse gasses or pollutants.
According to Professor Sorrell, Australia is the country best suited to take advantage of the potential from this new technology, We've abundant sunlight, huge re-serves of titanium. But this technology could be used anywhere in the world. It's been the dream of many people for a long time to develop it and it's exciting to know that it is now within such close reach.
One of the most appealing aspects of this new technology is cutting emissions like greenhouse gasses. Existing hydrogen fuel cell technology is by far more efficient that the internal combustion engine and does cut down vehicle emissions considerably, but that hydrogen is produced from fossil fuel that does give off those greenhouse gasses.
Scientists are busy in other countries as well. A team of scientists at Leeds University in Great Britain have developed what they call "an-other" process which enables the production of hydrogen from vegetable oils. This would mean a future application for automobiles which would have a tank of sun-flower oil, which in turn converts into hydrogen that powers the fuel cell motor. In Scotland, the Pelamis, the world's first commercial size floating Wave Energy Converter, has now generated its first electricity for the UKs power grid.
Recently more than 350 bankers and investors met in the United States to examine the progress being made for renewable energy in America and obtaining financing for this critical industry. The next The Annual Policy Conference of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) will be held December 6-7, 2004 in Washington, DC. (search).
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scientists from Australia's University of New South Wales claim that unlimited new energy is possible from the sun and water. They also say this new revolutionary way of harnessing the power of the sun from an abundant energy source, water, will be a reality within the next seven years.