Top 10 Energy Breakthroughs That No One Is Talking About

Top 10 Energy Breakthroughs That No One Is Talking About

✅ Quick Summary

In a world where energy sustainability is a burning issue, the 21st century has witnessed remarkable breakthroughs that are reshaping the way we harness power. From revolutionary solar technologies to groundbreaking advancements in wind energy, the top 10 energy breakthroughs of this century are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

  • As society continues to shift towards renewable energy sources, these innovations are at the forefront of driving this transformation.
  • Join us in an exploration of these trailblazing developments and their potential to redefine the energy landscape as we know it.
  • These breakthroughs not only hold the promise of a cleaner and more efficient energy future but also signify a pivotal turning point in our pursuit of a greener planet.
  • Their impact is poised to transcend industries, economics, and the environment, making them more than just technological advancements but catalysts for a sustainable tomorrow.
  • Stay tuned as we delve into the disruptive innovations that have and will continue to shape the 21st-century energy narrative.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Research Topics For Students

10 Thermoelectric Generators

Top 10 Energy Breakthroughs That No One Is Talking About

New materials and designs have made thermoelectric generators more efficient and practical. They can power remote sensors and recycle production heat.

How much power can a thermoelectric generator produce?

A single TEG generates power from 1 to 125 W. The use of more TEGs in a modular connection may increase the power up to 5 kW and Δ T max could be bigger than 70°C. Heat source, for example, a heat pipe system (the TEG devices and the heat pipe system can be used together in waste heat recovery systems).

09 Wave Energy Converters

Top 10 Energy Breakthroughs That No One Is Talking About

We have yet to properly harness ocean wave energy. Wave energy converters create electricity from wave kinetic energy. These gadgets can generate renewable electricity offshore.

What is the use of wave energy converter?

Waves have the potential to provide a completely sustainable source of energy, which can be captured and converted into electricity by wave energy converter (WEC) machines. These WECs have been developed to extract energy from the shoreline out to the deeper waters offshore.

08 Hydrogen Energy from Ammonia

Top 10 Energy Breakthroughs That No One Is Talking About

Though unrelated, ammonia may carry hydrogen, a zero-emission fuel. Ammonia-based hydrogen production advances ease transport and storage, which may expand renewable energy utilization.

How much energy does 1 kg of hydrogen produce?

When used as part of a fuel cell, 1 kg of hydrogen can produce 33 kWh of electrical energy. If the electricity for electrolysis comes from renewables (wind and solar), there is no ‘direct’ release of CO2 when generating, or burning, the hydrogen.

07 Geothermal-Enhanced Oil Recovery

Top 10 Energy Breakthroughs That No One Is Talking About

Although geothermal energy isn’t new, EOR uses it less. With geothermal heat, traditional EOR methods may recover oil from marginal fields with more energy and less environmental impact.

What is enhanced oil recovery method?

Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) processes are implemented to increase the ability of oil to flow to a well by injecting water, chemicals, or gases into the reservoir or by changing the physical properties of the oil.

06 Algae-Based Biofuels

Top 10 Energy Breakthroughs That No One Is Talking About

Although algae-based biofuels have been known for some time, they are seldom employed. Rapid and efficient algae farming produces sustainable, carbon-neutral biofuels. Large-scale use of this technique might reduce fossil fuel use.

How is algae biofuel produced?

Algal oils, just like oils produced by soy, canola, palm and the less-known jatropha plants, can be made good biodiesel feedstocks through transesterification. In that process, a catalyst creates a biodiesel fuel (consisting of fatty acid methyl esters) by hydrolyzing and methylating fatty acids in the oils.

05 Piezoelectric Roads

Top 10 Energy Breakthroughs That No One Is Talking About

Every automobile that drives over piezoelectric roadways might produce power. Automobile pressure generates grid-connected electricity. This discovery might power cities and reduce pollution.

What is a piezoelectric sensor used on roads?

Piezoelectric sensors collect data by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. When used to count vehicles, the sensor is mounted in a groove cut into road’s surface. When a car drives over the piezoelectric sensor, it squeezes it and causes an electric potential – a voltage signal.

04 Space-generated solar energy

Top 10 Energy Breakthroughs That No One Is Talking About

Imagine solar panels in space sending power to Earth 24/7. Space solar power production is a high but seldom pursued aim. Large solar panels on spacecraft might produce power 24/7 and wirelessly send it to Earth. This invention might transform the energy sector.

How much energy do solar panels produce in space?

Space-based solar panels can generate 2,000 gigawatts of power constantly. This is 40 times more energy than a solar panel would generate on Earth annually. This is also several folds higher than the efficiency of solar panels today.

03 A nuclear fusion

Top 10 Energy Breakthroughs That No One Is Talking About

Nuclear power has been criticized, but nuclear fusion may change the business. Unlike conventional nuclear reactors, fusion reactors create clean, unlimited energy by fusing hydrogen isotopes. Recent advancements bring practical fusion power closer.

What uses nuclear fusion?

Nuclear fusion exists naturally in stars including the Sun, where hydrogen nuclei fuse and create helium while releasing the energy that lights and heats the Earth. Nuclear fusion has also been used in nuclear weapons, but research to harness fusion power for electricity generation is still ongoing.

02 Molten Salt Energy Storage

Top 10 Energy Breakthroughs That No One Is Talking About

Molten salt energy storage is a less well-known but highly efficient alternative to lithium-ion batteries, which dominate the energy storage market. This method can store excess solar and wind energy for extended periods, providing dependable power even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

Can molten salt be used as a battery?

Molten salt batteries have actually existed for over 40 years! It is, in fact, a well-established technology, at a time in history very similar to the one we are experiencing today when oil prices skyrocketed and led to a real energy crisis where more and more researchers worked to find alternative solutions.

01 Solar paint

Top 10 Energy Breakthroughs That No One Is Talking About

Conventional solar panels have greatly improved solar energy harvesting. A less well-known invention is solar paint, which turns any surface into a solar collector. Scientists have developed photovoltaic paints that turn walls, roofs, and windows into sustainable energy sources.

Why is solar paint better?

This solar paint also contains titanium oxide, a substance already present in conventional paint. The titanium oxide helps the paint use solar energy to break down the absorbed moisture into hydrogen and oxygen particles. The hydrogen can then be used to produce clean energy.

Conclusion:

These lesser-discussed technologies might revolutionize our energy landscape, which is dominated by more well-known breakthroughs. We must maintain studying and developing renewable energy sources to ensure everyone has access to inexpensive, clean electricity. Expanding the conversation about these ideas may speed up their global deployment.

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