As emerging economies continue to expand, their energy needs are set to grow dramatically in the coming years. The International Energy Agency has even predicted that global energy use will increase by 30 percent over the next two and a half decades. With crude oil the source of so much volatility around the world, there is no question that the the future of energy will be based on countries dedicated to alternative, renewable sources. So, which countries are the most energy efficient Well, the American Council for an EnergyEfficient Economy has ranked the world's 16 largest.
Economies, which account for nearly three quarters of global electricity consumption. This is based on 31 metrics, spanning energy use in buildings, industry, and transportation. It includes things like the country's national energy savings goals, vehicle fuel economy standards, and energy consumed per foot of floor space. The United States ranks among the least efficient, at number thirteen. But across the board, Germany saw the greatest energy efficiency, scoring well in all metrics, but especially industry. According to the report, German industry and manufacturing is the second most fuel efficient in the world, with plans to far surpass the current leader,.
Australia, by 2020. Part of the reason Germany is doing so well is a national policy, dedicated to lowering energy use, known as Energiewende, or Energy Transition. The goal of this program is to stop using coal and other nonrenewable energy sources like oil. Clearly, it has been working so far. In 2014, Germany accounted for half of the new wind farms in the EU, and has been leading the world in energy efficiency. In an extremely close second place overall, Italy actually surpasses Germany in transportation. Although they tie with the UK for vehicle fuel efficiency, at nearly 40 miles per gallon.
On average, Italians also travel the least per capita. This low impact, high efficiency makes Italy a world leader in transit energy. Additionally, Italy tends to prioritize its rail system over its roads, leading to more people taking the train, and thereby saving considerable energy. Still, Italy continues to primarily use fossil fuels, and actually scores the worst in terms of commercial building energy efficiency. When it comes to buildings, China takes the lead. Their polluting past and wide range of energy inefficiency may hold them back. But China's residential buildings use less.
Energy per square foot than any other country in the report. This is partially due to strict building codes, and the fact that energy intensity is one of the country's top priorities. And despite being known for wastefulness, between 1980 and 2010, energy consumption increased five times, while the economy grew 18 times. Between Germany, Italy, and China, emerging countries can look at their journeys towards energy efficiency, and fine tune their own programs for maximum output. Still, every country surveyed has a long way to go, and plenty of areas to improve. Hopefully, 2016.
Is Nuclear Energy Safe
Hey guys! Nuclear energy is, understandably, something that the general public tends to shy away from. It reminds us of the devastation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and many people question its safety. However, not only is nuclear power safe, but it also meets our massive need for more energy. So, let's start with the basics. Natural uranium from the ground contains about 99.3 uranium238 and only 0.7 uranium235. And this uranium235 is fissionable, meaning that its nucleus can split apart into smaller atoms, releasing heat and neutrons in the process, which, in turn, cause other atoms.
To split. This is known as a chain reaction. But before the natural uranium can be used in the nuclear reactor, it must be enriched. In other words, the amount of uranium235 must be increased to about 3. And contrary to popular belief, this is not enough to make a bomb. Bombgrade uranium must be enriched to at least 90 U235. Power plant uranium is far away from that percentage. Now, without going into too much detail of how the reactor works, I am just going to simplify it as say that the heat produced from the fissioning U235 vaporizes water.
Into steam, which turns a turbine, eventually producing our electricity. As of February 2015, there are 438 operating nuclear power plants around the world. France currently gets 73.3 of its energy from nuclear power plants, while in the United States, it's only 20. That percentage should be a lot higher, especially because one pellet of uranium the size of the tip of a pencil eraser produces the same amount of energy as 1,780 pounds of coal. In 2010, the world's total energy consumption was about 20.45 trillion kWh. And as a reference,.
One kWh is enough energy to vacuum your house for an hour, or watch TV for ten hours. Furthermore, nuclear energy is a lot cleaner than burning fossil fuels, like coal. In fact, coal produces about 30 times more greenhouse gasses than nuclear energy does during the fuel's lifetime. These greenhouse gas emissions lead to further climate changes, so alternative energy sources are essential from an environmental perspective. Both wind turbines and solar panels are popular choices. Granted, wind turbines can be quite powerful, they pose a problem when the wind stops blowing. And while I love the idea of.
Solar panels, they aren't nearly as efficient as we would need them to be. The Sierra SunTower solar panels in California produce only 5 MW of power, which is 0.5 of the power prouced in coal plants. Nuclear energy is the only alternative clean energy source that is efficient and can operate 247. Lastly, those in opposition to nuclear energy often point to the recent disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima. The ugly truth is that Chernobyl was poorly designed and operated. And the Fukushima accident was caused by a tsunami destroying the power supply to the water coolant.
Power Your Entire Home Without Wires!
This episode of DNews is proudly brought to you by Subaru. BY TESLA WE'VE GOT IT! Wireless electricity might be coming to a home near you. y'know. Someday. Greetings programs, Trace here for DNews. In 1897, Nikola Tesla asexual genius and inventor extraordinaire wanted to QUOTE turn the whole world into a giant wireless dynamo. He was awarded a patent in 1907 for wireless electricity but then the Great War began and the whole thing was lost to history. Now, over a century later, researchers at MIT created wireless power transmission which.
Could realize his dream! Sort of. While Tesla was trying to power cities, this transmits wireless power around your house! Your phone, car, television, laptop, game console, controllers, remotes, toaster and every lightbulb in every frickin' lamp could all be powered by magnetic resonators. The Faraday Law of Induction describes how an electromagnet creates a magnetic field. When an electrified coil of wire is wrapped around a metal rod, the metal magnetizes. Similarly, when you pass a magnet THROUGH an unpowered coil of wire, the magnet creates electricity. Physics is awesome.
Researchers at MIT found a way to turn simple physics into a wireless way to transmit electricity using a similar technology to WiFi. By plugging in a resonator to the alternating current outlet in your wall, the device creates a magnetic oscillation. The magnetic field of the resonator is large enough to mingle with nearby coils installed in the walls and floors of your house and ultimately into every device and BOOM wireless power. One magnetic coil influences another and another all over the house. It's like the barking chain in.
101 Dalmatians! MIT spun off the technology into a funny named company called WiTricity. The system can already power televisions, cell phones and keep their special AA batteries fully charged all at the same time! To be honest, induction charging has been around for a while, as has wireless power transmission. Radio waves are wireless power, the pads you can buy to charge your cell phone, mouse or game controllers use wireless power, but this is a bit different. The ones we have now use nearfield induction and this blows it into a whole new proportion.
The problem with any of these systems, is the efficiency. Magnetic fields have to be relatively closeby to pick up other magnetic fields. The MIT researchers were able to power one 60 watt light bulb from 2 meters away but it was only 45 efficient. So they put in 133 watts to power a 60 watt bulb. Not awesome though according to the researchers, this system is 1 million times more efficient than the ones already on the market. and the CEO of WiTricity says it's 1,000 times more efficient than a battery!.
Turning Salt water into Drinking water using Solar power
According to the Securing Water for Food agency, between 2000 and 2050 water demand is expected to increase 55 percent globally, meaning the number of people affected by water scarcity will continue to grow. By 2025, twothirds of the world's population could be living in severe water stress conditions. Around the world, there is more salty groundwater than fresh, drinkable groundwater. For example, 60 percent of India is underlain by salty water and much of that area is not served by an electric grid that could run conventional reverseosmosis desalination plants.
To find solution for this drinking water issue in developing countries, USAID the U.S. Agency for International Development had run a global competion for Desal prize. The idea for the competition was to create a system that could remove salt from water and meet three criteria it had to be costeffective, environmentally sustainable, and energy efficient. The winners of the $140,000 first prize were a group from MIT and Jain Irrigation Systems. The group came up with a method that uses solar panels to charge a bank of batteries. The batteries then power a system that removes salt from the water through electrodialysis,.
That means that dissolved salt particles, which have a slight electric charge, are drawn out of the water when a small electrical current is applied. Using the sun instead of fossil fuels to power a desalination plant isn't a totally new idea. Larger solar desalination plants are being seriously investigated in areas where water is becoming a scarce resource, including Chile and California.But the current technology is expensive. The MIT team's this new desalination technology electrodialysis is comparatively less expensive. Both electrodialysis and reverse osmosis require the use of membranes, but the membranes in.
Nanotechnology for More Efficient Solar Cells Interview with Prof. Jillian Buriak
What nanotechnology is, is a number of different concepts, ideas, and approaches for doing many things. So for instance, we work a lot in the area of renewable energies so we're using the concepts that we've learned from nanotechnology being able to control things at the atomic and molecular scale to be able to make more efficient solar cells, for instance to be able to take energy from the sun and transform that into electricity that you can then use for anything. So there are a few reasons why getting away from fossil fuels.
Is important. When you look at the amount of energy that humanity's going to require by say 2050, using the most conservative estimates that we've got, our energy needs are going to double and by 2100, they're going to probably triple. When you think about the security, the economic security, the social security of humanity, as this living species, as a civilization on this planet, we really need inexpensive sustainable sources of energy. I call this a quiet revolution because for the first time, I think in a history of science,.
Is that you've got the distinct silos you got the biologist talking to physicist, talking to the medical people, all using the tools and the enabling technologies of nanotechnology to solve these big problems. I think that we have a very important responsibility to share with the public our results, to be able to be accessible because I'm paying the bills, you're paying the bills, we're all paying the bills as taxpayers. And we should be available, and we should be able to speak freely about our research because that's what the public pays us to do.
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