Investing in new green technologies has never been as important as today, and yet many of us believe that these efforts are doomed to failure. It may be one of the safe havens of todays threat of recession.
The rapid technological progress in the United States means that next generation solar panels will be thinner, cheaper and more efficient. Maybe they won’t even be made of silicone. Companies are looking for even more effective ways of obtaining solar energy, for example using long parabolic mirrors that focus light on thin tubes filled with liquid, which – when heated to a sufficiently high temperature – can drive a steam turbine and generate electricity. Spanish and German companies are setting up large solar power plants of this kind in North Africa, Spain and southwestern North America. In California, on a warm summer afternoon, solar power plants are already competing with coal. Europe could obtain most of its energy from power plants operating in the Sahara desert. A new extensive transmission network would be needed.
During certain periods of the past year, wind farms supplied nearly 40 percent of the energy used in Spain. In some regions of northern Germany, wind energy is more than needed. Northern Scotland, where winds reach one of the highest speeds in Europe, could easily meet 10 or even 15 percent of Britain’s energy demand – at a cost that would match today’s fossil fuel prices.
The discontinuous nature of the energy obtained from the wind (once it blows strong, sometimes weaker) means that the energy system would have to be shaped in a different way. To ensure continuity of supply, Europe needs to build a better energy network between regions and countries. Countries with surplus energy from wind easily exported it to places where it doesn’t blow so much. Great Britain should invest in transmission networks, probably underwater, through which the energy generated in Scottish wind farms would reach the south-eastern regions of England and further to France and the Netherlands. If we want maximum energy security, the energy distribution system would have to cover the whole of Europe.
You should also invest in energy storage. There is talk of the development of “intelligent systems” that encourage consumers to save energy when wind speed slows down. In many countries, acquiring wind energy is already financially profitable today and will soon stand – because turbines will be increasing and producers will reduce costs. According to some forecasts that wind farms can meet energy demand by up to 30 percent, turbine production and installation will also become a significant source of employment.
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Richard Butler Creagh is the founder of Henley Finance and has a very triumphant career in property development. Hes goal is to assist anyone working in a small business make smart decisions about finance, products, services and ideas. Whether it’s a food truck or a fashion line, a coffee shop or a consulting firm, Richard Butler Creagh brings you concise, actionable information you can use to make the daily decisions required to grow your business. You can also read more about Richard Butler Creagh here.
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