With the world becoming increasingly conscious of energy sources and the environment investment in the technology involved with energy has increased drastically.
With this newfound resolve and investment, it begs the question, what is the future of energy technology? Here are some emerging technologies to look out for in 2020.
2019 has seen the beginning of floating solar projects on freshwater (sea-based PV projects) just a handful of projects have been created and it is still uncertain how practical the technology is.
Molly Cox, a research associate at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables commented:
Offshore floating solar has the potential to be the next frontier, but there are still challenges to overcome within the inland floating solar arena, adding,This needs to be addressed before the market develops offshore.
Dynamic Export Cables
Offshore wind is a familiar concept for many however the newest version is now floating offshore energy. This type of energy is easier to install than building underwater however obvious questions come to mind such as how to connect a floating platform to a cable on the seabed. The answer has been provided with dynamic export cables that carry high voltages and move with the platform.
This technology is not yet available but with technology firms working on this hopefully, this is something that will be seen within the next year or so. James Young, chief technology officer at JDR commented:
Whilst some high-voltage cables above 66 kilovolts have been used in offshore oil and gas projects, dynamic export cables at 220 or 275 kilovolts don’t exist on the market.
Young is also working on creating technology to be available on the market.
Hydrogen is produced via electrolysis of water using an electric current to the breakwater, H2O, into its component elements of hydrogen and oxygen). If the electric current is powered by renewable green energy like wind or solar than green hydrogen is produced.
This technology is more established than emerging with various countries attempting to take the lead. Paul Ebert, group vice president of new energy and networks at consultancy Worley comments:
In theory, this industry could reach the scale of oil and gas, but with very low emissions and significant value for electricity grids [by] helping to integrate variable renewable energy.
Molten Salt Reactors
A Molten Salt Reactor is a type of nuclear reactor that uses liquid fuel instead of solid fuel rods. Using liquid fuel provides many advantages in safety and simplicity but ultimately the main fact is that it produces electricity cheaply and without emitting CO2. In fact, it has the ability to create enough energy to fuel high heat industrial processes that traditionally are powered via fossil fuels.
Image source by Worley Catastrophe Response