Policy Horizons Canada analysts have listed 17 new energy technologies that will change the world in the future. These 17 technologies are divided into three areas: storage, smart grid and power generation.
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1. Fuel cell
Fuel cells change the chemical energy of a fuel (eg hydrogen) directly into electrical energy. Unlike batteries or batteries, the fuel cell does not lose power and does not have the ability to charge. Fuel cells operate continuously when fuel (hydrogen) and oxidants are introduced from outside. Fuel cells are energy devices with almost zero emissions. It is "planned" to use for stationary power stations as well as large passenger vehicles such as buses.
Prediction: Fuel cell will become popular in 2018.
2. Lithium-air batteries
Advanced material technologies allow the creation of high-capacity Lithium-air (Li-air) batteries. The abundant energy from Li-air is comparable to that of kerosene and up to five times that of traditional Li-ion batteries. By using oxygen in the air instead of oxidants, Li-air batteries help extend the operation of electric vehicles.
Prediction: Lithium-air batteries will become popular in 2020.
3. Storage and transportation of hydrogen
It is assumed that there will be new inventions in transporting and storing hydrogen in replacement of electricity in the current power transmission network. Can be combined with other energy transfer methods to minimize losses and maximize storage capacity.
Prediction: This technology will be popular in 2022.
4. Heat storage
Heat is accumulated from solar collectors or from thermal power plants. Heat is then stored in insulated warehouses for various purposes such as heating up living space, serving the energy needs of families.
Prediction: This technology will be popular in 2024.
Smart grid area
5. First generation smart grid
The electrical meters will record the power consumption in real time, then transfer the information obtained to the power station for monitoring and billing. The smart grid has the ability to balance the load remotely, meaning it can automatically turn off unnecessary devices at peak times.
Prediction: This technology will be popular in 2018.
6. Dispersed electricity
Electricity is generated and distributed from many small facilities instead of large scale power plants. Large power plants are capable of meeting the nation's electricity needs but the transmission process will result in waste of electricity, which does not meet the needs of the network quickly and efficiently.
Forecast: this will become the main trend in 2021.
7. Intelligent Energy Network
The hypothesis is that there will be a global energy network that works just like the current Internet model. That is, it operates in a common standard and generates heat, power, gas (and possibly hydrogen) distribution channels from local and remote sources, meeting the needs of families around the world.
Expected to become reality by 2020.
Power generation area
8. Tide turbine
This is a form of hydropower with the ability to convert tidal energy into electricity. Currently, tidal turbine technology is being used on a small scale but in the near future it will be used more widely.
Expected to be available in 2018.
9. External combustion engine (small stirling motor)
This is a high - performance heat engine that converts thermal energy into energy. The stirling motors work on many heat sources: from solar energy, chemical reactions to nuclear reactions. It is more efficient than internal combustion engines. It is stable, does not require much maintenance and does not cause noise.
With rising energy prices, Stirling engines are being considered for inclusion in renewable energy plants.
Forecasting will become popular in 2026.
10. Robot positioning solar panels
The robots are very compact and able to change the position of the solar panel depending on the weather conditions. Using robots will be more effective than attaching positioning devices to each panel.
Expected to be popular from 2018.
11. Second generation biofuels
New biofuel technologies such as cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel algae in the future will become the main fuel for oil substitution. Biofuels have the advantage of being environmentally friendly, without the greenhouse effect.
Forecasting the use of biofuels will become popular in 2018.
12. Optical glass
This is a type of glass that integrates photovoltaic cells that allow the absorption of infrared light and some other types of light to turn into electricity. In the future, power supply for a whole building can be taken right from the system of glass doors on the front and on the roof of the building.
Expected to become popular by 2020.
13. Third generation biofuels
The third generation of biofuels will be developed based on new technologies that are far from the present. Genetic engineering in the future will be carried out in non - traditional ways to create new biofuels. For example, one can produce hydrogen from algae, or produce energy - rich furan for motorized vehicles.
It is expected that the third generation of biofuels will become popular in 2024.
14. Receive solar energy from outer space
In the future, humans will use space stations to collect solar energy and then return to Earth in the form of microwaves. In space, the transfer of solar energy will not be affected by atmospheric filtration effects.
Expected to become popular in 2027.
15. Small scale nuclear reaction
Small scale nuclear reactors will be used in the future. These kilns are only a few dozen meters long, which can be easily transported and installed. At present, these kilns only provide 10 MW, but in the near future can be increased to 50 MW.
Forecasts will become common in 2023.
This is a new fusion energy technology being developed. This technology produces nuclear fusion reactions by heating and compressing the fuel, usually a mixture of deuterium and tritium.
Forecasts will become popular in 2021.
17. Thorium nuclear reaction
Thorium chemistry will be used as fuel for conventional nuclear reactors. Thorium is also used to produce nuclear fuel in regenerative reactors. The advantage of thorium is that the waste lasts for less than 10 to 10,000 times the current radioactive waste. The thorium does not need to be enriched like uranium.
Forecasting will become popular in 2026.