What if negative emission technologies fail at scale?
Researchers from The University of Manchester provide new evidence framing for the quest to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
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South Africa is one of the top fifteen sugarcane producers globally with the sector contributing substantially to the national economy in terms of earning and employment but it is susceptble to sugar price fluctuations. In addition, electricity prices are rising and there is a need to decarbonise our processes. In this paper, researchers from The University of Manchester indicate community energy demands to integrate bioenergy from sugar cane residues into the sugar value chain.
Wind power provides an important source of renewable energy in the Netherlands. Although the Dutch government's energy policy aims to support this industry, current investment from the private sector is insufficient to drive the required innovation and improvements. In this paper, researchers present their work reviewing investor profiles and exploring the impact of renewable energy subsidies.
Cities and towns are often much warmer than rural areas, particularly at night after bright, sunny days with little or no wind. Although also influenced by heat generated by human activities and a lack of cooling green spaces, this phenomenon is mainly due to the effects of buildings and built surfaces.
Enough sunlight reaches the Earth in one hour to power our needs for a whole year but to capture this energy we need cheap, reliable solar panels. Researchers from The University of Manchester have been looking at how to improve the stability of a new technology for solar power.
Nowadays there are increasing concerns amongst policy-makers and researchers about how to tackle the ‘energy quadrilemma’ of affordability, sustainability, security and social acceptance. One approach involves using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to create smart districts able to efficiently balance energy supply and demand. In this paper researchers from The University of Manchester introduce the smart district as a vital tool for addressing the 'energy quadrilemma'. The authors pose and discuss ten key questions relating to smart districts.
As last month’s publication highlight revealed, Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are one of the most promising next-generation photovoltaic technologies available to replace silicon-based solar cells, due to their low cost per watt. They typically use organometallic halide perovskite (OHP) as a light absorber however the stability of OHPs, particularly with respect to water vapour, limits the practical use of PSCs. Researchers at The University of Manchester have uncovered the degradation mechanisms of the OHP material when exposed to water vapour at relative humidities similar to those in the air.
Although it is now commonplace to see photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of a building in the UK their widespread use is hampered by their high cost. Now researchers at The University of Manchester have been investigating new solution-processable PVs potentially capable of generating electricity much more cheaply in the future.
In February 2014, the UK and Ireland were hit by strong winds as a result of a land-falling extratropical cyclone named Tini. The storm caused an estimated €286 million of destruction, some of the worst storm damage the UK has seen. Research into this type of weather system has revealed insights into how these winds become so strong that may help with forecasting and damage prevention and control.
In 1917, Ernest Rutherford changed the world when he split the atom at The University of Manchester - a breakthrough which resulted in the development of nuclear power, as well as cancer-fighting radiotherapy. Now, scientists from the University have made another atomic discovery which has the potential to have a positive impact on people around the world.
Despite the fact that the UK enjoys one of the most reliable electricity networks in the world, as winter commences media attention will invariably turn at some point to questioning whether our electricity networks are resilient to changing demand and extreme weather conditions.
Meeting the ever increasing electricity needs sustainably whilst facing greater uncertainties from the integration of renewables, the emergence of new technologies and other factors, is forcing us to look for smarter ways to plan and operate our electricity networks.
The production, distribution, storage and consumption of food require vast amounts of energy which in turn contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To make matters worse, some estimates indicate that globally between 30 – 50% of all food produced is wasted.
Writing in Science, leading 2D materials researchers estimate that research on combining materials of just a few atomic layers in stacks called heterostructures is at the same stage that graphene was 10 years ago, and can expect the same rapid progress graphene has experienced.
Combining technology with textiles to produce wireless wearable communications or micro-electricity generators giving us the capability of generating electricity as we move, is an indication of the enormous technological progress that may be made in the next decade.
Concerns over climate change are necessitating the need for alternative greener fuel as highlighted at the Paris climate change agreement (COP21) in Nov/Dec 2015. Biofuels are considered to be one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions in the transportation sector and consequently the demand for biofuels, particularly in developing countries, is anticipated to substantially increase.
Large quantities of thermal energy are rejected from industrial operations and energy systems. The energy efficiency of industrial operations and energy systems may be increased by exploiting the wasted thermal energy, thereby resulting in primary fuel savings and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Academics at the University of Manchester have produced a novel methodology to identify the potential in waste heat.
The term power-to-gas (P2G) refers to the process whereby electrical power is used to produce hydrogen (H₂) or synthetic natural gas (SNG) which can be stored and used later. Academics at The University of Manchester have produced a novel methodology to investigate the impact of P2G technologies on UK electricity and gas networks.
The uptake, by UK householders, of low carbon technologies (LCT) such as solar panels and electric vehicles is expected to rise dramatically within the next few years. Academics at The University of Manchester are researching the likely effects that this will have on our electricity distribution network.
We are probably all aware of wind turbines using the wind's energy to generate electricity but did you know that the same principle can be applied to a marine environment? Research underway at The University of Manchester is informing the design and positioning of marine turbines to increase their performance.
Energy storage is an increasingly important component of our transition to a sustainable and secure energy future. Researchers at the University of Manchester are developing and demonstrating one role that graphene can play in enhancing storage capability.
Without improvements, the UK power system will become increasingly fragile as ambitious renewable energy generation targets are met. Advanced modelling techniques are required to strengthen the system and prevent wide scale blackouts.