Current situation and challenges
The world demand for energy is increasing drastically, with electricity being one of the major drivers in the increase of global energy consumption. Researchers estimate that even in a scenario that includes new policies and slower growing energy needs, the global energy consumption might increase by 30% until 2040. The majority of energy still comes from sources like coal, gas and oil and processes which are harmful for the climate. The impact of greenhouse gas emissions on our climate is dramatic and the consequences of climate change for us as humans, societies and our environment are already clearly visible. The transition to renewable energies needs to be achieved.
Freigeist’s view on technologies
Freigeist believes that we need ultra-low cost wind and solar energy or other innovative and clean sources of energy. Geothermal heat could be another zero-carbon energy resource, however, we need to find ways to access and use it in an efficient way. For a successful integration of renewables into the grid we need ultra-low costs storages (electricity or thermal energy storages) which can provide sustainable and affordable solutions to smooth the volatility of renewable energies to enable a reliable energy supply.
Then, we need a more efficient and cheap way to transmit and to integrate renewable energy (for example from offshore parks) onto the power grid. A flexible net infrastructure and smart grid management using the potential of Big Data, AI and IoT will further help to increase efficiency, on microgrid and macrogrid level. Technologies for CO₂ capture will help to remove carbon from the air, possibly enabling different uses of the captured CO₂. And in the future, new ways of generating energy like fusion power might lie ahead of us.
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