As governments across Europe shut down old coal plants and scrap plans for new nuclear power stations, electricity generation is falling. This is happening just as our electricity demand could skyrocket as we move to electric-powered and green hydrogen-powered transportation.
The race is on to find alternative, cheap, and environmentally sustainable power sources.
Three promising alternatives could be High-altitude Wind Power, Solar Roadways and Isotope Batteries.
Details of three Startups working on these alternatives are below.
High-altitude wind power (HAWP)
High-altitude winds are stronger and more consistent than winds at ground level. At altitudes between 200m and 800m almost twice as much wind power is available.
They have recently collaborated with RWE Renewables GmbH to fly a 120-sqm kite to a height of up to 400 metres above ground to utilise high-altitude winds to generate electricity. RWE Renewables will operate the SkySails Power system and evaluate the technology during the three-year pilot project. They are currently assessing suitable locations in Germany.
"The light, compact design of airborne wind power systems means that the impact on people and the environment is minimal. The systems work very quietly, practically have no visible effect on the landscape and barely cast a shadow.
This makes our SkySails technology an exciting alternative to traditional renewable wind power generation."
Stephan Wrage, CEO of SkySails Power
Due to its virtually unlimited fields of application, SkySails Power doubles the global potential of wind power. It is enabling clean and reliable wind energy to be available almost all over the world.
Based in Sandpoint, Idaho Solar Roadways aim to generate clean, renewable energy on roadways and any other surface that can be walked or driven along.
They have received over $1million of investment so far from 2298 investors.
Solar Roadways have created a modular paving system of solar panels that can withstand vehicles up to 250,000 pounds. They can install these Solar Road Panels on roads, car parks, driveways, pavements, bike paths, playgrounds etc. These Solar Road panels help pay for themselves primarily through electricity generation, which can power homes and businesses connected via driveways and parking lots. A nationwide system could produce more clean, renewable energy than a country uses as a whole.
Other useful features include:
- heating elements to keep the area snow/ice free
- LEDs to make road lines and signage
- attached units to store and treat stormwater
- Cable Corridors to provide a "home" for power and data cables.
Future developments will enable electric vehicles to charge with energy from the sun, from parking lots and driveways. After a roadway system is in place, mutual induction technology will allow for charging while driving.
See Solar FREAKIN' Roadways! on YouTube for more information.
Infinite Power has engineered 'Infinite Power Cells' that can create a low cost, clean energy source that can last 100 years. This technology is proven, with viewings available at their production facility in Cumbria, England.
Infinite Power Cells provide:
- 1 million times more energy than a lithium-Ion battery
- 40,000 times more energy than petrol.
- 600% more output than solar cells.
- 400% more efficient than wind power.
- Cheaper power and create higher profits.
- a Zero-carbon footprint and zero waste
- up to 100 years energy non-stop.
The entire electricity grid could be fed from Infinite Power Cells, powering life and filling industry needs. They are removing the need to use natural gas, coal or oil, eliminating greenhouse gases and creating a greener world.
With these Infinite Power Cells, strategically located power stations can be constructed. Producing 10-100 Mega-Watts, enough to power small communities or industrial estates, replacing coal-fired power generation as we know it.
A one-gigawatt power station will have more than 9 hundred billion kw hours of stored energy equal to 360 million tonnes of coal, or 300 million barrels of oil.
The Power Cells are fully recyclable. At the end of its life, up to 100 years, the cell is recycled with useful and valuable nickel recovered. The remaining Cobalt-60 they then reuse in a new power cell.
Infinite Power Cell technology is now the cheapest electricity source on the planet with an estimated cost of as little as 2 cents per kilowatt hour.
These companies show us that clean, reliable, sustainable energy sources are here and at a reduced price, although how much cheaper will depend on the companies profit appetites.