Innovation Future Specialist

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Energy Innovations

Here is how we develop the required energy innovations to turn a great vision into reality.

» Set the aims

» Consider clean renewable energy sources

» Consider other energy sources

» Assess the environmental impact

» Think about costs

» Seek radical innovations

» Think outside the box

» Expect multiple solutions and future progress


» Set the aims: A clean and sustainable solution that provides abundant affordable energy for everyone.

Clean renewables

» Realise that there is a vast amount of clean renewable energy
(Show examples ↓)

Clean renewable energy sources

Ambient energy: solar; wind; wave; tidal; ocean currents and thermal gradients; ambient heat; geothermal; hydroelectric; biofuels, etc.

How many of the above are powered by the Sun?

Other energy sources

» Consider also nuclear energy and alternative sources of energy

Environmental impact

» Scrutinise processes that produce pollution or hazardous waste
(Show examples ↓)


Processes that produce pollution or hazardous waste

» Fossil fuel combustion

» Nuclear fission reactors

» Nuclear fusion, but to a lesser extent (Fusion reactions can produce neutrons which on contact with the reactor's container might transmute the material into radioactive isotopes. This is dependent on a number of factors. The experimental results from the ITER fusion reactor will not be available for several years, so there is limited real-world operational data for this aspect. It is estimated that the decommissioned reactor's materials will need to be safely stored for 100 years; less than that for a fission waste.)

» Waste and byproducts from mining, and refining, raw materials

» On a finite planet, land usage is important too


» Reflect on what determines energy costs
(Show examples ↓)

Cost factors

» Markets, supply and demand, policies, and regulation

» The efficiency of manufacturing and operational processes

» The efficiency of energy technologies

» Costs drop significantly with automation, exponential technologies, and radical innovations!

Radical innovation

» Apply radical innovation to every aspect of the energy sector, not just the energy source
(Show examples ↓)

Areas of Innovation

» Power generation

» Energy storage

» Power distribution

» On- and off-grid solutions

» Manufacturing, construction and operation

Think outside the box

» Think outside the box
(Show examples ↓)

Thinking outside the box

» Utilising vast areas of desert

» Oceans, above and below

» Deep below the Earth's crust

» In Earth orbit, and further into space

» An innovation that converts fossil fuel into clean hydrogen fuel and nano-materials (carbon nanotubes and graphene)

» Ambient temperature superconductors (for storage and distribution)

» Supercapacitors for storage

» Antimatter

Multiple solutions and future progress

» Given the massive challenge, anticipate the need for multiple innovations to satisfy the overall aims

» Remember that exponential progress will produce improved (and new) solutions as the decades progress, but we need to start now.


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