Tagged: Chalmers University of Technology [tekniska högskola](SE) Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 8:56 am on October 18, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Expansion of wind and solar power too slow to stop climate change", , Chalmers University of Technology [tekniska högskola](SE), ,   

    From Chalmers University of Technology [tekniska högskola](SE): “Expansion of wind and solar power too slow to stop climate change” 

    From Chalmers University of Technology [tekniska högskola](SE)

    14 Oct 2021
    Christian Löwhagen

    1
    ​A new study, published in Nature Energy, concludes that the expansion of wind and solar power is too slow to stop climate change.

    The production of renewable energy is increasing every year. But after analysing the growth rates of wind and solar power in 60 countries, researchers at Chalmers, Lund University [Lunds universitet] (SE) and Central European University[mitteleuropäische universität](AT)(HU) conclude that virtually no country is moving sufficiently fast to avoid global warming of 1.5°C or even 2°C.

    “This is the first time that the maximum growth rate in individual countries has been accurately measured, and it shows the enormous scale of the challenge of replacing traditional energy sources with renewables, as well as the need to explore diverse technologies and scenarios”, says Jessica Jewell, Associate Professor in Energy Transitions at Chalmers University of Technology.

    ​The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified energy scenarios compatible with keeping global warming under 1.5°C or 2°C. Most of these scenarios envision very rapid growth of renewable electricity: on average about 1.4 per cent of total global electricity supply per year for both wind and solar power, and over 3 per cent in more ambitious solar power scenarios. But the researchers’ new findings show that achieving such rapid growth has so far only been possible for a few countries.

    Measuring and predicting the growth of new technologies like renewable energy is difficult, as they do not grow linearly. Instead, the growth usually follows a so-called S-curve. This means that when production of wind or solar power begins in a country it first accelerates exponentially, then stabilizes to linear growth for a while, and in the end slows down as the market becomes saturated.

    “Scholars typically assess technological growth by measuring how fast a given technology reaches market saturation. But for wind and solar power this method does not work, because we don’t know when and at what levels they will saturate. We came up with a new method: to use mathematical models to measure the slope of the S-curve, i.e. the maximum growth rate achieved at its steepest point. It is an entirely novel way to look at the growth of new technologies”, says Jessica Jewell.

    Analysis of 60 countries

    The researchers use these mathematical models to estimate the maximum growth rates achieved in the 60 largest countries which together produce ca 95% of the world’s electricity. They show that the average rate of onshore wind power growth achieved at the steepest point of the S-curves is 0.8% (with half of the countries falling within the 0.6-1.1% range) of the total electricity supply per year. For solar power, these estimates are somewhat lower: 0.6% on average (range 0.4-0.9%).

    Higher rates, comparable to those required in climate scenarios, are indeed sometimes achieved, but typically in smaller countries. For example, wind power in Ireland expanded at some 2.6% per year while solar power in Chile has grown at 1.8% per year. However, fast growth is much rarer in larger countries. Among larger countries, only Germany has so far been able to sustain growth of wind power comparable with median climate scenarios (above 1.5% per year).

    “In other words, to stay on track for climate targets, the whole world should build wind power as fast as Germany has recently” says Aleh Cherp, a professor in Environmental Sciences and Policy at Central European University and Lund University.

    (As a side-note, Sweden has been growing wind power (including offshore) at about 1.6% per year in the last decade but this is at the upper end of the growth we observed in other countries.)

    Why late adopter grows equally slowly

    To investigate future prospects of renewables, the researchers have also compared their growth in the pioneering countries (mostly in the European Union and other high-income industrialised nations) and in the rest of the world, where solar and wind power were introduced later. The latter group includes most developing and emerging economies that would be responsible for the bulk of global energy use and thus need to deploy most of wind and solar power in the 21st century. It is hypothetically possible that these countries could skip the trial-and-error stage which slowed down the early adopters, and thus leapfrog to higher growth rates. Unfortunately, the researchers discover that this is not the case. ​

    “There are usually reasons why they are late to enter the race. It can be because of vested interests, weaker institutions, and an investment environment that doesn’t support new technologies as well as from unsuitable geography. Those reasons have prevented renewable energy from taking off in the first place and make it especially difficult to replicate or exceed the growth rates achieved in leaders. Thus, we cannot automatically assume that the countries which introduce wind and solar power later would learn from prior experience and grow these technologies faster”, says Cherp.

    Challenges for policy makers

    The study highlights several policy challenges. One is for high-income countries to avoid the slowdown of solar and wind expansion, recently observed in several places. Another is for major Asian economies such as India and China to increase the growth rates so that renewables start growing faster than electricity demand and eventually push out fossil fuels. This can be achieved by widening the cost gap between renewables and the fossils, which include subsidies, phasing out or taxing competing technologies and supporting grid integration.

    “Finally, we should recognize that there may be natural limits to how fast wind and solar can be expanded and thus we should systematically investigate the feasibility of other climate solutions”, says Cherp.

    Science paper:
    Nature Energy

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Chalmers University of Technology [tekniska högskola](SE) is a Swedish university located in Gothenburg that focuses on research and education in technology, natural science, architecture, maritime and other management areas

    The University was founded in 1829 following a donation by William Chalmers, a director of the Swedish East India Company. He donated part of his fortune for the establishment of an “industrial school”. Chalmers was run as a private institution until 1937, when the institute became a state-owned university. In 1994, the school was incorporated as an aktiebolag under the control of the Swedish Government, the faculty and the Student Union. Chalmers is one of only three universities in Sweden which are named after a person, the other two being Karolinska Institutet and Linnaeus University.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:45 pm on September 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Compact amplifier could revolutionise optical communication", Chalmers University of Technology [tekniska högskola](SE)   

    From Chalmers University of Technology [tekniska högskola](SE): “Compact amplifier could revolutionise optical communication” 

    From Chalmers University of Technology [tekniska högskola](SE)

    Sep 21, 2021
    Ping Zhao, Postdoc
    Photonics Laboratory at Chalmers
    Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience
    Chalmers University of Technology
    pingz@chalmers.se

    Peter Andrekson, Professor
    Head of the Photonics Laboratory
    Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience
    Chalmers University of Technology,
    +46 31 772 16 06,
    peter.andrekson@chalmers.se

    Mia Halleröd Palmgren
    Press Officer
    +46-31-772 3252
    mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se

    1
    Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, present a unique optical amplifier that is expected to revolutionise both space and fiber communication. The new amplifier offers high performance, is compact enough to integrate into a chip just millimeters in size, and – crucially – does not generate excess noise.

    2
    Henrik Sandsjö/Chalmers University of Technology.
    Professor Peter Andrekson is Head of the Photonics Laboratory at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.

    Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, present a unique optical amplifier that is expected to revolutionise both space and fiber communication. The new amplifier offers high performance, is compact enough to integrate into a chip just millimeters in size, and – crucially – does not generate excess noise.

    “This could be compared to switching from older, dial-up internet to modern broadband, with high speed and quality,” says Professor Peter Andrekson, Head of the Photonics Laboratory at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience at Chalmers. Optical communication makes it possible to send information over very long distances. The technology is useful in a range of applications, such as space communication and in fiber optic cables for internet traffic.

    With communication based on light, rather than radio waves, we could, for example, quickly send high-resolution images from Mars. The information, carried by laser beams, could be sent with high speed from a transmitter on the planet to a receiver on Earth or on the Moon. Optical communication also allows us to use the internet around the world – whether the signal is transferred in optical fiber cables under the seabed or transmitted wirelessly.

    Because the light – carrying the information between two distant points – loses power along the way, a large number of optical amplifiers are needed. Without amplifiers, up to 99 percent of the signal in an optical fiber cable would disappear within 100 kilometers.

    A constant battle against excess noise

    A well-known problem in optical communication, however, is that these amplifiers add excess noise that significantly impairs the quality of the signal you want to send or receive. Now, the Chalmers researchers present an extremely promising solution to an obstacle that has existed for decades.

    “We have developed the world’s first optical amplifier that significantly enhances the range, sensitivity and performance of optical communication, that does not generate any excess noise – and is also compact enough to be of practical use,” says Ping Zhao, Postdoc at the Photonics Laboratory at Chalmers and one of the lead authors of the scientific paper, now published in Science Advances.

    The light amplification in the project is based on a principle known as the Kerr effect, which so far is the only known approach that amplifies light without causing significant excess noise. The principle has been demonstrated before, but never in such a compact format – previous versions were too bulky to be useful.

    The new amplifier fits in a small chip just a few millimeters in size, compared to previous amplifiers that have been several thousand times larger.

    Tiny, quiet, and with high performance

    Additionally, the new amplifiers offer a level of performance high enough that they can be placed more sparingly, making them a more cost-effective option. They also work in a continuous wave (CW) operation rather than a pulsed operation only.

    “What we demonstrate here represents the first CW operation with an extremely low noise in a compact integrated chip. This provides a realistic opportunity for practical use in a variety of applications. Since it’s possible to integrate the amplifier into very small modules, you can get cheaper solutions with much better performance, making this very interesting for commercial players in the long run,” says research leader Peter Andrekson.

    The new results also open doors to completely new applications in both technology and science, explains Peter Andrekson.

    “This amplifier shows unprecedented performance. We consider this to be an important step towards practical use, not only in communication, but in areas including quantum computers, various sensor systems and in metrology when making atmospheric measurements from satellites for Earth monitoring.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Chalmers University of Technology [tekniska högskola] (SE) is a Swedish university located in Gothenburg that focuses on research and education in technology, natural science, architecture, maritime and other management areas

    The University was founded in 1829 following a donation by William Chalmers, a director of the Swedish East India Company. He donated part of his fortune for the establishment of an “industrial school”. Chalmers was run as a private institution until 1937, when the institute became a state-owned university. In 1994, the school was incorporated as an aktiebolag under the control of the Swedish Government, the faculty and the Student Union. Chalmers is one of only three universities in Sweden which are named after a person, the other two being Karolinska Institutet and Linnaeus University.

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
%d bloggers like this: