Exploring some new sustainable energy solutions that we have seen in the recent past.
Earth’s depleting resources don’t come as a surprise to anyone at this point. Just this year, we saw both the United Kingdom and China struggle with energy crises, when oil prices reached US$80 per barrel around the end of September. With these facts in mind, it is obvious that the global community’s next step should be to adopt alternative energy sources.
Today, our renewable energy options aren’t limited to solar, hydroelectric and wind energy. Many entrepreneurs have been devising ways to generate or store energy in unconventional places. Let’s take a closer look at some of these options which might become our everyday energy sources in the near future.
One of the new and emerging alternative sources of energy is Bitcoin mining. Yes, we are aware that it takes up a lot of electricity, but there is light at the end of that tunnel—it also generates a lot of heat! Mint Green, a Vancouver-based Bitcoin mining company, is channeling this heat and supplying it to 100 residential and commercial buildings in the city.
The company plans to use immersion technology to capture the heat generated in Bitcoin mining into hot water utilities and, through there, to its customers. This might be a win-win situation; Bitcoin miners are making profits while also helping the environment by not wasting all that energy.
Used electric car batteries
Another interesting technological advancement in the realm of alternative energy is the use of old electric car batteries for power storage. One such project is already operational in Switzerland. The Swiss company, Kyburz, which produces electric vehicles for the Swiss postal service, has been repurposing the used batteries from its electric vehicles. These used batteries are either re-used to power smaller vehicles, like scooters, or to store the energy produced by solar panels.
According to the consulting firm McKinsey, by 2030, retrieved car batteries could provide 200 gigawatts of energy storage globally each year.
Neutrinovoltaic technology is one of the newest methods of energy production. Back in 2015, the Neutrino Energy Group in Germany announced their neutrino film. This film is capable of responding to the motion of neutrinos (sub-atomic particles with no electric charge) and other non-visible particles to generate electricity.
The neutrinovoltaic technology is completely independent of seasonal or weather changes, and thus provides a steady and unimpeded flow of electricity. This steady supply makes it entirely unnecessary for the neutrinovoltaic energy to be stored in batteries.
These three alternative energy sources have shown us how far we have come in the utilization of alternative sources of energy. If effectively utilized in the future, it could help us fix the energy shortages that are facing us today in an environmentally-friendly way.
Header image courtesy of Freepik