With worldwide energy prices constantly rising, and environmental concerns ever present regarding the depletion of earth’s natural resources, the global race is very much on when it comes to finding the next big thing for energy production.

Image from electricityforum.com

Image from electricityforum.com

Many professional companies already supply domestically accessible alternative energy products including AVIC International Renewable Energy Pty Ltd, but even more cutting edge innovations are required if global energy demand is to be met.

So with the challenge clear, let’s look at the latest developments in potential energy sources of the future.

Solar energy…from space

Solar energy is a familiar concept for many people, with millions of households already sporting their very own solar panels, including many satisfied customers of AVIC International Renewable Energy Pty Ltd.

Although securing solar energy from space sounds more radical, scientists have in fact been studying the possibility of putting solar panels into orbit since the 1970s. They realized early on that with almost constant sunlight and no cloud cover, space would be the perfect environment to generate solar energy.

Image from science.nasa.gov

Image from science.nasa.gov

A new concept has now been developed by a former NASA engineer, which seems to overcome the practical problem of having to establish an actual power plant in space. This solution is the solar power satellite (SPS).

The SPS is a platform erected in space, but still relatively close to earth.  The platform would harvest energy from the almost constant sunlight, convert it to electricity and transmit the electricity to receivers on Earth.

Transmission could take place using lasers, but there are safety concerns about this approach. A safer option is to use low intensity microwave transmitters.

Volcanic power

Image from la.mommypoppins.com

Image from la.mommypoppins.com

Volcanoes are another untapped source of green power. The process here involves extracting the heat from the rocks under and around volcanoes and using it to create steam to power underground electricity turbines.

Although permission has been granted to test this approach at the Newberry Volcano in Oregon, the proposed activity has been surrounded by controversy.

Campaigners against the testing say that the methodology is similar to hydraulic fracking – a controversial way of extracting shale gas. The fears are that fracking can be connected to generating earthquakes, or in this case to causing a volcano to erupt.

Project particle accelerators

Image from ostatic.com

Image from ostatic.com

A small scale particle accelerator (like a mini-me of the large Hadron Collider in Switzerland) has been commissioned in the United Kingdom (UK).

The accelerator is powered by thorium, which although naturally occurring is in fact a radioactive substance. Estimates suggest that one ton of thorium could produce as much energy as 200 tons of uranium or 3.5million tons of coal.

Public acceptance is likely to be a problem however, as has been the case previously with nuclear energy.

AVIC International Renewable Energy Pty Ltd supplies a range of alternative energy products which do not raise concerns like nuclear energy does.

Wave power

Image from offshorewind.biz

Image from offshorewind.biz

A more established, yet still new, type of alternative energy is wave power.  Harnessing the power of the ocean has now been proven possible and is close to market.

The UK leads the way in this area, with Scotland a particular hotbed for development. With ground-breaking test facilities and the most reliable marine energy source in Europe, the UK has the potential to be a real world leader.

Commercial viability is close and it will be lucrative. With the global market forecast to be worth as much as £50 billion by 2050, it is clear that this is an innovative technology with a sound business base.

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