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SUSTAINABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES - REVIEW OF CURRENT INTERNATIONAL TRENDS AND LESSONS FOR SOUTHERN AFRICA

E. Chikuni, Department of Electrical Engineering Polytechnic of Namibia

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International Conference on Domestic Use of Energy 2006

Presenter Ed Chikuni

The presenter has worked on renewable R&D project as well as conventional enterprises in the transport & manufacturing sectors. For the past 10 years he has been an academic.

10/19/2012

International Conference on Domestic Use of Energy 2006

Introduction

The problems of waste, over-consumption and inappropriate use of resources (especially energy) and ramifications for future generations were highlighted in E.F. Schumachers celebrated book, Small is Beautiful [1] published 27 years ago . In this book, the USA, for example with 6% of the worlds population consumes 40% of its resources

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International Conference on Domestic Use of Energy 2006

Dominance of Oil Coal & Natural Gas on the Energy Scene

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International Conference on Domestic Use of Energy 2006

South African Scenario

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International Conference on Domestic Use of Energy 2006

Who is polluting

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International Conference on Domestic Use of Energy 2006

Sustainable Energy

According to Davidson sustainable energy is defined as energy that will provide affordable, accessible and reliable energy services that meet economic, social and environmental needs within the overall developmental context of the society for which the services are intended, while recognising equitable distribution in meeting those needs (Davidson 2002).
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About This Presentation

This presentation will cover the following:


Brief review of the global primary energy consumption Wind Energy Biomass Fuel Cells Geothermal Photovoltaics Conclusion

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Wind Energy

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International Conference on Domestic Use of Energy 2006

Wind: Germany

Current Installed Capacity: 4444 MW Germany remains the largest wind energy market in the world. In an average wind year, 31.6 billion kWh of electricity can be generated already today reaching 6.2 % of the net power consumption in Germany. The further expansion of wind energy utilisation in Germany in future will no longer be confined to land, but will increasingly be offshore.
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Germany
In Germany, the most successful sites are in the northern coastal state of Lower Saxony. There are two techniques used to connect the turbine system to the generator, direct coupling or through a gearbox. Both systems have been used successfully; the geared system represents a traditional tried and tested approach while the direct coupling method with is multi-pole, ring generator, is associated with revolutionary design which may well set the direction for new large turbines. Figure 2 shows a large wind turbine (2.5 MW) of a type seen in many locations in Europe. Figure 3 shows its power curve. Currently the largest turbines are rated around 5MW
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Germany: Wind
Wind energy development has been boosted in Germany by the Renewable Energy Feed in Law (REL) which obliges utilities to purchase at a premium renewable energy produced by independent power producers (IPP). The REL operates a differential pricing system for each technology, with local adjustments for energy resource availability and reducing payments over the projects duration. For example, the overall price for wind-power is set at DM 0.178/kWh during the first five years of operation. Solar PV systems will now receive DM 0.45/kWh, with a degression of 5 % for new installations, starting in 2002 - to reflect the expected costs reduction potential of a technology which is still expensive. Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) are targets, for example 10% of electricity supply from renewables by a certain date.
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Biomass

Biomass, that is energy from living material such as plants, animals, fungi and bacteria is a very important source of energy. According to Blum[ ], the worlds annual energy requirements can be satisfied by just 12.5% of the biomass it produces. The ultimate source of biomass energy is from the sun and the part of the suns energy that is converted into biomass energy is through the process of photosynthesis.

There are five important ways of extracting biomass energy: Direct combustion (e.g. burning fuel wood) Gasification Digestion (biogas ) Fermentation Extraction of fats and oils

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International Conference on Domestic Use of Energy 2006

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Biomass: Resources, Applications

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Fuel Cells

A fuel cell can be described as a closed container to which a fuel such as hydrogen and oxygen is added and which generates electrical energy, heat and water. The cell contains two electrodes and one electrolyte, after which the fuel cell type is usually named. The advantages of the fuel cell, in addition to its comparatively high electrical efficiency, are that it has limited or zero local emissions, allows very flexible operations, has a modular construction and produces low noise emission.
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Geothermal Resource

Geothermal energy comes from the structure of the earth and its interior heat source and circulation. There is a continual flow of heat energy outwards towards the surface. Surface Manifestations Include: Volcanoes Hot springs Geysers Strictly speaking Geothermal Energy is not renewable and should be treated like fossil fuel. A study by the University of Oregon [4] on one site estimated that at the design rate of the plant, the resource would last 26 years. Geothermal energy applications include space heating and steam power plants
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Photovoltaics

Photovoltaics (PV) is the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity using devices made of thin semiconductor layers. Silicon technology is the most mature and a crystalline silicon cell can convert up to 23.5 % of the sunlight in electricity. Cheaper cells made of amorphous silicon actually have stable efficiencies of 7 %. Modules including cells made with other materials are not yet in market. A module is an aggregation of solar cells and it produces power between 10 and 200 W/sqm. With the best modules available in the market it is possible to produce electricity at 0.14 ECU per kWh

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A Solar Tracking Photovoltaic Array at Gobabeb: Namibia

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Conclusions

The potentional of each of the renewable energy technologies described above varies from country to country. While solar-thermal energy potential holds the most promise for most Southern African countries, there are some countries, in particular those with costal boundaries, where there is good wind and wave power prospects, for example South Africa and Namibia. Currently there are projects to promote and exploit these energy resources.
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Conclusions

Africa is endowed with the renewable energy resource, but is perhaps the continent least aware of its potential.
There is a need to sensitize not only the decision makers but also the general population bout the potential and desirability of sustainable Energy Technologies.

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Importance of Research

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