To innovate is to turn knowledge into value. It is a process by which a new or improved product or service is successfully introduced into a market. On that basis, there are many ways to innovate in the field of clean energy.
The aim of many innovative processes is to find new ways to generate clean energy in a sustainable way, reducing dependence on traditional fuels and enabling their replacement as soon as possible.
This is the case for all renewable energies in use today. Some are as widespread as wind or solar; others are at an earlier stage, such as geothermal or tidal.
The aim of many innovative processes is to find new ways to generate clean energy in a sustainable way
Renewable gases such as hydrogen, biogas and biomethane are other alternative energy sources that can help towards decarbonisation, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy security. And innovation is playing a major role in this: development of more efficient technologies, more effective storage methods or new applications in different sectors.
Making the supply continuous, regardless of the conditions necessary for power generation, is one of the main handicaps to replacing traditional energy sources with energy from the sun, wind, biomass or ocean waves.
One of the ways to achieve this is by optimising the storage of these energies, which is a challenge because their availability depends on factors such as wind power or sunlight.
One of the ways to achieve this is by optimising the storage of these energies
For example, by improving lithium-ion batteries, it is possible to increase the energy capacity stored in them or increase their efficiency to make them last longer. The production of renewable hydrogen is another interesting alternative, as it can be used in a variety of applications and can be stored and transported wherever it is needed.
Innovation is also sought in ways to further extend renewable energies, making them more accessible to users. For example, by adapting renewable technologies to the optimal size, such as small wind turbines to be installed in off-grid areas. This could be a real turning point in improving the quality of life in remote regions.
Access to energy is also improving thanks to innovative ideas to extend renewable energies to more and more sectors
Access to energy is also improving thanks to innovative ideas to extend renewable energies to more and more sectors, such as in transport with biogas-powered, electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Improving access also requires cost optimisation. Key to achieving this is the development of technologies that enable more efficient and stable processes. The development of the hydrogen economy, for example, facilitates the use of this energy vector in sectors that are difficult to decarbonise, such as maritime transport or heavy industry.
Energy efficiency is particularly important for expanding the use of renewable energies, enabling higher yields from existing plants, earlier payback on new projects and greater security of supply in the event of peak demand.
The use of sensors and automation are two major areas that, with their progress, are making it possible to reach new levels of energy efficiency through metering, which helps to achieve greater control and optimise consumption.
In the case of renewable gases, innovation also helps increase efficiency in many different ways:
Innovation is not only about technology and, in order to generate value, regulation of the energy sector can be decisive. When we talk about regulation, it is common to think of subsidies, but innovation in this area goes far beyond that.
Administrations can introduce measures to adapt to new forms of generation and consumption, or to promote new activities through public-private collaboration, partnerships or the development of community projects in which locally produced clean energy is consumed.