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Renewable energy in the form of wind, geothermal, and marine resources have large potential and low associated emissions of greenhouse gases, but also barriers preventing large-scale utilization. Each resource has its own set of technical challenges which could be addressed by fundamental research.
Wind energy conversion is commercially mature and growing quickly, but must overcome several technical hurdles to reach a scale sufficient to impact greenhouse gas emissions. Technology to better integrate the intermittent nature of wind with other generation systems and demand is required and improvements in turbine blade materials and power conversion could further decrease costs.
Geothermal energy collection involving dry steam or high temperature natural brine has been relatively successful, while development of more abundant types of thermal reservoir such as hot dry rock has been slow. Difficulties with corrosion and resource management still exist. Materials science and modeling and characterization of geothermal resources could help enable utilization on a larger scale.
Marine resources such as wave, tidal, and ocean thermal gradient energy face problems ranging from low energy density to operation in a corrosive, dynamic environment. Many suitable sites may also be far from demand centers. Advances in materials or energy transmission may assist marine resource utilization.Past Event
GCEP Wind Energy Workshop
April 26, 2004
> Selected Presentations
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