Energy technologies

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Innovation in the area of energy technology is "key to meeting climate mitigation goals while also supporting economic and energy security objectives," according to the International Energy Agency (EIA).

Governments, individually and collectively, must work together to transform energy systems, it added.

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The pace of adoption of low-carbon electricity generation solutions must be increased, the EIA said.

The EIA makes the comments in its Energy Technology Perspectives 2015 report.

The current low fossil fuel price environment is a good opportunity to "decarbonize" the energy system, according to the EIA.

"Short-term economic gains and delaying investment in clean energy technologies will be outweighed by longer-term costs. In fact, shifting to clean energy and achieving more efficient energy production and consumption can provide an energy security hedge against future market uncertainty," it said.

One area of energy technology that is gaining increasing attention is energy storage.

Because power from solar energy can be generated only over a relatively short period of time – essentially during daylight hours – electricity storage devices are needed so that generation and load can be managed more effectively and utilities can get the most out of their renewables plants.

American entrepreneurs have invested over US$5 billion in battery research and development over the last decade, which has helped fuel a renaissance in new battery technology, according to the US congressional subcommittee on energy.

Energy storage and power electronics hold substantial promise for transforming the electric power industry, according to the US Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

The major industry challenge is to drive down the cost of energy storage and power electronics so that it is commercially viable for developers to invest in this technology.

Research is being carried out in the areas of batteries (both conventional and advanced), flywheels, electrochemical capacitors, superconducting magnetic storage (SMES), power electronics, and control systems.

A selection of news, analysis, projects and companies related to energy technologies:

BNamericas Electric Power Intelligence Series report - A bright future: Solar power in Latin America

Colombia looks to tap bioenergy potential

OPINION: Storage, the final hurdle

IN BRIEF: US firms land LatAm consultancy work

Espejo de Tarapacá pumped-storage hydroelectric

What's the next frontier for wind turbines?

BNamericas Telecom Intelligence Series report - Beyond Scada: Progress towards smart grids in Latin America

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