The Secret To Replacing Fossil Fuels

18 Dec 2017   Renewables

When it comes to renewables, skeptics tend to point out the lower efficiency rates as opposed to fossil fuels, the high costs, and the dependence on subsidies for making a profit. But technology is coming to the rescue, accelerating efficiency gains and cost reductions. Technology is too general a term, however. Specifically, it’s supercomputers that are making the difference for renewables, says Peter Kelly-Detwiler from consultancy NorthBridge Energy Partners. Supercomputers are becoming faster and more powerful, more capable of coming up with new, better, molecules and designs for renewable energy installations. What renewables like wind and solar have going for them is their immaturity relative to fossil fuel power generation technology. In fossil fuel installations, pretty much everything that could have been done to improve efficiencies has already been done, Kelly-Detwiler argues, noting GE’s Bouchain, France, combined cycle power plant that achieved a record-high efficiency rate of 62.2 percent. […]

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