1. GENERAL INFORMATION
“Renewables” are definded as energy that is generated from solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydropower and ocean resources. The energy is derived, in various forms, directly or indirectly from the sun or from heat generated deep within the earth. By the substitution of fossil fuels with Renewables a significant reduction of CO2 emissions can be obtained. Furthermore it leads to a diversification of supply resources and so to a greater security of energy supply. Renewables support the development of a sustainable energy system as a requirement for economic sustainable development. In many countries their implementation in the companies is supported financially by the government.
2. FIELD OF APPLICATION
Especially in the chemical industry, but Renewables become more and more important also in other industry sectors.
3. DESCRIPTION OF TECHNIQUES AND METHODS
Electricity can be generated from solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydropower and ocean resources. Heat is obtained from solar thermal, geothermal and biomass resources and also biofuels and hydrogen can be generated from renewable resources. Commercial markets for Renewables are today:
- Wind Energy
Kinetic energy of wind exploited for electricity generation in wind turbines. Atmospheric wind is created by sunlight, the energy of which is converted into the movement of air via convection in the atmosphere and evaporation over oceans.
- Geothermal Energy
Per definition, geothermal energy is the energy in form of heat below the earth’s surface, usually in the form of hot water or steam. It is exploited at suitable sites as well as for electricity generation using dry steam or high enthalpy brine after flashing and directly as heat for district heating, agriculture etc.
Potential and kinetic energy of water can be converted into electricity in plants which are called hydroelectric plants. It is not only a very commonly used source of Renewables for power generation in Austria, it is also a very cost effective one and offers several benefits such as flood control and portable water. The efficiency of such hydroelectric plants were rising in the last years because of new technology developments while the environmental impacts has been significantly reduced.
Reference: Fanninger, G.: Renewable Energy Sources and Technologies in Austria, Wien 2006, online: http://www.nachhaltigwirtschaften.at