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ETH Zurich articles

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Technology is ready for distributed energy systems

Technology is ready for distributed energy systems
Will we be able to do away with the classic centralised energy supply in the future? From a technological perspective: yes. Distributed multi-energy systems are feasible. But from an economic and societal perspective, many questions remain unanswered, blogs Roman Seidl. Thermal solar energy systems heat the floor and water for the shower, an elevator runs on solar and wind energy, and whatever electricity is not consumed today is stored in batteries for tomorrow or will be available next month in the form of gas.
20th December 2017

Making fossil fuel subsidies obsolete

Making fossil fuel subsidies obsolete
In early 2012, the Nigerian government drastically cut diesel and petroleum subsidies, causing local fuel prices to more than double overnight. Violent public protests broke out in response, leading the government to quickly reinstate the subsidies. While this case is extreme, it illustrates a common challenge facing many countries: Despite the recognised benefits of fossil fuel subsidy reform, including climate change mitigation, the reality of subsidy removal can be a political nightmare.
6th October 2017

Is concentrating solar power still alive?

Is concentrating solar power still alive?
  Concentrating solar power (CSP) has the potential to play a key role in balancing renewable energy production, but today the technology is living in the shadow of photovoltaics. A closer look at the cost trends and the history of the industry may give new hope for CSP.
25th September 2017


Geothermal storage for densely populated areas

Geothermal storage for densely populated areas
Geothermal probes and heat pumps provide an effective alternative to oil heating, but they aren’t suitable for use in densely populated areas where probes in close proximity extract too much heat from the ground. However, using probes for heat storage as well could unlock their considerable potential. Thanks to geothermal probes and heat pumps, it’s possible for heat to be channelled directly from the subsurface to houses.
12th January 2017

Latest simulations of wind power generation

Latest simulations of wind power generation
  There has been a massive boom in wind power capacity both in Europe and worldwide. In 2015 global installed capacity was around 350 GW, with 135 GW installed in Europe, distributed across some 87,000 wind turbines. Wind power now provides a bigger share (13%) of electricity than nuclear power stations.
6th September 2016

Sun converts carbon dioxide and water into high-energy fuels

Sun converts carbon dioxide and water into high-energy fuels
  For the first time, researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the ETH Zurich have unveiled a chemical process that uses the sun’s thermal energy to convert carbon dioxide and water directly into high-energy fuels. This discovery marks a significant step towards the chemical storage of solar energy.
8th July 2016

Succinic acid can be obtained from wood waste

Succinic acid can be obtained from wood waste
The present-day chemical industry is based on oil. Many chemical products – from plastics through to detergents and solvents to medication and crop protection products – have their origins in oil and its constituents. Since oil reserves are finite, scientists have been looking for ways to manufacture these products from sustainable materials. An international research team has now demonstrated just such an alternative manufacturing method for a major basic chemical product: succinic acid.
14th June 2016

Drilling to expand geothermal electricity output

Scientists in Iceland have drilled into a reservoir of extremely hot water that has the potential to greatly expand geothermal electricity output. Now ETH geoscientists have for the first time been able to produce a realistic simulation of how such reservoirs are created. They predict that these natural phenomena are widespread in volcanic areas.
14th August 2015


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