The rapid depletion of the finite stock of fossil fuels places the spotlight on micro-renewables in residential and commercial applications. This technology will aid sustainable power production and lower dependency on conventional grid power by improving the competence of energy harvesting systems, without being detrimental to the environment.
Analysis from Frost & Sullivan's (technicalinsights.frost.com) Renewable Energy for Residential and Commercial Applications research finds that the residential and industrial sectors are intensifying their search for alternative energy sources to fill the gap left by depleting fossil fuels. They are exploring various methodologies and technologies that can use waste from farms, gardens, industries, and municipalities to generate petroleum substitutes, heat and electricity.
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In the European Union (EU), a directive mandates standards for the incineration of municipal solid waste to minimize its environmental impact. This has motivated EU members to develop technologically advanced incineration plants to achieve high levels of emission control. One of the technologies the EU is incentivizing is heat pumps. While the initial investment is high, they help cut electricity usage for space heating or cooling.
Asia too is introducing various regulations and standards in waste management. For instance, Indonesia has implemented the Environment Management Act to regulate procedures for hazardous waste disposal, storage, and treatment. This directive mandates that collected biomass is either incinerated for energy, or sent for anaerobic digestion so combustible gas can be obtained for domestic purposes.
"Building owners must carefully assess the building's structure before installing renewable energy systems," noted Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Avinash Iyer. "Micro-renewables such as solar or wind turbines can be retrofitted in existing buildings and can also be built into new structures."
Consumers are increasingly adopting building integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs) following the development of second and third generation photovoltaic (PV) cells. BIPVs reduce building envelop materials by replacing conventional building materials, generate electricity through micro generation, and help lower the building's energy consumption since they are glass modules that provide insulation.
Nevertheless, manufacturers of third-generation solar PVs have to demonstrate high power conversion efficiency for the higher uptake of their technology.
"Even though its performance in laboratory conditions is satisfactory, there is no guarantee it can be replicated during large-scale production," noted Iyer. "To ensure high power conversion efficiency, technology developers have to address fundamental issues relating to bandgap, interfaces, and charge transport."
These technology improvements will go a long way in enhancing renewable energy's appeal among both residential and commercial application users.
Renewable Energy for Residential and Commercial Applications, a part of the Technical Insights subscription, provides an overview of different micro renewables for infrastructure employed to conserve the environment. This analysis also highlights technology maturity levels. Further, this research service includes detailed technology analysis and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
Technical Insights is an international technology analysis business that produces a variety of technical news alerts, newsletters and research services.
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Renewable Energy for Residential and Commercial Applications / D2F3-14