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The Best Green Power Technologies You’ve Never Heard Of

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Karen Marcus's picture
Freelance Energy and Technology Researcher and Writer Final Draft Communications, LLC

In addition to serving as an Energy Central Community Manager, Karen Marcus has 25 years of experience as a content developer within the energy and technology industries. She has worked with...

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Some green power technologies, such as land-based solar and wind, get a lot of press, while others remain more obscure. Yet many carry great potential for contributing to the green revolution. Here’s a list of some green power technologies — what they are and how they work — that you may not know about.

Biomass Gasification

Biomass gasification involves converting biomass into combustible gas and using it for power. Because biomass waste is readily available, the potential is great — especially in developing countries where biomass waste routinely gets sent to landfills.

Concentrated Solar Power

Concentrated solar power (CSP) systems generate solar power through the use of mirrors or lenses, which concentrate a large amount of sunlight to be converted. CSP energy can be stored, making it available whenever it is needed, regardless of whether the sun is shining.

Dynamic Export Cables

Dynamic export cables are part of the floating wind power solution, enabling builders to connect floating platforms to a static cable on the seabed. These cables carry high voltages and move with the platform.

Floating Wind Power

Floating wind turbines take advantage of deep waters, where the wind is often stronger and steadier than closer to shore. The platforms are anchored to the seabed with the use of cables and are less intrusive than conventional offshore versions.

Marine Solar

Sea-based floating solar projects enable builders to create solar farms even in places where land availability is scarce. However, challenges such as waves and saltwater must be overcome before this technology becomes more common.

Microbial Fuel Cell Technology

Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology generates power from the bacteria present in organic waste materials. As it converts chemical energy into electrical energy, it simultaneously sanitizes the waste materials.

Molten Salt Reactors

Molten salt reactors may offer a happy medium many have sought in the debate over nuclear power. They can provide carbon-free electricity with fewer radiation risks and higher efficiency.

Printable Organic Solar Cells

Printable or flexible solar cells greatly expand the number of options for where solar can be deployed. These lightweight cells can be laminated onto building walls, cars, and other irregular surfaces. Given the added benefit of low cost, this technology has the potential to take solar power generation to the next level.

Solar Roads

Roadways can be paved with solar panels covered in glass that can withstand the weight of vehicles and other environmental elements. The power generated can be used to power roadway conveniences such as streetlights and emergency equipment, or used as a backup source for nearby homes and businesses.

Underwater Tidal Power

Tidal power generation is a new technology that could develop into a viable commercial process. A number of devices have been tested to harness this energy, including offshore floats, buoys or pitching devices, underwater turbines, and tidal lagoons.

These technologies and others are exciting additions to the industry-shifting sources already being used, including land-based solar and wind.

Which emerging green power technologies are you most interested in? Please share in the comments.

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Julian Silk's picture
Julian Silk on Sep 9, 2022

People may be more familiar with CSP as Solar Thermal.  It has been around for a while, and Luz has several facilities in the California desert area.  See https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/solar-thermal-electricity

Karen Marcus's picture
Karen Marcus on Sep 14, 2022

Good to know, Julian. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.

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