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The challenges

We look forward with Professor Andrew Holmes.

By now, you are aware that no matter what solutions are found, there will be challenges on the path to using any material-based initiative to survive on Earth.

In the video above, Prof. Andrew Holmes talks about the challenges that we face when wanting to introduce renewable or even sustainable energy solutions.

The difficulty is achieving the technology, infrastructure, and political support to make this transition.

But we are still faced with the fact that renewables only work when the input power is available, which is often out of our control – for example, solar cells only operate when the sun shines and wind turbines when the wind blows.

Batteries could be one solution, however they are still limited in their capabilities based on our needs. Liquid fuels were also shown to be a possible approach to store energy produced by renewable sources. We also saw a more ambitious goal of using superconductors to connect up renewable sources from around the world in a network where the variability will tend to balance out.

Conversation starter

What do you think is the right approach to dealing with the inherent problems of renewable energy?

This article is from the free online

How to Survive on Earth: Energy Materials for a Sustainable Future

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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