Despite the world economic slowdown, a number of advancements were made worldwide in the fields of alternative and renewable energy.
The hottest energy trends of 2009, according to MIT review are:
Natural gas drilling technology
New batteries for hybrids
Cellulosic ethanol (biofuel from algae)
And in lieu of cut backs in scientific research in areas dealing with solar (see our quick guide to Israeli companies), wind, biomass, and other forms of clean energy sources, significant advancements were made with massive US federal stimulus funding for batteries and renewable energy and programs. These include the US Energy Frontier Research Centers and Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (A Year of Stimulus for High Tech).
Published on MIT Technology Review, America’s industrial future is intertwined with high tech the magazine reports, of which alternative and renewable energy development is definitely part of.
If one takes the message of this article to heart, it’s easy to see that Israel is in a similar situation as many “low tech” industries, such as manufacturing of various products, textiles, and even diamond cutting and polishing have now been “outsourced” to countries in Southern and East Asia.
Industries that do have a future are environmentally-friendly ones such as renewable energy, which include solar energy and wind power, some of which were recently on display at a Jewish clean tech conference in San Francisco California; as well as thermal and wave energy projects.
The MIT mag article gives a lot of attention to the development of special advanced batteries that being designed for storing solar and wind energy generated “while the sun shines and the wind blows” as well as batteries for use in hybrid and totally electric vehicles.
According to the article:
Several new battery technologies could have a similarly transformative impact. New sodium-ion batteries (“Sodium-Ion Cells for Cheap Energy Storage“) and liquid batteries could make storing renewable energy affordable, while metal-air batteries offer the promise of cheap electric vehicles that can go hundreds of miles on a single charge (“Betting on a Metal-Air Battery Breakthrough“).
The DOE’s Office of Science is also funding a number of programs exploring cutting-edge energy science, and has announced $277 million in stimulus funding for 46 “Energy Frontier Research Centers.”
Israel is also making significant advances in the development of electric cars (see Better Place) and the batteries and recharging stations that will be needed once these vehicles are available to the public. American firms in the auto industry are now in contact with Israeli companies like Better Place to assist them in developing electric cars and batteries. Judging from these projects, it is very obvious that both Israel and the US are aware of the future that alternative and renewable energy has in their respective industries.
Photo via www.betterplace.com
More on Israeli Alternative and Renewable Energy:
Michigan Looks to Israel to Rev Up Automotive Business
Jewish Clean Tech and Energy Conference to Feature Green Israeli Superstars
California’s PG&E Looks to Invest $1.5 Billion in Bright Source and Alt Energy Plants