A “Non-Conventional” Power Shift

Conventional sources of energy have served our needs for a long time. Various devices have been invented to extract conventional energy. Steam Engines, Diesel Engines, and Petrol Engines are some very  popular devices used over the globe for conversion of conventional fuel sources to usable energy. While these fuels are being used since ancient times, they also release pollutants as byproducts. Global warming, Greenhouse effect, and Smog formation, are some of the consequences that happen due to emission of these pollutants from combustion of fuels. Situation has deteriorated to alarming levels in most of the parts of globe. Consequently, with a strong need of finding some alternative sources of energy, the world is looking towards non-conventional sources of energy.

   

                           

                         Steam Engine                                Petrol Engine                                  Diesel Engine

Some of the popular non-conventional sources of energy are Wind energy, Solar energy, Geothermal energy, and Hydro energy. The most significant advantage of using these sources of energy is that they have almost negligible byproducts that are harmful to environment. Initially, the processes adapted for extraction of energy from these sources were not satisfactorily efficient but even then, by the end of 2016, global renewable generation capacity amounted to 2,006 GW which is a huge progress. Wind and solar energy accounted for most of the capacity with capacities of 467 GW and 296 GW respectively. Renewable generation capacity increased by 161 GW or +8.7% during 2016, continuing the trend since 2009 of about 8-9% annual capacity growth. Solar energy took first place, with a capacity increase of 71 GW (+32%), followed by wind energy with an increase of 51 GW (+12%). Hydropower and bioenergy capacities increased by 30 GW (+3%) and 9 GW (+9%) respectively. Geothermal energy increased by just under 1 GW. Renewable capacity expansion continues to be driven mostly by new installations of solar and wind energy.

With such advancement in non-conventional energy, some companies like Tesla, Inc. have implemented the use of electric power in automobile sector to overcome polluting effects of present fossil fuels based technologies. With the support of the government from various nations, we are witnessing a global shift from the use of conventional to non-conventional source of energy. Projects like SolarCity and Gigafactory are already in making. With such advancements and neck to neck competition, getting innovations in the field patented is a key to sustain leadership and competitive advantage. With an increased popularity of solar energy, various technologies (like Automated Solar Panel Cleaner, Solar Intensity Retainer, Efficient Storage Devices) have been invented.  Large increase in patent applications related to non-conventional sources of energy is an indicator of extent of inventions taking place in this sector. Yet a lot still remains to be done. While a vision of  removing  conventional vehicles and introducing non-conventional energy based (particularly electric) vehicles as substitutes has strongly taken hold globally, we are yet to witness some fantastic ideas and innovations that may have the potential to completely transform the automobile industry.

                                 

                                Gigafactory-Tesla, Inc.                                                        Solarcity

 

About the Author: Mr. Ankit Kumar, Patent Associate at Global Patent Filing. Can be reached at ankit@globalpatentfiling.com