Energy is one of the world’s largest markets, but the demand is forecast to far exceed the available supply from current resources. In addition, the use of energy from non-renewable sources is the major contribution to the emission of greenhouse gases leading to increasing concern over climate change.
As a result there is increasing pressure on both industry and governments to find new energy solutions, which will both address this growing supply gap and from industry’s point of view, turn a profit. Renewable energy resources are needed to maintain the world’s energy supply to slow the depletion of fossil reserves and reduce global carbon emissions.
Sustainable energy has long been a dream and nanotechnologies have long been seen as a technology with the potential to reduce greenhouse emissions, but to date this has not been quantified. Many of the initial ideas were based around replacing current manufacturing techniques with bottom up technologies, whether assembling items atom by atom as proposed by Eric Drexler, or by attempting to understand how nature assembles useful devices from the bottom up and mimic or control these techniques.
While bottom up engineering remains a topic of much research, many of these applications of nanotechnologies are still at an early stage, and there is general agreement that breakthroughs are still ten to fifteen years in the future. These breakthroughs will not only help improve current energy technologies but also open up many possibilities for new energy technologies to power the future world.
This white paper is based on the report “Nanotechnologies for Sustainable Energy: Reducing Carbon Emissions Through Clean Technologies and Renewable Energy Sources” available at www.cientifica.com which examines how nanotechnologies are contributing to sustainable energy, provides detailed market information on the use and impact of nanotechnologies and quantifies the near term impact in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.