"My Proposal Is To Concentrate On Green Energy at Large"
Ibrahim Dincer is chair of the Second International Green Energy Conference that will take place in Ontario, Canada from the 25 to the 29 of June. He explains for Scitizen what he expects from this conference.
How do you define green energies?
Let's start with a question: What are the prime targets for future? These
- better environment,
- better sustainability,
- better efficiency,
- better cost effectiveness, and
- better energy security.
The green energies like solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, and hydrogen are essentially the best prescription to fulfill the above targets. These can also be considered a catalyst for social, technological, industrial and governmental innovations in a country. An increase in the green energy consumption of a country often provides a positive impact on economic growth and social development. Moreover, the supply and utilization of low-priced green fuel is particularly significant for global stability, since energy plays a vital role in industrial and technological development around the world.
Green energy, the form and utilization of energy that has no or minimal negative environmental, economic and societal impact, is essential to achieve the ultimate goal of sustainability, and may be better achieved through energy diversity with local energy resources, such as solar, hydro, biomass, wind, geothermal and other renewable resources. Green energy can be utilized to reduce the negative effects of hydrocarbon energy resources and their emissions during electricity generation, especially greenhouse gases. It provides an important option for meeting clean energy demand for both industrial and non-industrial applications. Green energy is consequently a major factor in future sustainable development and world stability.
Furthermore, hydrogen energy as part of the green solution appears to be a potential alternative for current environmental problems. We should keep in mind that unlike most other fuels, hydrogen cannot be produced directly by digging a mine or drilling a well. It must be extracted chemically from hydrogen-rich materials such as natural gas, water, coal, or plant matter. Accounting for the energy required for the extraction process is critical in evaluating any hydrogen use option. The current hydrogen production techniques include steam reforming of natural gas, cleanup of industrial by-product gases, and electrolysis of water. Of course the most common method is the electrolysis of water. Although we face several technological problems in hydrogen production, transportation, storage, etc., several countries like US, Canada made their decisions to go for hydrogen economy. There are lots of things to do for us as researchers, especially in the development of right technologies.
We shouldn't depend on only one source. My proposal is to concentrate on green energy at large. If one source dominate we can end with some problems like for fossil fuels (we actually end with environmental problems and energy security issues).
The construction of ITER reactor is about to start. This international project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power, an energy source that could be used to produce electricity in a safe and environmentally benign way. What is your opinion on this program?
To me nuclear should be part of the above said prescription. So, we can include nuclear as part of this green energy solution. But my inclination is not to depend fully on nuclear. Like I said the solution should be diverse.
Will you discuss the relation between energy policy and global warming?
Yes, we will. In fact there are many papers on energy use and environmental impact as well as on energy policies and strategies. We have different sources of energy available and different system applications but you need a right prescription, which means right strategies and right policies. We cannot apply the same energy policies and strategies to every country. Every country should develop its own policies and strategies to cure the current environmental, ecological and economic problems.
What is the situation of traditional energies? Have we already reached the “world oil and gas peak”?
The oils and gas prices have skyrocketed and, I think, this will continue until we find some potential solutions. We have to minimize daily uses as much as we can because right now we use too much energy, at work, at home and so on. We have to think about the energy conservation. We have to educate our children and to conserve more and more.
What do you expect from this conference?
The Second International Green Energy Conference (IGEC-2) is a multi-disciplinary international conference on the production, application and use of environmentally friendly and sustainable energy sources. It provides a forum for the exchange of latest technical information, for the dissemination of high-quality research results, for the presentation of new developments in the areas of energy, environment and sustainable development, and for the debate and shaping of future directions and priorities in sustainable development and energy security. The conference has particular value and interest to researchers, scientists, engineers and practitioners, who are working in the fields of energy and environment, from policy making, technical development to management and marketing.
The IGEC-2 has received considerable international attention from around the world. The total number of abstracts received was 296, of which 245 were selected for full-paper submission. From this group, 225 full-papers were submitted for review and 171 papers from more than 40 countries have been accepted for presentation at the Conference. The IGEC-2 also features 5 keynote addresses by the leading authorities in the area. Furthermore, there are two panel sessions on energy research & development and energy conservation issues. The conference provides an exciting technical program encompassing a wide range of topics ranging from fuel cells to environmental impact.
Ibrahim Dincer, thank you for answering Scitizen's questions.
Interview by Francesca Gilibert