In the energy sector, many developments in nanomaterials and nano-related products are enabling new applications. For instance, insulating materials, nano-powered sensors or queantum dots. The technologies which are under development are expected to transform the energy sector from a fossil-based to a renewable-based sector. Where the most relevant impacts are expected from the application in the areas depicted below.
Energy generation to harvest energy from the environment. Applications include advanced photovoltaics and small distributed device which have better performance than current technology. Development can better performance, reduce costs and increase the use of renewable energy.
Energy Storage to decrease the environmental footprint, e.g. transportation and production. Products being developed create a positive view for the future. Batteries which are small and wearable can be used for domestic generation of energy. While super-capacitors will be able to store a lot of energy. Resulting in more take up of energy and also better storage.
Energy efficiency to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact. Applications can include OLEDs, new insulating materials or rapidly charging devices.
Internet of Things devices to support the production, distribution and storage of energy. These could facilitate automation and control in the energy sector.
Creative ways to explore the developments in nano and energy
The NANO Supermarket presents speculative nanotech products that may hit the shelves within the next ten years: Medicinal candy, interactive wall paint, programmable wine and more. The debate provoking products are both innovative as well as uncanny and disturbing. They function as scenarios for potential technological futures, helping us to decide what future we actually want. (nanosupermarket.org)
Publication on the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan (2007-2017)
The SET Plan contains information about Research & Innovation achievements over the last 10 years, implementation plans and the way forward towards an EU clean energy R&I policy. Prepared by the European Commission’s Directorates-General for Research and Innovation, Energy and the Joint Research Centre.