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January 20, 2013

Scientists to replicate photosynthesis for renewable energy generation

A group of scientists in the UK plan to artificially replicate photosynthesis, a process used by plants to transform sunlight into energy, in an effort to develop more efficient renewable power sources.

By admin-demo

University of East Anglia_research

A group of scientists in the UK plan to artificially replicate photosynthesis, a process used by plants to transform sunlight into energy, in an effort to develop more efficient renewable power sources.

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The research will be undertaken primarily by the University of East Anglia (UEA), along with colleagues at the universities of Cambridge and Leeds.

During photosynthesis, plants create energy that is then used to produce hydrogen, a zero-emission fuel that could power vehicles or be transformed into electricity.

Scientists believe that this method of harnessing the sun’s energy will be far more efficient than existing ways of converting solar energy into electricity.

Julea Butt, lead researcher and professor at the UAE’s school of Chemistry noted that exploring renewable energy options is vital at a time when fossil fuel reserves are depleting.

"Many renewable energy supplies, such as sunlight, wind and the waves, remain largely untapped resources," Butt said.

"Many renewable energy supplies, such as sunlight, wind and the waves, remain largely untapped resources."

"We have been inspired by natural plant processes. During plant photosynthesis, fuels are made naturally from the energy in sunlight. Light absorption by the green chlorophyll pigments generates an energised electron that is directed, along chains of metal centres to catalysts that make sugars."

Butt said that her team of scientists plans to build a system for artificial photosynthesis, by setting tiny solar-panels on microbes, which will harness sunlight and drive the production of hydrogen.

"We imagine that our photocatalysts will prove versatile and that with slight modification they will be able to harness solar energy for the manufacture of carbon-based fuels, drugs and fine chemicals," Butt added.

The £800,000 research project is being funded by Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), a UK-based public funding body of non-medical bioscience projects.


Image: UEA scientists will mimic nature for renewable energy generation. Photo: courtesy of UEA.

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Wind Power Market seeing increased risk and disruption

The wind power market has grown at a CAGR of 14% between 2010 and 2021 to reach 830 GW by end of 2021. This has largely been possible due to favourable government policies that have provided incentives to the sector. This has led to an increase in the share of wind in the capacity mix, going from a miniscule 4% in 2010 to 10% in 2021. This is further set to rise to 15% by 2030. However, the recent commodity price increase has hit the sector hard, increasing risks for wind turbine manufacturers and project developers, and the Russia-Ukraine crisis has caused further price increase and supply chain disruption. In light of this, GlobalData has identified which countries are expected to add the majority of wind power capacity out to 2030. Get ahead and download this whitepaper for more details on the current state of the Wind Power Market.
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