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Windows Can Power City Skyscrapers

Windows Can Power City Skyscrapers

By Kamal Alameh

City skyscrapers could soon be powered by windows that deflect infrared light passing through them to solar panels.

Kamal Alameh is Director of the Electron Science Research Institute at Edith Cowan University.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

The world currently runs on about 16 TW of energy, and most of it is generated by burning fossil fuels. To level off the carbon dioxide concentration in air at 450 ppm – as recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – there is a need to reduce the energy from fossil fuel burning to about 3 TW and produce the rest of the energy required from renewable sources. Currently around 0.5 TW comes from clean hydropower and 1 TW from clean nuclear, leaving 11.5 TW to be generated from new clean sources.

Much of the world’s increase in renewable electricity is fuelled by hydropower and wind power. Of the 4.5 trillion kWh of increased renewable generation projected for the period 2007–2035, 54% is expected to come from hydroelectric power and 26% from wind.

Apart from these two sources, most renewable generation technologies are not economically competitive with fossil fuels over the projection period, outside a limited number of niche markets.

Photovoltaic solar farms and wind turbines require extensive areas of land to generate significant amounts of power. For example, the land area needed to generate the renewable energy required to keep the carbon dioxide level at 450 ppm is about the size of Australia. Therefore, the integration of photovoltaic systems into buildings can offer a pathway to a future beyond fossil fuel dependence without...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.