The fifth of the "Future with the Power of Technology" Webinar Series, organized by Sabancı University to bring together public and private sector managers with science and technology, was held under the title of "Next Generation Sustainable Energy Technologies".
The fifth webinar series organized by Sabancı University to share its knowledge and experience in the fields of science and technology with the public and business world was held.
In the webinar; Sabancı University Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences Deputy Dean Selmiye Alkan Gürsel, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences Visiting Faculty Members Mihrimah Özkan and Cengiz S. Özkan shared their views and predictions on “Next Generation Sustainable Energy Technologies”.
In the webinar where information about the climate crisis, clean energy, hydrogen, fuel cells and battery technologies was given, these technologies were compared in terms of application areas for a sustainable future. At the meeting, developments in energy conversion and storage technologies that will come to the fore in terms of providing low carbon emissions, which will be needed in the near future and in the long term, and the studies carried out at Sabancı University on these issues were shared.
Mihrimah Özkan, Visiting Lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, underlined that the increasing world population will increase the number of people who use energy continuously and their energy needs, and emphasized that clean energy systems such as solar, geothermal and wind are now prominent in energy production. Stating that approximately 50% of the energy used worldwide is produced from petroleum and coal and 30% from sustainable sources, Özkan said, “The distribution in sustainable resources is 16% hydro power, 6% wind, 3% solar, 2-2.5% geothermal. Towards 2050, it is seen that the role of solar and wind in energy production will increase. There is not much change in energy production with the use of natural gas, but it is possible to see a decrease in coal.” Mihrimah Özkan, who stated that 60% of the energy production in Turkey is from oil and natural gas, pointed out that the sustainable energy production remained at 12%. Özkan said that this situation is directly reflected in carbon dioxide emissions.
Clean energy gets cheaper with innovations
Mihrimah Özkan said that while the megawatt of solar energy in the world is 50 dollars, the energy obtained by wind is 44 dollars and the energy obtained by coal is around 40 dollars. We see that the energies obtained from wind and sun double every 5.5 years. If this continues, we think that 2030 percent of the energy produced towards 50 will come from here in the coming years. Solar panels, wind turbines and battery technologies are also getting cheaper. However, there are still great innovations that can be made. Especially since the energies obtained from the sun and wind are not very stable, there are great problems in their integration into the grid. New technologies are being developed to eliminate these and to store excess energy safely. One of them is to obtain hydrogen with the energy obtained from the sun and wind and store it in the system.
Hydrogen will be the most important fuel, energy carrier and raw material to reduce carbon dioxide emissions
Sabancı University Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences Deputy Dean Selmiye Alkan Gürsel brought up the Green Deal in the webinar, emphasizing the importance of providing clean, accessible and safe energy in achieving the European Union's goal of zeroing net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. For this reason, he stated that it is necessary to turn to clean energy sources and that hydrogen is of great importance as both a fuel, an energy carrier and an important raw material. Expressing that hydrogen is the first technology that comes to mind to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, Selmiye Alkan Gürsel stated that a separate infrastructure is required for the storage, transportation and production of hydrogen. Alkan stated that hydrogen has been used in industry for more than 100 years and is a clean technology, providing the highest energy per unit mass. He stressed that since it is not radioactive and non-radioactive, its use will increase over time and that it is the cleanest method to produce using electrolyzers. In particular, he stated that the most ideal scenario is to use electricity obtained from renewable sources (solar, wind, etc.) while producing hydrogen with electrolysis technologies.
He also drew attention to the fact that the hydrogen produced can be mixed with natural gas to meet the energy needs in domestic applications, and that hydrogen can be used to directly produce electrical energy with fuel cells.
In addition, Selmiye Alkan Gürsel stated that it is necessary to turn to hydrogen-powered and electric vehicles and said, “As Mr. Fatih Birol stated, 100 out of every 3 vehicles sold today are electric. To achieve this goal, one of every two vehicles sold must be electric.” said. Selmiye Alkan Gürsel stated that fuel cell powered vehicles are expected to become widespread in Europe, North America, Asia and Pacific countries by 2026, and that despite their commercialization, the fact that fuel cells are not used to the desired extent is due to the fact that the life, efficiency and cost targets are not at the desired levels.
Cengiz S. Özkan, Visiting Faculty Member of the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, talked about the developing technology of battery cells, their internal structures and production technologies. Özkan said, “Until 2030, there are not enough lithium-ion batteries with the current fabrication capacity. More factories are needed in the world. Due to the situation brought by the pandemic and the war, there is a problem in the supply of materials, as some metals have become difficult to find in the markets. ”
Stating that an energy density is expected to be twice the current density in about 15 years, Cengiz S. Özkan states that material innovation is important here for a sustainable battery industry. kazanstated that he did. Expressing that the unit price per kilowatt hour is considered in batteries, Özkan emphasized that the popularity of diesel or gasoline vehicles will decrease as the unit price becomes even more economical in the future. Stating that the International Energy Agency predicts that the amount of lithium use in materials will increase approximately 2020 times between 2040-13, Özkan said that in the near future, battery technologies based on silicon anode, lithium sulfide and solid state batteries will come to the fore.