Climate-KIC is a European knowledge and innovation community, working towards a prosperous, inclusive, climate-resilient society founded on a circular, zero-carbon economy. Their summer school visited Impact Hub Zurich last week, and I was lucky enough to be asked to participate.

I focused on discussing why we need wind energy to fight climate change and then what we can do to contribute.

Thanks to Karin Stephan from Impact Hub Zurich for these photos!

Why we need wind energy

Reason 1. It produces hardly any greenhouse gases.

 Comparison of Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Various Electricity Generation Sources, World Nuclear Association, 2011   

Comparison of Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Various Electricity Generation Sources, World Nuclear Association, 2011

 

Reason 2. It's cheap.

 Lazard’s levelized cost of energy analysis — version 11.0, 2017   

Lazard’s levelized cost of energy analysis — version 11.0, 2017

 

Reason 3. It looks better than this.

 http://i.dailymail.co.uk

http://i.dailymail.co.uk

What we can do to contribute

Problem 1: NIMBY - Not In My Back Yard (people want renewable energy but don't want to see it)

Possible solutions:

  • Community-owned wind farms.
  • Better education and better informed media.
  • Medium-scale hybrid solutions for independent energy supply (PV / wind / storage).
  • Out-of-the-box innovations such as Airborne Wind Turbines.

Problem 2: Offshore wind energy costs are still too high

Possible solutions:

  • Innovative cloud / IoT monitoring solutions.
  • Innovate measurement systems.
  • Improved wind prediction software.
  • Smart logistics.

Problem 3: Grid overload and instability

Possible solutions:

  • Large-scale hybrid solutions (PV / wind / storage).
  • Smart grids.
  • Energy storage.

Problem 4: Physical limit of wind turbine size

Possible solutions:

  • Deformable blades.
  • Passive load reduction.
  • Active load reduction.

What I am trying to do

  • Promote alternative thinking to growth and free market idealogies.

  • I lead the new wind energy programme at the University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil - the first University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland with a wind energy research programme! We look at the following topics:

    • High-fidelity simulations to reduce electricity costs.

    • Independent electricity supply technologies to help grid overload and NIMBY.

    • Innovative measurement technology and IoT solutions to reduce electricity costs.

  • I lecture wind energy at the University of Kassel and the University of Oldenburg (Germany).

  • With windspire, I improve understanding and decision-making related to wind energy.

     

    Find out more

    Download the full presentation here:

More about me:

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