Following the advent of the industrial revolution, fossil fuels have been massively exploited and as a result, they are beginning to dry up.
Energy is vital to industrial development, as most energy is used in industrial processes. Data show that the industrial sector accounts for more than 50 percent of the world’s total energy consumption, mostly in construction, agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
The large volume of literature discussing the energy efficiency and emissions from industrial processes, electric motors, high-pressure air processes and boilers makes it clear that this sector uses a lot of energy.
As a result of environmental concerns and the rapid growth of oil prices, many businesses no longer favor using fossil fuels. Basically, the use of renewable energy systems in the industrial sector can lead to significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
This is the reason traditional energy consumption should be shifted toward renewables, and it is imperative that the industrial sector develops and applies new energy technologies.
Among the sources of renewable energy, solar has received the most attention because it is the most attractive option for the industrial sector. Solar energy is inexhaustible and does not create noise or air pollution. Thus far, the industrial sector has harnessed solar energy through collectors, photovoltaic panels, trackers and giant mirrors among others.
The application of solar energy in industry can be divided into two categories: solar thermal energy and solar photovoltaic energy. Some common applications include heating water, producing steam, drying and dehydration procedures, preheating, concentration, pasteurization, sterilization, washing, cleaning, chemical reactions, industrial space heating, food, plastics, construction, the textile industry and even the commercial sector.
In the industrial sector, solar energy can be used as a source of power and directly in the industrial process itself. If the application is distinguished by whether any external power is involved, solar energy applications can be divided into passive and active systems.
Passive applications do not require external power and are mainly used in household water heaters. Active applications require external power and have a wider range of applications, including air conditioning, refrigeration, steam production and seawater desalination.
Solar energy systems are reliable and cost-effective, and their primary purpose in the industrial sector is to address energy sustainability issues. According to primary energy consumption data released by Shell, solar power generation will have increased significantly by 2030.
Renewable energy development experience shows that within the solar energy industry chain, smooth coordination among designers, engineers, developers, technical consultants, operations and maintenance personnel, and material suppliers is crucial to sustainable industrial development. However, government and community policy play the key role in making this happen.
Lu Shyi-min is a retired energy policy researcher at the Industrial Technology Research Institute’s Green Energy and Environment Laboratories.
Translated by Lin Lee-kai
Late last month, Beijing introduced changes to school curricula in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, requiring certain subjects to be taught in Mandarin rather than Mongolian. What is Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) seeking to gain from sending this message of pernicious intent? It is possible that he is attempting cultural genocide in Inner Mongolia, but does Xi also have the same plan for the democratic, independent nation of Mongolia? The controversy emerged with the announcement by the Inner Mongolia Education Bureau on Aug. 26 that first-grade elementary-school and junior-high students would in certain subjects start learning with Chinese-language textbooks, as
There are worrying signs that China is on the brink of a major food shortage, which might trigger a strategic contest over food security and push Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), already under intense pressure, toward drastic measures, potentially spelling trouble for Taiwan and the rest of the world. China has encountered a perfect storm of disasters this year. On top of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, torrential rains have caused catastrophic flooding in the Yangtze River basin, China’s largest agricultural region. Floodwaters are estimated to have already destroyed the crops on 6 million hectares of farmland. The situation has been
For the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), China’s “century of humiliation” is the gift that keeps on giving. Beijing returns again and again to the theme of Western imperialism, oppression and exploitation to keep stoking the embers of grievance and resentment against the West, and especially the US. However, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that in 1949 announced it had “stood up” soon made clear what that would mean for Chinese and the world — and it was not an agenda that would engender pride among ordinary Chinese, or peace of mind in the international community. At home, Mao Zedong (毛澤東) launched
The restructuring of supply chains, particularly in the semiconductor industry, was an essential part of discussions last week between Taiwan and a US delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach. It took precedent over the highly anticipated subject of bilateral trade partnerships, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) founder Morris Chang’s (張忠謀) appearance on Friday at a dinner hosted by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for Krach was a subtle indicator of this. Chang was in photographs posted by Tsai on Facebook after the dinner, but no details about their discussions were disclosed. With