My dear students and fellow friends..
Do you know that, while we are so happy driving our cars and watching television at home with our given subsidized power supply, the world is actually facing a serious and major problem on oil depleting issues.
ExxonMobil (2004) has stated that global rates of oil discovery have been falling since the early 1960s. All of the 100 or so supergiant fields that are collectively responsible for about half of current world production were discovered in the 1940s, '50s, '60s, and '70s. No fields of comparable size have been found since then; instead, exploration during recent years has turned up only much smaller fields that deplete relatively quickly. The result is that today only one new barrel of oil is being discovered for every five or six that are extracted and used (http://www.oildepletionprotocol.org/getinformed/faq).
This is happening now to our world. Just look at this figure.
Human tends to produce more oil, due to the global energy demand. Unfortunately, the discovery of new oil fields are decreasing every day.
What will happen in the future if there are no fossil fuels left, I am not so sure..
What shall we do? Are we gonna just wait and see?
So, what is the best solution so far? Well, many researchers believed that the answer to this situation is by implementing Renewable Energy (RE).
What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable (naturally replenished). International Energy Agency explains:
The main objectives to implement RE are to provide green energy, which is environmental-friendly, reliable, clean and prolongs sustainable development for the future."Renewable energy is derived from natural processes that are replenished constantly. In its various forms, it derives directly from the sun, or from heat generated deep within the earth. Included in the definition is electricity and heat generated from solar, wind, ocean, hydropower, biomass, geothermal resources, and biofuels and hydrogen derived from renewable resources."
I always believed that Solar Energy is the best solution for Malaysia. Basically, because our country is geographically located at the equator and we receives sun 12 hours a day.
Sources: (http://tooons.blogspot.com/2009/09/cartoon-solar-energy.html)Solar energy with its radiant light and heat from the sun manage to give Malaysia a reliable supply of power.
Something that is sooo..true about solar power..=) Nobody owns it except the Almighty.
There are two types of solar technologies; either passive solar or active solar. It is all depending on the way the solar radiant is capture, convert and distribute to solar energy.
Active solar techniques: include the use of photovoltaic panels (PV) and solar thermal collectors (concentrating solar power-CSP) to harness the energy.
Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air. This is more reflects towards building design in architectural study.
My focus on my PhD research is more on Type 1. So, what is Type 1 of Solar Power?
Solar power is divided into two main technologies, which are Solar Photovoltaic (PV) and Solar Thermal Power.
(i) Photovoltaics (PV) is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity using semiconductors that exhibit the photovoltaic effect. Below are the pictures that show the coolness of this system and how we can adapt to residential houses in Malaysia:-
(ii) Solar Thermal Power
This is how solar thermal power works.
We really need a solar farm in Malaysia if we intended to implement this type of system.
Picture above shows a solar power plant which is located near Seville, in Spain, and can be described as an architectural landmark and an industry marvel. The Spain engineers have constructed a 40 storeys high tower surrounded with 600 mirrors that reflect sun’s rays on top of the tower. Heat from sun is used to steam water, that in turn powers turbines producing electricity with zero gas emissions making for the perfect environmental friendly power plant (http://www.gadgetroad.com/spain-uses-worlds-first-solar-thermal-power-plant-367/). This is the major different from PV system.
Something to ponder on.. So far, with the advancement of Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV), Malaysia only focuses on BIPV for commercial and urban residential areas. How about rural and remote areas in Malaysia? Yes, we do have some successful PV projects in islands in Malaysia, but the progress is a bit slow compared to Thailand (our nearest neighbour). What are the best initiative? I personally don't think BIPV is suitable to be implemented to Malaysian 'kampung' houses. Do we really think that only urban people deserves to have all the excitement in life via electronic entertainment? So, the 'kampung' people will only sleep early at night in the future?This will definitely affected the society development in Malaysia for the future.
So, which one is better for Malaysia??
For a beautiful world in the future...
Finally, I would like to recommend to all of you to be wise in energy consumption. Be wise and save it!