New technologies to produce electrical energy tend to affect people’s lives and the balance of ecosystems in various ways. Not all technologies for generating electricity are environmentally friendly, which is important to consider when studying the energy requirements of a region or country.
What does it mean to produce or generate energy?
Before going into the subject and addressing the new technologies to generate electrical energy, it is convenient to clarify the current meaning of producing or generating energy. In this sense, it will be said that, in simple terms, producing energy consists of transforming primary energy (for example, hydraulic, thermal, wind, nuclear, among others) into electrical energy, through the use of technology.
Technologies to produce electrical energy
Technology is essential in the generation or production of energy, particularly electricity, it also has characteristics and associated costs that allow us to elucidate its viability. Some of the technologies for the production of electrical energy are the following:
Combined cycle power plants
In this type of complex, electrical energy is obtained through two processes: the first, through the gas turbine and the second, through the steam turbine, all this through the use of thermal energy from natural gas .
This type of technology is quite efficient, and best of all, it does not generate high levels of contamination. However, it has an element against it, that is, the clear dependence on natural gas, although it is highly reliable as a source of electrical energy.
It is a technology that is provided with the ability to produce electricity and thermal energy simultaneously. Due to their high performance, they are low-polluting processes, derived basically from the reduced dependence on fuels, fossil or not.
Wind technology is gaining a lot of popularity around the world because it is considered a “clean energy”. Here the electrical energy is obtained from the kinetic energy of the wind; for this, wind turbines or wind farms are installed.
The use of solar energy to produce electricity has two aspects. The first is photovoltaic solar technology, in which electrical energy is obtained through the use of solar cells, made of semi-conductive materials.
The second is thermoelectric solar technology, where electrical energy is obtained through the heating of a fluid.
Following one or another modality, it is possible to generate electricity without producing pollution, but the costs associated with the infrastructure required for commissioning are extremely high.
This type of technology is similar to common thermal power plants, however, the fuel used is organic, that is, derived from forest and agricultural remains, residues from the wood industry, energy crops, among others, in a few words; it is about obtaining energy from the biomass available in a region.
The sea and the oceans are natural reservoirs of energy on a large scale, from this derives the existence of different technologies that transform the energies of the sea into electricity.
Within this vast group of energies the following are included: tidal or tidal energy, current energy, tidal wave energy, wave or wave energy, and blue energy or osmotic power.
The technology to obtain electrical energy that underlies the bowels of the Earth is what is known as geothermal energy. It is an invaluable resource and source of renewable energy. It is still in the study phase, but it may become the most appropriate alternative to the increase in energy demands, especially electricity, without causing significant damage to the environment.
All these are important advances in energy production, however it is expected that in the coming years the scope will be expanded with the implementation of better technologies and adaptations applied to these same mechanisms, so that this resource is available in all parts of the world.