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An overview of the concept and technology of ubiquitous energy
- Alanne, Kari, Cao, Sunliang
- Applied energy 2019 v.238 pp. 284-302
- crystallization, energy conversion, renewable energy sources, supply chain
- The continuous and rapid development of energy technology challenges the scientific community to ponder the long-term energy evolution from the perspective of sustainable energy transition. We state that one of the key challenges for the new (post-fossil) energy era is to guarantee to all energy users an access to adequate resources of energy everywhere and at any moment of time. To crystallize the key ideas of such a pervasive energy supply chain into a single concept, we introduce the concept ‘ubiquitous energy’. The main contribution of our paper is to create a discussion framework for the concept and to identify the most relevant technology pathways for the realization of ‘ubiquitous energy’. Hence, we first present the background of the concept and discuss matters concerning the ‘quality of energy to be present everywhere’. Secondly, we review the latest innovations in energy technology with respect to the energy supply chain and summarize technology pathways to ‘ubiquitous energy’. To that end, we describe a systematic framework to classify energy technologies under energy generation, storage, transmission and distribution. We conclude that ‘ubiquitous energy’ covers various solutions in both scope and degree of integration, but the most prominent trend of development is the use of distributed and shared resources and local energy supply chains. Here, the research should focus on integrated and mobile energy conversion and storage options and wireless power transmission.