Hydrogen can store and deliver energy in a widely useable form, and it is one of the most promising alternative fuels for future energy applications. It can be produced pollution-free, without carbon dioxide emissions and it decreases our dependence on dwindling oil reserves. However, significant development is needed before hydrogen can be exploited in the same way as conventional fossil fuels. Hydrogen also has associated hazards that must be properly addressed to ensure its safe use and storage. Therefore a coherent and coordinated European strategy is required, which encompasses research and development, demonstration, application and standardisation.

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Photovoltaic electricity is the renewable energy technology with the largest scope for cost reduction and efficiency gains. It is expected to make a significant contribution to achieving EU’s goals for a low carbon energy system.

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Concentrated Solar Power


Concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies produce electricity by concentrating the sun’s rays to heat a medium (usually a liquid or gas) that is then used in a heat engine process (steam or gas turbine) to drive an electrical generator. CSP uses only the beam component of solar radiation (direct normal irradiance), and so its maximum benefit tends to be restricted to a limited geographical range.

Like nearly all other current means of producing electricity, CSP ultimately involves heating a fluid. There are four main CSP technologies: parabolic troughs (PT), solar towers with central receivers (CR), linear Fresnel reflectors (LF) and parabolic dishes (PD), all of which are at various stages of development.

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Tidal Energy


Some of the oldest ocean energy technologies use tidal power. All coastal areas experience two high tides and two low tides over a period of slightly more than 24 hours. For those tidal differences to be harnessed into electricity, the difference between high and low tides must be more than 16 feet (or at least 5 meters). However, there are only about 40 sites on Earth with tidal ranges of this magnitude.

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