Solar fuel: Concentrating sunlight into a reactor to split H2O and CO2 – A step toward making liquid fuels
The increase in demand for power and energy has been phenomenal during the last decade. It is expected to continue to rise enormously during the next decade. Power and energy demand is on the rise due to rising population, industrialization and modernization across the globe. Majority of the power demand is supplied by utilizing fossil fuels such as coal, oil & gas. These are non-renewable energy sources and will get depleted sooner or later. Renewable energy is the need of the hour to guarantee sustainable energy supply. Solar energy is the most abundant source of renewable energy. Solar fuel is the perfect way to provide unlimited and sustainable energy and power across the globe. Solar fuel is produced from sunlight through artificial photosynthesis or a thermochemical reaction. Sunlight is the fuel source, which converts solar energy into chemical energy consisting of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide or methanol. Solar fuel can be stored and used later as per the requirements. The major solar fuels are hydrogen and products of carbon dioxide reduction.
The market for solar fuel is still at a nascent stage. Hydrogen fuel produced through solar energy has some applications in aerospace & aircraft industry and automobile industry. Europe and North America have been the main markets for solar fuels. Counties such as the U.S, Germany, Norway and Sweden have started using solar fuels. Countries such as Japan, South Korea and Australia are also leading adopters of solar fuel technology.
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The global solar fuel market can be segmented on the basis of types, technology and geography. Currently, solar fuels such as hydrogen fuel, diesel, methanol and methane are being produced. Technology used to convert solar energy into fuels consists of artificial photosynthesis and thermochemical reaction. North America and Asia Pacific including the U.S, Canada, Japan, South Korea, China and Australia have the highest share of solar fuel market. Europe including Germany, Sweden, Norway and Austria also have a huge market for solar fuels.
Some of the drivers for solar fuel market chiefly include the rising demand for energy across the globe. New technologies developments in solar fuels will further boost the market. Shifted focus on renewable energy sources, sustained power supply and environmental friendly power production will further boost the demand for solar fuels. In recent times, numerous research and development activities in the field of solar fuels have been carried out across the globe. It will further boost the solar fuel market. Although, present lack of technology and limited applications may pose a threat to solar fuel market. However, many national governments have given grants and funds for carrying out research in solar fuel technology. In many countries such as Japan, Germany, U.K, Netherlands and Sweden, governments have given subsidies for solar fuel powered cars and other applications of solar fuels. All these factors predict an excellent growth trajectory for the solar fuel market during the forecast period.
Some of the key players in the solar fuel market include BioCee Inc.,Climeworks LLC, HyperSolar Inc., Joule Unlimited Inc., Liquid Light Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Solar Fuel Corporation, Shell Global Solutionsand Toshiba Corporation among others.
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