In general, 'renewable energy' is about electricity. The reason is simple: Practically everything mankind has invented over the last century runs on electric power, even most of a modern car's systems, combustion engine or not. Since mankind has still not really mastered harnessing naturally occurring electricity like lightning, transforming mechanical, chemical or quantum-physical forms of energy into electricity is still the challenge – with the laws of thermodynamics as limiting factors. However, there's more to 'renewable' than wind or sun.
With the Europe-wide energy networks undergoing a fundamental change over the next decade, energy harvesting and energy storage becomes ever more important. An exhibition event in Munich is going to focus exclusively on developments in these areas.
Germans are aware that many people around the world are making fun of their »Angst« - the protests against nuclear power in the aftermath of Fukushima and the panic reaction of Germany’s government in the (failed) hope not to lose too many votes in elections gave reason to many laughs. Time to stop laughing: Those traditionally nuclear sceptical people have built a rather successful economy around renewable energy and Smart Grids.
Due to their exposed situation, analogue and power ICs for photovoltaic applications need to fulfil special requirements. Up on rooftop, they have to withstand temperature changes, humidity and all other kinds of unpleasant conditions.
Three of the 13 sub-fairs of Hannover Messe 2011 focus on power generation - conventional and renewable. According to the organizer, »Wind« is the leading trade fair for Wind Generation Technology, Components and Services, »Energy« concentrates on Renewable and Conventional Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution, while »Power Plant Technology« is a show for Power Plant Design, Systems, Operation and Maintenance.
Power saving technologies and »intelligent« power networks that connect renewable energy sources are not only good for the environment but also beneficial for the electronics industry. Since all kinds of parameters need to be checked regularly and results compared, measurement systems are especially important.