The race towards sustainable energy needs to be sped up. Salah Malkawi for The National
The race towards sustainable energy needs to be sped up. Salah Malkawi for The National

We must think beyond fuel cells, wind power and even solar energy



Energy efficiency is urgently needed because climate is changing and sea levels are rising due to our excessive and inefficient use of fossil fuels. Whereas scientists debate the extent of the problem, nearly everyone agrees that climate change is a fact, and its impact will be disastrous for the social and economic fabric which has been woven over the past centuries. Humanity will have to adapt.

The problem, however, is broader than global warming. We burn oil to generate power at very low efficiency. Oil to power for transportation through a combustion engine only reaps 13 per cent of its energy potential. There is no investment that survives the scrutiny of financial experts when the return is a mere 13 per cent reached after 100 years of research. Our refusal to push for substantially greater fuel efficiency is inexcusable. Worse, the refusal to invest heavily in research and development to move us towards a renewable economy is a lost opportunity.

Energy efficiency is nowhere yet compared to where it could be. The time has come to go beyond the obvious. It is urgent to think beyond fuel cells, wind power and even solar. While these forms of renewable energies represented a great start with billions invested, we need to scale and speed up if we want to make a real dent in the statistics. The time has come to identify the key areas for fundamental research and embrace creativity in order to imagine the next levels of fuel and energy efficiency that can target breakthroughs by a factor of 100.

Did you know that the power of your heart has the equivalent strength of 0.003 horsepower? This core system that secures our survival requires about 1.5 Watts of energy. This is generated thanks to a chemical reaction of potassium and calcium that we accumulate through an appropriate inflow of nutrients. This muscle has the strength to channel 8,000 liters of blood through some 60,000 km of veins and arteries each day. Have we ever simulated energy efficient systems which can emulate this performance? Now imagine the whale, pumping 1,000 litres every pulse through a hundred million veins and arteries.

Do you know how a butterfly moves around? It harvests the micro flows of energy available through minute gusts of wind that are sufficient to surf from Mexico to the United States, and get the food it needs. No other living species is as efficient as the butterfly in harvesting these unnoticeable sources of energy. Do you know how a trout can hold still in a gush of water in a mountain creek?

Did you ever stop and think about the natural energy which permits the apple to defy gravity? We know well how the apple and any other object, respects the law of gravity and drops down, but why do we not wonder how the apple gets up there in the first place. This is a major lack of understanding how nature works. Whereas each of these phenomena could be explained haphazardly, it is necessary to pay more attention to the capacity of nature to harvest energy with levels of efficiency our human living systems cannot even dream of.

We urgently need to rethink our framework of reference for energy efficiency. The best option is to inspire children at an early age. That is why the Zayed Future Energy Prize is such a welcome initiative. If we remain inventive only with the obvious energy sources which we know today, we will make major strides forward, but we will not design a society capable of responding to everyone's needs. There is no doubt that nature can be a bigger inspiration than we ever considered possible; and even better, nature does not generate carbon or methane emissions while thriving on numerous forces which we have just begun to understand.

Gunter Pauli is author of 15 books, including The Blue Economy

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

How to increase your savings
  • Have a plan for your savings.
  • Decide on your emergency fund target and once that's achieved, assign your savings to another financial goal such as saving for a house or investing for retirement.
  • Decide on a financial goal that is important to you and put your savings to work for you.
  • It's important to have a purpose for your savings as it helps to keep you motivated to continue while also reducing the temptation to spend your savings. 

- Carol Glynn, founder of Conscious Finance Coaching

 

 

Rocketman

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Starring: Taron Egerton, Richard Madden, Jamie Bell

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

'Panga'

Directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

Starring Kangana Ranaut, Richa Chadha, Jassie Gill, Yagya Bhasin, Neena Gupta

Rating: 3.5/5

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
If you go

  • The nearest international airport to the start of the Chuysky Trakt is in Novosibirsk. Emirates (www.emirates.com) offer codeshare flights with S7 Airlines (www.s7.ru) via Moscow for US$5,300 (Dh19,467) return including taxes. Cheaper flights are available on Flydubai and Air Astana or Aeroflot combination, flying via Astana in Kazakhstan or Moscow. Economy class tickets are available for US$650 (Dh2,400).
  • The Double Tree by Hilton in Novosibirsk (+7 383 2230100,) has double rooms from US$60 (Dh220). You can rent cabins at camp grounds or rooms in guesthouses in the towns for around US$25 (Dh90).
  • The transport Minibuses run along the Chuysky Trakt but if you want to stop for sightseeing, hire a taxi from Gorno-Altaisk for about US$100 (Dh360) a day. Take a Russian phrasebook or download a translation app. Tour companies such as Altair-Tour (+7 383 2125115 ) offer hiking and adventure packages.
The bio

Studied up to grade 12 in Vatanappally, a village in India’s southern Thrissur district

Was a middle distance state athletics champion in school

Enjoys driving to Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah with family

His dream is to continue working as a social worker and help people

Has seven diaries in which he has jotted down notes about his work and money he earned

Keeps the diaries in his car to remember his journey in the Emirates

The bio

Favourite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Favourite travel destination: Maldives and south of France

Favourite pastime: Family and friends, meditation, discovering new cuisines

Favourite Movie: Joker (2019). I didn’t like it while I was watching it but then afterwards I loved it. I loved the psychology behind it.

Favourite Author: My father for sure

Favourite Artist: Damien Hurst

Williams at Wimbledon

Venus Williams - 5 titles (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008)

Serena Williams - 7 titles (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2016)

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

MATCH INFO

Inter Milan v Juventus
Saturday, 10.45pm (UAE)
Watch the match on BeIN Sports

Turning waste into fuel

Average amount of biofuel produced at DIC factory every month: Approximately 106,000 litres

Amount of biofuel produced from 1 litre of used cooking oil: 920ml (92%)

Time required for one full cycle of production from used cooking oil to biofuel: One day

Energy requirements for one cycle of production from 1,000 litres of used cooking oil:
▪ Electricity - 1.1904 units
▪ Water- 31 litres
▪ Diesel – 26.275 litres

'Project Power'

Stars: Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dominique Fishback

Director: ​Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman

Rating: 3.5/5

LA LIGA FIXTURES

Friday Athletic Bilbao v Celta Vigo (Kick-off midnight UAE)

Saturday Levante v Getafe (5pm), Sevilla v Real Madrid (7.15pm), Atletico Madrid v Real Valladolid (9.30pm), Cadiz v Barcelona (midnight)

Sunday Granada v Huesca (5pm), Osasuna v Real Betis (7.15pm), Villarreal v Elche (9.30pm), Alaves v Real Sociedad (midnight)

Monday Eibar v Valencia (midnight)

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September

THE LOWDOWN

Photograph

Rating: 4/5

Produced by: Poetic License Motion Pictures; RSVP Movies

Director: Ritesh Batra

Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sanya Malhotra, Farrukh Jaffar, Deepak Chauhan, Vijay Raaz

Our legal columnist

Name: Yousef Al Bahar

Advocate at Al Bahar & Associate Advocates and Legal Consultants, established in 1994

Education: Mr Al Bahar was born in 1979 and graduated in 2008 from the Judicial Institute. He took after his father, who was one of the first Emirati lawyers

Sri Lanka-India Test series schedule
  • 1st Test India won by 304 runs at Galle
  • 2nd Test Thursday-Monday at Colombo
  • 3rd Test August 12-16 at Pallekele
Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.


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