Did you know that harnessing solar power would be impossible without plastics? Solar panels are partly made from plastics, and solar power is a free, highly efficient energy source!
The development of renewable energy resources is booming. Solar and wind power, geothermal heat and biomass are inexhaustible. The Sun generates 15,000 times more energy than the total primary energy consumed worldwide in one year. Already, entire regions in Europe are using renewable energy to meet almost all of their heating, hot water and electricity requirements – with innovative solutions made from state of the art plastics!
Even when the skies are grey, modern solar water heaters can heat up to 65% of a household’s annual hot water demand. Photovoltaic collectors that can convert solar energy into electricity can cover the remaining energy requirements of a Passive House at the very least. This would be impossible without plastics as many important components such as the collector housing, the pipe insulation or even the central control system are made from polymer materials.
With major prospects for the future, Europe will take a leading part in the development of new sources for renewable energy. At a meeting in Brussels held in March 2007, the EU‘s 27 heads of state and government agreed to boost the share of renewable energies in the European energy balance from currently 6.4% to 20% by 2020. Intelligent plastics solutions will make a substantial contribution to the improvement of the European energy balance sheet.