The boundaries of the possible and impossible for science were determined by the Global Energy Association`s experts at SPIEF
On June 7, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) held a session “Science and Life: The Boundaries of the Possible”. The world's leading scientists and experts discussed the potential of the industry to confront global challenges and identified factors that create new opportunities for sustainable development of mankind.
According to their opinion, science is able to solve if not all, but many problems of mankind, which will significantly improve the quality of life. Today, its role in creating a model of sustainable development and meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the future is increasingly important. However, the development of the academic science itself, which is responsible for basic research, is complicated by a number of factors, among them - the lack of funding and the level of state support. "Despite the fact that the country's need for the results of scientific activities applicable to technological solutions is increasing, now there are 70% of basic research is at the expense of the state in Russia, and 30% - with the help of a private investor. This is the exact opposite of the countries we want to target. Now only high-tech companies understand the need to invest not only in innovations used in their business, but also in the development of science",- said the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeev.
Expanding the idea of the importance of attracting private capital to science, Rodney John Allam, the 2012 Global Energy Prize laureate, Member of the International Award Committee, Partner of 8 Rivers Capital LLC, Member of the IPCC, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, told that the technological solutions created for new opportunities for humanity and should be economically approved. Professor Allam is the author of the technology, the so-called "Allam cycle", which allows to generate inexpensive and clean energy from hydrocarbon fuels without harmful emissions into the environment. At an early stage, its innovation added about 50-70% of the cost of electricity for the final consumer. At the moment, the technology is improved. Now in La Porta (Texas) built a demonstration plant, working on the "Allam cycle". The cost of electricity production on it is about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour. The principle of operation of the "cycle" is as follows: natural gas is burned in the combustion chamber with pure oxygen under high pressure, and the resulting CO2 reaction in a closed loop passes through a special turbine and returns to the process. The system has an efficiency of 58.9% and a high degree of carbon capture – almost 100%. "My experience shows that only at the moment when the technology becomes economically profitable, it becomes applicable, and the applicability of technologies created by the people of science is a key factor in progress," concluded Rodney John Allam.
Among other factors necessary for world progress, experts recalled the importance of international cooperation. According to Dominique Fache, member of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, member of the Board of Directors of Sophia Antipolis Technopark, Chairman of the Board of Directors of RTF LLC, collaboration will not only allow you to create the solutions that will be beneficial to all, but will improve the overall geopolitical situation in the world. "It is impossible to impose sanctions on the technologies of the future, while in order to restore a favorable political climate, cooperation should go in three directions: in the fields of education, science and culture," the expert said. He also expressed concern about the growth of the planet's population. If now this figure is more than 7 billion people, by the end of the century it will reach 13 billion, which will inevitably lead to increased struggle for resources.
"Ensuring universal access to energy is the most important task that we face now, and in the light of the high rate of population growth, it becomes even more important. The discovery of an inexhaustible source of energy will be the key to peace and create new horizons for development without compromising the security of mankind," said Sergey Alekseenko. In his opinion, such a source can be petrothermal energy.
The participants agreed that, crossing the boundaries of the impossible, States need to build international scientific cooperation. It will create the new solutions and technological opportunities for a better life on Earth.