Energy transport, storage and distribution

Energy infrastructure and nano materials

Much of the energy landscape relies on the building of large infrastructure: drilling to great depths and piping fuel vast distances. Renewable power is also scaling up. The largest wind turbine now in operation is the GE Haliade-X, which has a capacity of 14 GW, and stands at 248 m tall . It will soon be eclipsed by the 15 GW Vestas V236, standing at a height of 260 m.

However, advances in technology on the smallest scale also have great potential to impact the energy sector. Nanotechnology has become something of a catch-all term to describe developments in science and engineering operating on the nano- or micro-metre scale. In the case of material science, the effect of tiny features of a material’s greater structure has long been understood to have significant impacts on the whole component. 

As society focuses on sustainability, one of the potential areas in which nano-scale developments can support the energy sector is through the development of self-healing materials. An area of particular interest within civil engineering is the development of effective self-healing concretes. That may sound futuristic, but there is much that can be learned from the past.

In this sub-chapter, DNV's Technology Progress Report covers: 

  • Learning from the Romans
  • Learning from nature
  • Applications in the energy sector