#9 – Smarter electricity generation

We have all been told for a number of years that burning oil and coal to generate electricity is inefficient, using a resource that is about to run out and very polluting. So we need to think of another way to generate that electricity. Dams are currently a no-no due to NIMBY’s not wanting them to be near them and more environmental concerns around spawning of fish and eels. Wind turbines supposedly ruin the beauty of the hills and the frequency of them can cause health issues to those who have the misfortune to live near them.

So are we to go back to the dark ages where we don’t use electricity and throw away our iphones, laptops, TVs and microwave ovens? Not likely! We need to come up with different ways to generate and store electricity so that it is there when we want it without causing more damage to our environment.

Which is why when a friend shared this on her facebook page last week and it popped up on my news-feed I thought it was perfect for my list. A fully transparent solar cell (1). Replace all the windows in your house with this and power your house off the sun. Have your phone screen made out of this and you may never have to charge your cellphone again, just keep it out of your pocket and in a sunny place while not using it.

While this is quite a cool idea, I can imagine something like this will take a lot more development before it can become mainstream and the costs come down to make it affordable. I can’t imagine that the power companies will invest in this as it will harm their revenue. So the push for something like this will need to come from a manufacturer.

So while this isn’t probably likely to make it, I am hopeful that the next break through in electricity generation is coming soon, making this number 9 on my list.

References

(1)     http://www.offgridquest.com/extra/a-fully-transparent-solar-cell-that-coul

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