An Exciting New Development in Solar Energy

I’ve always been a bit of a conservationist as far back as I can remember. Maybe it was all of those lazy summer afternoons spent looking through my family’s decades-long collection of National Geographic magazine. Maybe it was the conservation badge I got as a Cub Scout. Maybe it was from my dad’s love of trees and my mom’s love of gardens and flowers. I’m not exactly sure, but I got the bug early.

One thing I’ve been strongly interested in is viable alternative energy sources. For years, I’d thought that wave power was the best alternative to our fossil fuel needs. I felt like wave power was superior to wind power because waves come tides which in turn come from the moon’s lunar cycle. We’ll always have the moon and the seas, but we often can go days at a time without much if any wind. I also felt wave power was superior to solar power because solar is so expensive and, let’s face it, solar doesn’t work well under cloudy skies nor does it work at all at night.

As it turns out, scientists may have overcome one of the most critical technological problems with solar power, as described here (http://www.sciscoop.com/story/2008/8/1/4847/54240), but figuring out a new method for long-term storage of the power collected by solar panels. The technology is based on the fundamentals of photosynthesis and is a major leap-frogging past current techniques for storing the energy captured by solar panels. Experts in the field who were not involved with the project say that the technology, once perfected in 10 years or so, will completely change the energy game. Homes may not need to be on the grid at all or, if they are, they’ll be able to sell their net surplus of energy back to the grid. Wow! That’s progress!

-Kev

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