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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Efficient power conversion of solar energy?
Nanotechnology may allow highly efficient power conversion from sunlight. Current solar panel designs are not that efficient (well below 20%) whereas nantennas could in theory have efficiencies of over 70%. Basically a nantenna combines an antenna for optical frequencies with a detector in one tiny structure.

Such a leap in efficiency would totally transform solar energy use: roof panels on a house would be able to produce plenty of surplus energy in addition to that required by the home owner. It really could be a game changer.

You can imagine the large petrochemical lobby doing all in its power to discourage research and development into such technologies.  Far too little is invested in such new technologies because of lobbies with money, power and influence buying political decisions.

I cannot help thinking how such ground breaking, game changing, technology could be developed to commercial scale with just a fraction of the US or UK defence budgets that has been (arguably) totally wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan.  These wars have thrown away around $700-800 billion already: that would have paid for a HUGE amount of research and development and ultimately do far more for world peace and harmony.

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