COP 21 recommends that the non-carbon energy solutions should be wind and solar at the top of the preferred list. For some reason, nuclear was barely mentioned as a non-carbon solution in the general assembly but was discussed in special breakout sessions. Coal, oil and gas were definitely discussed and the general consensus is to have it taxed and eventually banned. Good luck with that.
The one energy technology that COP 21 got right was solar. Not the solar we see today on rooftops or as solar farms spread out all over the land. No, today’s silicon solutions with rigid fixed panels have to follow the sun from am to pm to maximize electricity generation. And of course that means they provide zero electricity at night.
In today’s solar energy system, the sun’s rays hit photovoltaic cells that capture the energy and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity, which is then converted to alternating current (AC), for use in home electric systems or for transfer to the grid. But it turns out that the PV cells being used don’t capture as much of the sun’s rays as they should because of fluctuations in the wavelength of the rays due to time of day or time of year. Only about 25% of the rays are captured on average. That is not considered efficient in my world of 98% efficiency with clean nuclear energy generation – 24x7x365 days a year.
The ideal situation is to capture all of the sun’s rays regardless of fluctuation. Better yet, a situation where light from any source could convert to energy. A good example would be another Israeli energy tech firm, 3GSolar, which is using nanotechnology to develop integrated photovoltaic energy cells that will allow consumer devices to recharge themselves not just in the sun, but with ordinary lighting – including electric lighting – indoors, thus eliminating a need for batteries altogether. If they can sustain this power transfer on a small scale, it won’t be long before we will see solar power dominating energy generation every where.
I mentioned Israel again because that is where technology is evolving the fastest. In just 9 short years, Israel has become the nanotech superpower where the EU, US, Asia and other countries come to for resources. There are currently 1,995 PhD graduates from the six universities in Israel that offer a doctorate in the field of nanotech, in addition to 2,908 graduates with masters degrees – besides the several hundred already in school, according to Dan Vilenski in the Start-Up Israel News.
Even more impressive, the article also stated that in the past nine years, Israeli nanotechnology researchers have filed 1,590 patents (769 granted so far), published 12,392 scholarly articles on the subject, and had 129 nano-success stories, which include establishing start-ups, selling ideas or technology to multinationals.
Israeli nanotech innovations are part of some of the world’s biggest most innovative pharmaceutical, water filtration, diagnostic, energy, security – even hair coloring – technologies and products. That is all from a very small country of just 9 million people in the middle of a war zone. If you put 2 and 2 together, you will realize why their technology is always leading edge. It’s called survival.
Nano solutions are the future of solar energy and many other industrial products. In fact, nano materials impact every aspect of our lives. The effects of nano on society are so huge, I will discuss its use in categories like solar energy, purification systems or medical science in future articles. Nanotechnology is about the complete control of matter at the atom level. It is so small it appears invisible, like photo catalysis coatings and nano fibers stronger than steel in a piece of see through glass.