A fight against climate change: 3 new incredible innovations and technological advances in renewable energy

Renewable energy is our way forward towards a more sustainable world. Not only do renewable energy sources decrease the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted into the atmosphere, they also have the potential to save us all money — and who wouldn’t be interested in reducing the amount of money spent on energy? I know I definitely would! Due to technological improvements, solar power has grown significantly during the last decade, and costs have decreased extensively, making renewable energy an even more viable solution to climate change. However, the commercial types of renewable energy that we are currently using are not yet able to satisfy the energy demands of the world, which is yet another reason why we need to invest in innovative solutions to make renewable energy even more sustainable.

Artificial Photosynthesis: Bionic Leaf

Image provided by News.harvard.edu

What would you say if I told you that in the future, we may ever have to drill into the ground to extract fuels? Intriguing, right? A “bionic leaf” has successfully been developed by scientists from the university of Harvard. This leaf is able to trap the energy from sunlight and turn 10% of it into usable energy — this doesn’t sound like a lot, but compared to the 1% efficiency in regular plants, it’s quite extraordinary! This invention is referred to as artificial photosynthesis, and is a very promising solution to making solar power even more efficient as it imitates the way in which nature converts sunlight, CO2 and H2O into energy. Artificial photosynthesis is an optimistic method for improving renewable energy. The improvements in solar power are quite spectacular and show great promise although they are not yet ready for implementation.

Solar Thermophotovoltaics

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An interesting new solar thermophotovoltaic device created by MIT researchers may have the ability to surpass the efficiency limits of traditional photovoltaics that are used in solar panels. Traditional solar cells only utilize the visual light from violet to red, however, now, with this new technology solar power will one day go from reaching 30% efficiency levels to 80%! It works like this: Sunlight is transformed into heat and then it’s transformed back into light that is concentrated within the range of light that solar cells are able to utilize. This incredible discovery, that will make solar power even more efficient, will be available in 10 to 15 years!

Solar Skin Design

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The hideous appearance of solar panels in the home is one of the solar industry’s major hurdles. However, a design company has found a potential solution to this problem, which they call “solar skin”. Imitating the design and color of a conventional roof, the printable skin will allow for homeowners in 2017 to customize their solar panels to their liking. Now you can have solar panels look similar to your roof without compromising the efficiency of the panel! With this new innovation, the unattractiveness of solar panels is no longer an excuse not to invest in them. I hope that this will motivate you and everyone else to reevaluate their stance on solar panels in the home.

These new fascinating innovations and technologies are not only incredibly interesting but also vitally important for our climate. Despite all the obstacles that renewable energy faces, I do believe that we one day will live 100% sustainably. I hope that this post has sparked your curiosity regarding the endless possibilities that technology and an innovative mindset provide us with. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I hope that after reading this, you do, too!