Geek Mondays: Unlimited Solar Power
By Maria Popova
After the extremely popular Blue Planet Run post last Friday, we’re still on a sustainable solutions high. And the good guys at MIT are right there with us. In a breakthrough discovery last week, they’ve found a new way of storing energy from sunlight that generates practically unlimited solar power.
Resembling plant photosynthesis, the process basically splits water into hydrogen and oxygen gases using sunlight. MIT chem professor Daniel Nocera explains. (Come on, stick with the man — he’s no stand-up comedian but let’s see Jerry Seinfeld save the world from the energy apocalypse.)
Why is this huge? Because, so far, the one thing keeping solar power from reaching critical mass has been the struggle to store energy efficiently when the sun doesn’t shine. This new method — both cheap and easy to implement — will eventually allow homes to harness daytime solar energy and store it for electricity at night.
So who’s coming to our first solar-powered dinner party? Say, November 14, 2010? Don’t be late.
Published October 27, 2008