18 August 2008

An Step in the Right Direction

A researcher at MIT may have made a major step forward in making solar and wind energy practical on a large, industrial scale. One of the obvious problems with solar is that it doesn't work so well when the sun doesn't shine. It's the same story for wind; on a calm day you're left with nothing but a forest of thirty-story modern art sculptures.

In this case, the MIT researcher may have found a way to use electricity to efficiently split water into its constituent elements, hydrogen and oxygen, a process the smart kids call electrolysis. These gases can then be stored for later use in a fuel cell giving you energy even on the calmest, darkest of nights.

Is this the solution to the global energy problem? Almost certainly, no, but it could be another step on the long path towards cheap, clean energy.

(Via Andrew Sullivan)

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