A perfect storm is about to change the game on our energy future and, therefore, our environment and economy. The unprecedented confluence of elements in this case? Climate change; fossil fuel shortages; and epic world-wide competition for energy. So what technologies will allow us to weather this storm, indeed to bring home the big catch from tempest-tossed seas? Here are my top 3 (I’ll give you two more next week):
LED lights. Using less energy and lasting longer than most of us alive today, LEDs will revolutionize the way we light our homes, businesses, streets, and game consoles (to name a few). LED lighting is not only more efficient and durable than anything on the market today, it can be programmed in a breathtaking variety of ways to deliver every color of the rainbow from each “bulb”, finally putting the “image” into “imagination” big time. Look at LED Effects, the designer of the ball that dropped on Times Square this past New Years Eve. It’s not just the LED “bulb” itself – – it’s how you program it to deliver light and images that will change the world of lighting as we know it.
Hydrogen fuel cells. Now that regulators have allowed them on aircraft, we’ll see them powering our laptops and iPhones, not just for a few hours, but for days at a time. Larger versions will power our lawnmowers, cars, RVs, and homes – – free from pollution, greenhouse gases, and blackouts on the grid. Look at the innovative work of Quantum Technologies in Orange County California (here’s a little secret – – they converted Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Hummer to run on hydrogen!).
Solar, but not your father’s panels. Thin-film solar (some versions transparent), will turn buildings into solar power plants. High rises have small roofs, but acres of sides and windows. Ovonics and MiaSole are two winners here. Look too for nano technology that will be employed to create solar paint, capturing energy from any surfaces where sunlight falls.
By the way, all of these game changers are already in use today. Mass production and adoption into a wide variety of applications will make them commonplace within 24 to 36 months. Buckle up if you’re invested in incandescent lighting, petroleum power, or fossil fueled grid electricity – – the storm is about to make landfall and sweep those dinosaurs away!
Terry Tamminen • firstname.lastname@example.org