Solar isn’t just the way to go for our power needs, but it’s the way to go for jobs as well. The solar power jobs sector grew 20 times faster than any other sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of solar jobs has surpassed the number of coal mining jobs. This is a hopeful sign for both alternative energy and job growth.
Ocean Spiral – an underwater ocean floor factory connected to a floating sea base via a spiral tower
They have built terminal 3 of Singapore’s airport and the The Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line aka Trans-Tokyo Bay Highway. Aqualine is a bridge–tunnel combination across Tokyo Bay in Japan. It connects the city of Kawasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture with the city of Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture, and forms part of National Route 409. With an overall length of 14 km, it includes a 4.4 km bridge and 9.6 km tunnel underneath the bay—the fourth-longest underwater tunnel in the world.
It’s hard to wait for the future to get here and give us all the amazing things we’ve dreamed up in our countless sci-fi books and movies (I’m still waiting for the hover-boards Back to the Future promised me). Though much of what we’ve seen on the big screen is still decades or millennia away… or straight up impossible by our current understanding of the universe, there are several sci-fi level technological and scientific advances we’re likely to see in just the next decade.
Blogger Jordan Lejuwaan over at High Existence has compiled a list of ten such advances to look forward to in the not-to-distant future:
Toronto’s Illan Kramer, Inventor of Spray-on Solar
Illan Kramer, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, and IBM Canada’s Research and Development Center has invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using minuscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs)—a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.
“My dream is that one day you’ll have two technicians with Ghostbusters backpacks come to your house and spray your roof,” says Kramer.
Costs for home energy storage are dropping fast.
A few years ago, most people didn’t have any idea the home solar PV market would grow so fast. But it has, and there’s no stopping its momentum now. Similarly, there aren’t many people that realize how fast the home storage market is going to grow.
We all want to find an alternative to fossil fuels as soon as possible. The most viable answer to the planet’s energy needs is visible to us any time we look upward. The amount of solar energy that hits just 1 square mile of this planet over the course of a year is equal to 4 million barrels of oil, and the energy that hits the Earth in a mere 40 minutes can fuel all of humanity’s energy needs for a year. Isn’t that incredible? (Infographic)
How electrolysis could produce hydrogen as a way to store renewable energy.
There isn’t a cost-effective way to store large-scale solar energy. But researchers at Stanford have developed a solution by using electrolysis to turn tanks of water and hydrogen into batteries. During the day, electricity from solar cells could be used to break apart water into hydrogen and oxygen. Recombining these gases would generate electricity for use at night.
Researchers at Ohio State University have created a new hybrid device that can act both as a solar cell and as a battery storing that energy.
Scientists, entrepreneurs and government leaders are pushing to develop cheap, clean energy as the world seeks out alternatives to fossil fuels.
Minnesota to launch solar highways.
Solar arrays could soon be seen along the public rights-of-way that line the state’s highway in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has released a request for proposal (RFP) accepting bids to build and manage solar arrays, which would provide the state’s grid a new and reliable source of clean energy for at least 20 years.
Futurist Thomas Frey: Business owners today are actively deciding whether their next hire should be a person or a machine. After all, machines can work in the dark and don’t come with decades of HR case law requiring time off for holidays, personal illness, excessive overtime, chronic stress or anxiety.
TED talks have become an integral forum in airing ideas about tomorrow’s world, and how the likes of transport and energy will be revolutionized in the future. Here are nine of the most thought-provoking discussions on what the transformation of tomorrow will entail. (Videos)
The International Energy Agency has come out with an in-depth analysis of Africa’s energy sector. According to the IEA report, there are 620 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who don’t have any electricity at all — and fixing that could require burning a lot more fossil fuels.