Holister on nanotechnology and energy

Paul Holister, winner of the 2003 Foresight Prize in Communication, has an upcoming book on nanotechnology and energy to be published by John Wiley. While we wait for that, we can read this interview at InvestorIdeas.com. Excerpt:

At the other extreme of nanotech impact, you have solar energy. We are children in this area, and the playground is built on the nanoscale. Almost any development is going to involve nanotech — an intriguing recent exception being the use of lenses to focus light on old-fashioned silicon photovoltaics, thus demanding less of this expensive material. This is one of the areas where nanotech-enabled technology could well be revolutionary.

But what makes for a revolution in energy generation? Two things: availability and economics. The fact that solar energy is so bountiful — enough hits the Earth in a minute to meet our global requirements for at least a week — makes it potentially revolutionary; it’s just the cost of capturing that energy that has been standing in the way. Reduce that enough, or increase the cost of the alternatives, and you have a revolution.

Bring it on! —Christine

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