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Saturday, July 20, 2013

A huge, very important solar "game changer", folks

This is huge.

UCLA, solar power, solar energy, transparent solar cells, solar power generating windows, polymer solar cell, photovoltaics, sustainable homes

UCLA researchers create highly transparent solar cells for windows

And why is this "huge"?

It's big and important for a few reasons.

First, it makes electricity created from the sun far less expensive.  That alone is an important step in getting electricity from the sun more widespread so we can have far cleaner energy and less pollution and carbon dioxide spread around the world. 

Second, it makes it far easier to install on, say, all the glass business towers across the US and world. That, again, makes it far more likely to happen and spread.  Nothing but environment wins for us.

Third, it makes solar energy far less polluting itself, since solar panels wouldn't have to be created.

I don't think people understand how big and pivotal and important this is and can be, for the US and even the world.

It's been said that, whatever nation "owns" solar energy will also "own" the next century. It's important we be on top of this, as a nation. This needs to be patented quickly and, unfortunately, the technology kept from the Chinese. We can sell it to them but that's all.

Now, that said, I'd have to immediately fall back on that and say that, the minute we do sell it to them, they'll take apart and mimic that same technology and create their own so the "win" for us will be short-lived.

Coincidentally, from The New York Times yesterday:

This could help us avoid a trade war with China, at the same time, a fourth big benefit of this development. This would make that a thing of the past. We would, in effect, leapfrog over this problem of trade with the Chinese on now-antiquated solar panels.  A total win.

All that said, this could and should make energy not only far cleaner and less polluting and distributing far less carbon dioxide but it should also help get energy far more cheaply, out to the entire world and should and reduce the costs of electricity but also get it out to more of the poor and impoverished of the world, too, unless it's controlled only by corporations and the governments they "own."

I'm also thinking--and hoping--that this technology will allow the purchaser to merely put this on existing windows, too, and not have to replace them. If that's the case, and I feel strongly it either is or will be, it just makes it that much bigger a solar energy advancement. That owners and developers of existing skyscrapers and other companies and corporations could merely put these electricity-generating cells on their existing windows would be a huge energy savings for those companies, at the same time it reduces pollution.

This could, conceivably, be, if not a death knell, certainly a huge dent in our need for very-polluting power plants with all their coal and pollution and yes, carbon dioxide emitting stacks.

It could also, quite conceivably, lead to cars with these cells on not just the glass, maybe, but on the hood and roof and trunk, so they generate their own, clean power and we start polluting far less with our transportation one day soon, too. That would be a great advance for the planet.

This breakthrough should make it reasonably-priced, then, for corporations, organizations and building owners, at least, to put these on existing buildings so they generate their own power. Can you imagine the short- and long-term savings of doing away with most of a skyscraper's utility bill? Added to it, in much of the year, I'd be very surprised if those same glass towers would generate more power than the building would require so they could and would be able to sell that additional power back to the utility company as is now prescribed by law.

Finally, folks, note where this was made, note who created this breakthrough.

Yes, it was UCLA--the University of California at Los Angeles.

It wasn't a corporation.

That, too, is huge.  

It's also why we need to both stop cutting education funding and absolutely stop making education more and more expensive for the students and children in the nation.

But that's another story.

For now, let's just enjoy that this has apparently been created and that it was created here in the good old US of A.

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