Friday, February 20, 2009

Yoo Hoo Dr. Chu: Here's a Challenge for the Labs

What would be a really great invention is to develop a glass that first harvests solar energy and still allows enough light going through to grow plants underneath --functioning kind of like a shade cloth. In other words: a semi transparent solar panel integrated in glass which then can be used to built greenhouses (or be built into any building structure).

This would:

-integrate food with energy production

-save space

-relieve the requirement of having the absolute highest electricity return on the solar panels themselves, since they also provide heating and shading for intensive food production (which should be added into the total energy production). So it should be relatively inexpensive compared to most other solutions which solely concentrate on energy or agriculture, and at the same time with a much higher return

-create scalable models that can be reproduced in many circumstances and regions all over the world

-contribute to food and energy security

-allow for lots of employment and business oportunity in all kinds of areas, since real wealth is being produced

Dr. Steven Chu can make this one of the priorities for the National Labs --I know they can easily do this (and we will see quickly how serious the labs are about going 'green')

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