Nanotechnology and Renewable Energy

I attended a talk titled "Nanotechnology and Renewable Energy" by Prof. Paul Alivisatos Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, and Associate Laboratory Director for Physical Sciences Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It was very nice talk. Do not miss out on a chance to attend his talks.

Efficiency of Solar cells vary from 2% to 35%. As the efficiency increases, cost increases non linearly. It is interesting to note that the amount of energy consumed by the United States in one year is roughly equal to the amount of solar energy received by the earth in one hour! To generate 3TW a year (the current US power usage) using a 3% efficient solar technology would require solar cells to cover an area that is roughly equal to the size of Texas!. The cost per kilowatt will be much higher too.

Disclaimer: I did not take notes during the talk, so my numbers may be slightly off. But I guess you get the big picture

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