Researchers at MIT have made a revolutionary breakthrough in Solar energy. They have developed a “cheap” catalyst, which can breakdown water into it’s components: hydrogen and oxygen, under the action of sunlight. The hydrogen can then be used in fuel cells or burned to generate electricity whenever it is needed. The entire system functions¬† like “artificial” photosynthesis. What the technique essentially brings is the promise of very cheap and affordable solar energy. For countries abundant in sunlight like those along the equator, in Africa and in the Indian subcontinent, the breakthrough (if harnessed properly) has the potential to usher in a new era of energy self sufficiency. (and also a chance to be the energy czars of the future). But then again, it all depends on the commercial viability of the technique.

However it does show that its possible (with proper research) to harness non-conventional sources of energy in an effective manner. Maybe our dear politicians would do well to pay heed to this aspect, instead of chasing elusive nuclear mirages.

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