There are millions, if not billions, to be made by whoever figures out the "killer tech" when it comes to creating power from unlimited renewable energy sources like the sun, wind, tides and the geothermal heat trapped in the earth.
While traditional clean energy technologies like wind turbines and solar panels are being deployed all over the world already, there are many extremely smart people pushing the envelope and coming up with very cool and unique ideas.
Here are a few that we've come across:
The BMW "Simple Concept" Commuter Car - a cross between a car and motorbike. It's probably unlikely that we'll see this anytime soon, but this concept car by BMW looks seriously fun to drive. Not to mention it consumes only 2 liters of gasoline for every 100 kilometers.
Masdar, Abu Dhabi - Masdar City is a clean technology, carbon-neutral city being developed 17km outside of Abu Dhabi. It will be a city free of cars and powered almost entirely by the sun.
The AIDA project (Affective Intelligent Driving Agent) - okay this one isn't going to save the planet, but it might reduce the amount of gas you use driving. Developed by engineers at MIT, AIDA learns your driving habits and most frequent stops and then over time as it learns more and more about you it can suggest more efficient and timely routes. I thought it was kind of like a smart-meter for your car.
Minesto Tidal Energy - while there are all sorts of cool looking technologies out there for converting tidal power into electricity, the Minesto design is in a category all its own. I just don't know how good of an idea it would be to go swimming around those flying blades!
The water-powered car - this is a perennial favorite and every time I write about it I get heat, but the dream of a car powered entirely by water cannot die. This video was posted just last month and shows a 2004 Dodge Nissan that runs on 100% water. Note that when an energy consulting company was brought in to validate the technology the inventors supposedly said that "the technology was not in a condition to be tested."
So are any of these a clean energy technologies a game-changer?
I actually don't know because there is so many complicating factors (i.e. government regulations, private investment and research costs) that go into whether a new technology is ultimately successful. There's also the fact that many of these concepts remain just that, concepts. But all these technologies exemplify one thing and that is the ability of the human mind to create new ideas that have never existed before.
Hopefully we will see all these technologies come to fruition, but even if they do not I have no doubt they will help inspire others to continue to think of new ways to develop renewable energy technologies.
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