1. Solar Glass
America would need to find a space the size of Rhode Island just for wind turbines if it were to run on natural power alone. But what if we didn’t need that much space?
Solar glass will let us turn every window into a source of clean and natural energy. Every building window, car door, patio sliding door, and bus terminal wall has the potential to capture energy already beating down on Earth every day.
The beauty lies in how much glass we already use. We can phase in solar glass without making any significant changes to our infrastructure or lifestyles. Who knows—we might even be able to power our phones this way, given enough time.
2. Solar Lamps
A more specialized version of solar panel technology, solar lamps represent one of the most intuitive ways to make infrastructure power itself. Imagine how much energy it takes to power our highway system, let alone an entire city. A single lamp running on solar energy could save anywhere from 8-12 hours of energy per day.
Don’t start counting the lamps on your street… but you get the idea.
Solar lamps are also great for the home, and they’re affordable. Like all revolutionary technologies, that’s the key to spreading an idea across the world—automobiles, computers, and the Internet. It’s about access, and solar panels have nailed it.
The unsung heroes of world-changing technology, LED lights have significantly improved society’s energy consumption levels without us even realizing it. Light sources account for 15% of the world’s energy consumption and 5% of greenhouse gas emissions. Now imagine cutting that down by 75% just with LEDs. It’s so simple in execution that many people don’t even realize they use LEDs.
Just remember the number “25.” These light-emitting diodes (LEDs) use around 25% of the energy it takes to power traditional incandescent light bulbs, and they can also last up to 25 times longer, too.
4. Nuclear Fusion Power
In a world struggling to abandon its dependency on fossil fuels, there’s one technology in development that almost sounds too good to be true: nuclear fusion.
Fusion power offers vast amounts of clean energy with a near limitless fuel source and virtually zero carbon emissions. There are teams of researchers around the world and billions of dollars being spent on making sure it will kick off.
It is planned that by around 2021, Wendelstein 7-X, a test reactor in Germany, will be able to operate for up to 30 minutes duration.