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Friday, November 12, 2010

How safe are energy investments?

Is an energy revolution in the offing? Forget about oil wars, forget about carbon pollution, forget about the mad dash to build nuclear reactors, forget about traditional solar energy and fuel cells, forget about geothermal enterprises.

The entire energy industry, governments the world over, the entire geopolitical economic and diplomatic network is facing a revolution of the most drastic proportions: a cheap means to split water and harvest energy.

We're not talking about controlled hydrogen fusion, a dream that seems to get ever more elusive as the decades pass. We're talking about Photosystem II, one of nature's two basic ways of harvesting sunlight.

Yes, we're not there yet. But chemists the world over are no doubt frantically racing to break the code and mimic Mother Nature, which after all has been efficiently harvesting solar and water energy for eons.

One can imagine that so many applecarts will be upset that cliques, cartels and sharks of every stripe will be most anxious to either limit the availability of the converters, once a good design is patented, or to control the patents. Certainly there will be frantic maneuvers to limit the availability of information on such processes.

But even so, much of the justification for powerful government security systems will rapidly erode. Making cheap energy available to everyone
will defang the war parties across the planet (though human nature being what it is, we can expect that the world will remain far from perfect).

Photosynthesis as a Means of Producing Sustainable Energy
[Jun 28, 2010] ... are trying to learn how to replicate it for large-scale energy production. Photosynthesis as a ... example, in man-made applications has proved problematic, as manganese is ...

Towards artificial photosynthesis: ruthenium–manganese chemistry for energy production ... Abstract. The synthesis and characterisation of...

Artificial Photosynthesis Moves A Step Closer
[Mar 26, 2008] Artificial photosynthesis may decisively contribute to solving energy and climate problems, if researchers ... determines the arrangement of atoms in the manganese cluster ...

Energy breakthrough sought.

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