The problems we face from climate change are also tied up with problems from resource depletion, particularly those related to energy. Even today we all feel the economic consequences of increasing fuels costs. It is easy to be alarmist and concentrate on the problems. And its easy to be blind to the possible cures for these problems.
But there are technological possibilities which provide some optimism that humanity will deal with these problems. A new process recently developed for storing solar energy is one of these. The process works by using a cobaltic phosphate catalyst in the electrolysis of water, overcoming problems related to normal electrolysis methods. The hydrogen and oxygen produced can be stored and converted back into electricity, when desired, using fuel cells. It can be used with any method of electricity generation which is not normally matched to demand, such as solar and wind.
In the video below Daniel Nocera describes how such a system could be used in distributed power generation systems. He believes such systems could be possible in the near future.
Of course, its difficult to predict the future. And the technology developed by Nocera’s team is only one example of a number of technological developments related to energy production and storage. However, development of this energy storage system is an example of why we should be more optimistic about our future.