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Artificial Photosynthesis

Artificial photosynthesis is an innovative process for the production of biofuels. As we know natural photosynthesis converts sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen while artificial photosynthesis replicates this natural process to produce solar fuels, such as hydrogen.

What are the advantages of solar fuels? A solar fuel can be produced and stored for later usage, when sunlight is not available, making it an alternative to fossil fuels, which in the future can become reason of geopolitical conflicts because of the limitation of fossil fuels reserves.

From the website of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis we can read:

“The Sun produces enough energy in one hour to power all human activity on Earth for a full year, and yet storage of this energy in the form of convenient, inexpensive fuels has remained technically elusive despite steady scientific progress.”

The project has already started and it has the support of the DOE and other organizations, including University of California and Stanford University. This process can lead to a new and endless production of energy and it can be deployable everywhere.

Fuels that artificial photosynthesis can produce are the principal difference between this innovative project and solar photovoltaic. Artificial photosynthesis gives to us the possibility to storage solar fuels for the periods when Sun energy isn’t in abundance.

It’s fascinating that nature suggests us a way to make a real shift to renewable energy, this is a great opportunity and we must take it. Although there’s an antithesis: the opinion of a part of people that this project is a waste of money because of the time it can take. All renewable projects take a considerable time but there’s one only way to reduce this: continuous investments to the sector, that can come from governments or private companies.

Source: Artificial Photosynthesis Center

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there’s one only way to reduce this: continuous investments to the sector, that can come from governments or private companies

 

This. So very much this. Thanks to investments and research since the early days of the industrial revolution the fossil fuel/energy industry has gained an immense advantage over renewables when it comes to costs vs output and so on. 

 

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has calculated that between 2012 and 2035 the cumulative worldwide investment into new fossil-fuel processes and extraction will total an estimated $22.87 trillion. During the same period, investment in renewables, and even nuclear energy (not a renewable energy source), will amount to only $7.32 trillion [source].

 

We need to substantially increase our investments in both research and new renewable energy while at the same time completely slash our investments and subsidies for fossil fuels.

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I totally agree with you. Some companies, like Microsoft, Apple and Google, invested in renewable energy but we need more and sooner. Renewable energy seems too much expensive to the investitors but in the future its cost will decrease and in the meanwhile fossil fuels cost will increase because of the limitation of the reserves.

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