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Obama Discusses Energy Plan, Artificial Leaf to Produce Solar Energy

President Barack Obama is expecting to unveil an energy plan in the wake of rising gas prices today. President Obama hopes to diminish reliance on foreign oil, as well as have the federal government use only alternatively fueled vehicles by the year 2015. The proposal will include domestic oil drilling, to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but President Obama also plans to address the move towards clean energy (solar and wind). The president will reaffirm his original goal (as stated during in this year’s State of the Union address) that the US must produce 80% of its energy from clean sources by the year 2035.

The nuclear crisis in Japan continues to spread fear throughout the world. With that fear comes the push towards solar energy, as the industry continues to see greater interest. Many countries are reconsidering their large investments in the generation of nuclear power, as the fourth week of nuclear containment failure in Japan looms. The world understands that solar energy cannot completely replace nuclear power, but its potential for decreasing our reliance on nuclear power is great. In fact, countries like Germany have moved completely against nuclear energy since the crisis in Japan developed. Hopefully the solar industry will continue to grow as countries realize the inefficiency and potentially harmful results of over reliance on nuclear energy.

Great news solar lovers! Solar panel installations throughout the world have risen by 50% – matching Apple’s sales increase after the launch of the coveted iPad. The sunniest parts of the world (California, Italy, etc) can now produce solar energy for the same price as conventional energy. Consumer curiosity about solar power is increasing, as more and more people are installing solar photovoltaic systems in their homes. This trend is great news for the solar industry.

Researchers at MIT are currently developing an artificial leaf that can produce tiny solar cells via photosynthesis. At their most effective, these cells work in tandem with fuel cells, and are said to produce energy 10 times more efficiently then their authentic counterparts. While the cost of producing this leaf is unclear, scientists are interested in developing it as an inexpensive way for developing countries to produce electricity in the homes of poorer populations.