For those of you who follow the venture capitalist, this may not come as news to you - the world needs an eco friendly energy source ASAP! I am pleasantly surprised as to the number of efforts involved in bringing this to fruition. The good news being they will make economic sense and will not just be sold to the environmentalist in us. Anything short of economic sense is just not viable at a mass scale, so I'm glad the industry is aware of this. Some of the interesting initiatives are given below:
1. Green revolution - Agriculture productivity is important, but agriculture based ethanol seems to be doomed since a significant portion of the world is still under the famine line.
2. Wind Turbines - Intermittent energy, and they occupy a lot of space and are known to produce sound pollution, which is an issue that can lead to extinction of certain breeds of animals from their habitat
3. Solar Panels - Intermittent energy, and just haven't delivered to date. And God knows the pollution they're causing somewhere in China where they're being manufactured on a mass scale!
4. Nuclear Power - The traditional nuclear power plant uses an extremely rare isotope, which makes waste disposal extremely complicated and political. The big jump in this industry will come from using the common isotope and thereby turn the waste of existing plants as its fuel! Check out Bill Gates talk at TED on the subject.
5. Energy Cells - check out the Bloom Box, as covered by 60 minutes.
In summary, a major (r)evolution in energy awaits us (it must, as there is little hope of a bright future in its absence). I get a warm and comfy feeling thinking about how cheap energy will convert our lives and make this a better place for us to live!