Thursday, January 28, 2010

Exotics and the March of Technology

And now for the good news…. Those of you who read my columns may have noticed that while I'm generally optimistic I do tend to worry a lot about the big scary issues. In this piece I'm going to take a break from worrying and indulge in some unfettered technophilia.

Like most Gen X males, I’m into my gadgets. I follow new technologies pretty closely and when I can afford it I indulge in some cool toys like the latest smartphone or computer, etc. In the renewable energy field, there are a number of cool gadgets either already here or in development that should give us all some real hope for the future — a class of renewable energy technologies I call “exotics.”

The key trend for exotics is the improvement of information technology and its associated computing power. Moore’s Law — the rule that computing power doubles about every two years — is akin to magic when we ponder the fact that in the 60 years since Moore’s Law was formulated we have increased computing power by a factor of one trillion (2 to the 30th power)! This kind of computing power allows for an increasing control over our environment, or, at least, important parts of it. And this is just what the new exotics do.

Read the rest at Renewable Energy World

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