What do you think will be the next energy breakthrough?

Last year I thought fusion or antimatter. Now I'm thinking solar panels. Solar panels everywhere. Apparently we're up to 44-46% efficiency. Sadly, it's with goofy materials like gallium arsenside that's $5k/wafer vs silicon's $5/wafer. Soon...


Most Helpful Guy

  • I think it's clear solar has very practical use, it's just we need to get the cost down already.


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What Guys Said 3

  • There's a giant multiple government backed fusion reactor to be completed mid next decade. It's the only one under construction that's fairly certain to produce more power than it takes to maintain the reaction.

    That will be huge, but it won't be a game changer because mass producing the design is cost prohibitive. There are other smaller designs in the works, but only theoretical.

    Antimatter's problem is we can't harvest it so have to create it, and we can't mass produce it, only creating a few anti hydrogen atoms at a time we can keep stable for minutes.

    I believe the next major advance will be neither, but instead space based solar collection. Energy is gathered using an array of satellites and sent down to a receiver in the form of a high power laser.

    • I dunno. Makes more sense to drop it in a desert somewhere than launch it into space and beam it back.

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    • Maybe. But. Cost.

    • @Asker Satellites are relatively cheap compared to the fusion alternative. Sending up cargo to space is continually dropping in cost and has become routine.

  • fusion will be the next big thing, unless something entirely new comes along

  • Nuclear Fission.