realcleverscience:

smarterplanet:

Powerhouse Solar Cell Inspired by Leaf Biomimicry

A team of scientists headed up by Princeton University has achieved a whopping 47 percent increase in electricity generation from flexible plastic solar cells, simply by texturing the surface to mimic the wrinkles of a typical leaf.

Full Story: Cleantechnica

via emergentfutures:

1) Biomimicry is amazing. I love that human design is now recognizing that it has so much to learn from natural design. Especially when it can replace eco-questionable solutions with much more eco-friendly solutions – such as simply creating wrinkles on a surface as opposed to something like nano-sprays with unknown side-effects.

2) As the article notes, solar is getting very, very close to the 10-15% efficiency needed to make it competitive with traditional energy sources. And with the various solar innovations coming out, I expect we’ll hit that goal soon… and then surpass it by quite a bit. But of course, this requires research and funding. *cough*fund_science*cough*

Just look at Germany right now; their solar energy now provides almost half of their national need