This image, from Oregon State University, shows diatoms–single-celled marine lifeforms have been modified to create nanotech-backed solar cells. As explained in an article at greendiary.com, “Rigid shells of diatoms are attached to conductive glass creating a grid into which a soluble titanium dioxide is fed. Through dye-sensitized technology photons in the film bounce around striking dyes and producing electricity..” This is just one example of the spectacular new ideas that nanotechnologists are dreaming up to find ways of creating renewable energy that may one day be cheap and accessible to everyone. I am convinced that off-the-grid ways of getting electricity is going to be key to survival and success in a GreenPunk world.
I also recently heard of another experiment underway to create “organic solar cells” from a polymer which could be literally painted onto the roofs of buildings or transported like a roll of plastic wrap as a mobile power source. It’s going to be interesting to see how GreenPunk storytellers incorporate some of these wild news technologies into their fictional futures or dream up even weirder ones.