Researchers at MIT have developed a method of storing energy that could make solar power so efficient that “electricity-by-wire from a central source could be a thing of the past.”
Nocera and Matthew Kanan developed a catalyst which produces oxygen and hydrogen from water when electricity is run through an electrode, mimicking photosynthesis at room temperature with common materials. Though it works with any power source, its application is perfect for converting the sun’s energy to fuel. From Physorg:
“This is a major discovery with enormous implications for the future prosperity of humankind,” said Barber, the Ernst Chain Professor of Biochemistry at Imperial College London. “The importance of their discovery cannot be overstated since it opens up the door for developing new technologies for energy production thus reducing our dependence for fossil fuels and addressing the global climate change problem.”
Although similar technologies already exist, they are expensive and require lab-like conditions to operate.