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Posted: June 17, 2009

Cientifica Publishes 'Nanotechnologies for the Energy Market 2009'

(Nanowerk News) Nanotechnologies for the Energy Market 2009, looks at whether nanotechnology has in fact had a huge impact on the energy sector. If so, in what way, and if not, why hasn’t it?
Since the beginning of the century we have heard repeatedly about how nanotechnologies will have a huge impact on the field of energy, but the hype about the potential impact of nanotechnologies has not been matched by real solutions.
Cientifica’s 2007 report dispelled the hype about how nanotechnology was going to make fuel cells for automobiles suddenly make sense and bring the price of solar energy generated electricity in line with that produced by fossil fuels. Instead it showed that greater energy efficiency through energy saving techniques such as better insulation and lighter vehicles was going to be the main impact area for nanotechnologies well into the foreseeable future.
But the period of between January 2007 when the first edition was released and today witnessed a great upheaval in the energy sector. We saw oil prices skyrocket above $150/bbl and then plummet back down to $45/bbl. On the trip up and then down, all sorts of economic pronouncements were made such as how the economics of alternative energies had finally become detached from oil pricing, and we saw the valuations of alternative energy companies go through the roof only to come crashing down again.
Now that the dust has settled, what have we learned and what impact will it all have on the dynamics between nanotechnologies and energy?
  • How will changes in the current political landscape both in the US and internationally impact nanotechnology’s development in energy applications?
  • How has the freezing of credit markets affected the development of nanotechnologies for alternative energy sources for the near future
  • Where does hydrogen fuel cell technology stand now? And how will nanotechnology play a role?
  • What is happening with thin film organic solar cells? Will nanotechnologies ever make this technology price competitive without government subsidies?
  • What business model will work for a company trying to commercialize a nanotechnology in the energy sector?
  • These common sense questions are addressed in this new report as well as providing current market numbers and realistic projections over the next five years.
    Compiling lists of all the nanotechnologies that could be used for energy applications and even cataloguing all the companies providing them only gives you a fraction of the picture. In the dynamics of the marketplace difficult-to-measure variables can change the entire picture and determine whether a technology will work or just add to the dustbin of failed technology ventures. This report looks at those variables, takes them into account and gives an assessment of nanotechnologies for the energy market.
    Source: Cientifica (press release)

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