Posted: December 5, 2007

Drowning in Numbers: from grey scary goo to green friendly goo

(Nanowerk Opinion) The Financial Times of London today carries an opinion piece by two Deloitte consultants about how nanotechnology, notwithstanding valid risks concerns, could turn out to have an important role in healing, not harming the planet.
The brief article basically deals with nanotechnology's impact on energy generation (solar panels), energy conservation (OLEDs), and water (cleaning and desalination).
This opinion piece throws a handful of possible cleantech application of nanotechnologies and certain claims at the reader and without addressing the pros and cons or the timetable to realization. Take this example:
Carbon-based fuel reserves appear insufficient to meet demand, and may have too great an impact on the climate to be viable. So cleaner energies are required, such as solar power. But solar energy is not yet competitive with oil, gas and nuclear, costing up to $5 a watt. Nanotechnology could enable the manufacture of solar panels based on plastics instead of silicon. This would lower production costs and make the cost of solar power just $2 a watt.
And the title "Drowning in Numbers: from grey scary goo to green friendly goo" might be a bit unfortunate – what image exactly is 'green goo' supposed to create in the reader's mind...?
Source: Financial Times
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