Whether because I'm a blogger, or because I'm a previous recipient of their money (I suspect the latter), I recently got email from the Research Corporation announcing their new Scialog 2009: Solar Energy Conversion program:
Scialog will focus on funding early career scientists and building research teams to undertake groundbreaking studies in solar energy conversion. This initiative will be entitled Scialog 2009: Solar Energy Conversion.
Scialog 2009 will accept proposals describing fundamental research at the molecular and nanoscale level that show high potential to impact advanced energy technologies. Preference will be given to plans describing: (i) development of novel high-performing materials that possess greater stability, lower cost, or offer higher efficiency than materials currently used in solar energy devices; (ii) innovative, highly efficient methods for solar energy conversion that take advantage of unique chemical or optical properties and are poised to overcome current bottlenecks limiting performance efficiency.
I'm a little overextended as it is, and it's not my field, but I thought I should pass it along. If you've got ideas along these lines, they have tons of information at the link above to let you determine whether you're eligible, and start the application process.
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Buncha crap. US electrical generation is 4.1 TW-hrs/yr. The average person can sustain 150 watts of work. 100 million taxpayers doing their duty one hour/day net on a generator treadmill hooked to the grid would generate
(10^8 taxpayers)(150 watt-hrs/day)(365.2442 days/year)/(10^12 watt-hrs/TW-hrs) = 5.4 TW-hrs/year.
We'd be rolling in electricity too cheap to meter! Every electric utility - fossil fuels, nuclear, hydroelectric, New Age bullbleep - would be obsolete at a stroke. It is that bullbleep simple. The Officially Sad would be exempt, of course, lest certain Liberal elements find the trivial solution to be coarse and discriminatory.
This new Scialog 2009: Solar Energy Conversion program is not too much different from 2008.