Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Justin Hall - Freeing energy form the grid (video)

Justin Hall-Tipping spoke today at the IIEA, Ireland’s leading think tank on European and International affairs. Previous speakers have included Ban Ki-moon (UN Secretary General), Mohammed El Baradei (Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency), Nobuo Tanaka (Head of the International Energy Agency), Noam Chomsky (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and Peter D. Sutherland (current Chairman of BP and Goldman Sachs International).

Some of our most serious planetary worries revolve around energy and power -- controlling it, paying for it, and the consequences of burning it. Justin Hall-Tipping had an epiphany about energy after seeing footage of a chunk of ice the size of his home state (Connecticut) falling off Antarctica into the ocean, and decided to focus on science to find new forms of energy. A longtime investor, he formed Nanoholdings to work closely with universities and labs who are studying new forms of nano-scale energy in the four sectors of the energy economy: generation, transmission, storage and conservation.

Nanotech as a field is still very young (the National Science Foundation says it's "at a level of development similar to that of computer technology in the 1950s") and nano-energy in particular holds tremendous promise.

He says: "For the first time in human history, we actually have the ability to pick up an atom and place it the way we want. Some very powerful things can happen when you can do that."

"By working in the universities, right at the coal-face of nano-energy research, we can spot discoveries that otherwise might disappear without leaving the lab."

Quotes by Justin Hall-Tipping

“It’s this perspective of us as humans to look at our world through the lens of ‘normal’ [that] is one of the forces that stops us developing real solutions.”

“The grid of tomorrow is no grid. And energy — clean, efficient energy — will one day be free.”

“This chickenwire carbon, called a carbon nanotube, is a hundred thousand times smaller than the width of one of your hairs. It’s a thousand times more conductive than copper.”

“What if the answer to some of our biggest problems could be found in the smallest of places, where the difference between what is valuable and what is worthless is merely the addition or subtraction of a few atoms?”

“What if we could get exquisite control of the essence of energy, the electron?”

Source: TED

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