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Biodegradable batteries and induction charging cars: five tech trends to watch

June 22, 2015

Biodegradable batteries and induction charging cars: five tech trends to watch

Marc Ambasna-Jones
Monday 22 June 2015 07.00 BST

Earlier this year Sir David King, former chief scientific adviser to the UK government and now the special representative for climate change, told a climate conference that there should be a greater focus on green technologies to help tackle climate change. While most people would have no problem with this idea, the real issue is which technologies to back. We are not short on innovation.

Over the last 20 years, there have been 1.2m granted patents and published patent applications from across the US, Europe and some world territories, on the clean tech patenting site CleanTech PatentEdge.

Of course, many of these ideas may never see the light of day or are unworkable on a mass scale, so what are the more realistic and practical innovations? We’ve picked out five technologies that are worth keeping an eye on.

Transparent solar cells
An interesting development in alternative energy tech is the transparent solar cell. Imagine a phone or building or car being able to harness energy through its glass. Ubiquitous Energy, a startup born out of MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts and now residing in Redwood City, California, showcased its ClearView Power technology to the public for the first time last week.

With a thickness of less than one thousandth of a millimetre, the “glass” (it’s really a film) transmits light visible to the human eye, while selectively capturing and converting ultraviolet and near-infrared light into electricity to power a mobile device and extend its battery life. This, according to Ubiquitous Energy co-founder and CEO Miles Barr, is a key target for the company.

Read more at The Guardian.

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