The demand for energy is growing, but so are some of the related issues that it causes, such as climate change. When we say energy, we mean everything from the electricity that we use in our homes, to the way we power our cars, planes and trains. Nanotechnology has the potential to change the way in which we capture, store and use energy and gives us the possibility of making energy cleaner, more efficient and cheaper.
This is a growing field of interest both as a market opportunity, but also to meet the challenges that our reliance on polluting energy sources has caused, namely the impacts of climate change and pollution. As we move society away from its dependency on burning fossil fuels to produce energy, we look towards nanotechnology as one means to solve some of the technical challenges. New nanomaterials can help us better capture energy, such as making more efficient solar cells; store energy, such as making better batteries for electric vehicles; and use energy, such as making better insulation materials for buildings that reduce their energy consumption.
It is important to understand that we there is no one single change that can be made in the energy value chain of capturing, storing and using energy that will by itself, resolve climate change. We need to look at making adjustments and technical improvements across the whole of the energy cycle, so we can produce clean energy that we can store safely and use it efficiently.