Innovation

5 Clean energy technologies that aren't electric cars

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Humanity’s need for fuel is harming Earth and its inhabitants.

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From fossil fuels that pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere…

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...to mining that disrupts fragile environments…

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Experts worry that humans are altering the planet in a permanent way.

But scientists and engineers are working hard to bring us more sustainable ways to power our homes, cars, and devices.

Here are 5 of those promising technologies.

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Solar panels that work at night: These "anti"-solar panels would harness heat coming off Earth, by being pointed towards the relative cold of outer space. The heat transfer from Earth to space converts to energy.

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See-through solar panels on your smartphone: Researchers developed a special kind of glass that could absorb visible light and redirect ultraviolet and infrared light to tiny solar panels embedded in the phone.

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Energy-collecting-paint: Semiconductors made out of organic molecules can be dissolved into water. Once you’ve got a liquid semiconductor, it could potentially be used as a solar-energy-collecting paint.

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Greener hydrogen: Creating hydrogen fuel uses fossil fuels, and that process emits CO2. Recently, scientists figured out a new way to obtain hydrogen from water by using a process that does not emit CO2 — a greener way to create a highly efficient fuel.

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Better Batteries: Scientists are working on batteries that use sustainable organic molecules to store energy to replace the lithium-ion batteries that currently power our rechargeable electronics (including cars).

Read more stories about amazing innovations here.

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