Gadgets are not going away anytime soon and they are collectively prodigous consumers of natural resources, so I was particularly taken by an article in the “In Gadget” section of the Sunday Times yesterday. It revealed that Konarka – an American energy company – have just unveiled working solar cells that can be printed directly onto flexible plastic, using standard ink-jet technology. Rather than being made from expensive and rigid silicon, Konarka’s solar cells are made from cheap organic polymers. The potential for this product is enormous. You quite literally put the cells anywhere – from mobile phones, MP3 players, or even on a hat!
I am not, however, advocating that we should just sit around and wait for a technological fix to solve climate change. I still believe that all of us must act now to reduce our energy consumption BUT what a bonus it would be if these solar cells became the norm and helped to transform the way we power our gadgets!