. . . Many tiny changes in the science of materials could generate a big future for renewable energy

The current issue of The Economist carries an interesting article, "New materials for renewable energy: The power of being made very small", looking at the role that nanoengineering and nanomaterials will play in the growing renewable energy industry.

Specifically, the article looks at the role nanocomposites will play in nuclear reactors, solar cells, and in wind and tidal generators, predicting that the use of nanocomposites will lead to an increase in the efficiency of power generation, lead to a reduction in waste materials, lower costs in building solar cells and the manufacture of turbine blades for wind and tidal generators.