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The first plants with a capacity of 10-15 megawatts will be installed by 2014, and will be followed by plants of 100

megawatts or greater capacity. There have been spectacular advances in solar cell technologies in recent years. ne substance that holds great promise is !graphene". This ama#ing substance is one of several crystalline forms of carbon that include diamond, graphite etc. $t is tougher than diamond and yet stretches li%e rubber. $t is about 200 times stronger than steel and about 150 times thinner than a human hair. $t is so strong that you could suspend an elephant on a thin strand of this material and it would not brea%& $t consists of a single layer of carbon atoms ' one atom thic% ' in a honeycomb lattice structure. (ndre )eim and *onstantin +ovoselov at the ,niversity of -anchester were awarded the +obel .ri#e in .hysics in 2010 /for groundbrea%ing e0periments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene1. +ormally silicon is used in the manufacture of commercial solar cells. $t now turns out that graphene could prove far more efficient in transforming light into energy. This was established in a study carried out at the $nstitute of .hotonic 2ciences 3$45 6 in 2pain which found that solar cells made with graphene could offer up to 70 percent solar cell efficiency ' this is about four times the efficiency of the present commercially available solar cells. )raphene turns out also to be an e0cellent conductor of electricity, even better than copper. This is leading to the development of many applications in the electronics industry. .aper thin computers and televisions are presently under development based on this !miracle substance". $ndeed 2outh *orean researchers have created a 25inch fle0ible touch-screen using graphene. Tomorrow your daily newspaper may be made of it too, which may be instantly updated by pressing a tab on the side. 8arold 8 *ung at the -c4ormic% 2chool of 9ngineering and (pplied 2cience at +orthwestern ,niversity has reported a method to e0tend the battery life of lithium ion batteries by 10 times using a grapheme-based anode. ( considerable effort is being directed at developing better batteries and other energy storage systems. 90isting batteries often fail because of the damage caused to the electrodes in them over a period of time by the movement of ions. ( new electrode 3made from nano-particles of copper he0acyanoferrate6 has been developed by 2tanford researchers and uses nanotechnology to construct an open structure for the electrode. This permits ions to move in and out without damaging it. The electrode seems to be a wonder material for use as a high-voltage cathode. +ovel ways are also being developed to utilise wind energy. $n many parts of the world we find large windmills, each with three huge blades generating electricity. These wind turbines are not very efficient since about half the air does not go through the blades but around them, with a resulting loss in their capacity to generate electricity. 5lo:esign, a ,2 based company, has now developed a new generation of wind turbines that rely on the design used in ;et engines. These turbines have propeller blades that are

much smaller but produce more electricity as the air is directed through the turbine by a surrounding shroud. 2mall turbines that will produce 10 %ilowatt power will be initially manufactured and they will then be followed by megawatt capacity turbines. ( problem associated with micro wind turbines is that they must wor% well in both light and high winds, for instance under stormy conditions when they should not spin too fast. $n the case of the larger wind turbines, the design of the blades ta%es care of this problem, ma%ing them stall under very high speed wind. This is done through sensors that send signals to attached computers which in turn ad;ust the turbine speeds. This is too e0pensive a solution. 8owever, nature is often the best teacher. The stability of dragonflies even under high wind conditions provided critically important clues. The dragonfly is very stable in its flight, even under high wind speeds. This is due to the special design of its wings which are thin and fle0ible, and have small protrusions on their surfaces. These protrusions create a number of swirling vortices that contribute to the e0traordinary aerodynamic stability of the dragonfly. <ased on this, the (%ira bata of +ippon <unri ,niversity in =apan has invented a micro turbine which is far better than those available previously. .a%istan needs to concentrate on solving its energy problems by utilising its e0isting resources of coal, water, wind, and the recently discovered shale oil and shale gas. ( reader has rightly pointed out that all the electrical appliances produced in .a%istan are !energy inefficient". 5or e0ample our fans, tube-well motors and roadside wor%shop machines use heavy starting current and also consume much more electricity than (merican, 9uropean, or even 4hinese appliances. >hen one considers the millions of fans, tube-well motors and road side wor%shop motors in the country, one gets some idea of how much energy is being wasted because of the improper enforcement of ?uality standards, particularly those relating to energy efficiency, in those industries that manufacture such motors and appliances. 2imilarly most of our vehicles, especially locally manufactured bodies of truc%s and buses, are energy inefficient. 4oncluded The writer is the president of the .a%istan (cademy of 2ciences and former chairman of the 894. 9mail@ ibneAsinaBhotmail.com