This Solar Paint Gives Homes a Clean Energy Makeover

Once the paint is available to the masses, it will be cheap to produce and effective in many conditions.

Jan 9, 2019

Good news for 2019: The clean energy movement continues to gather speed! In the last several years, a handful of government-sponsored programs have lifted the financial strain of building greener residences by supplying homes with solar panels, that were once seen as additions for the upper class. Driven by his passion for green energy production, Elon Musk created solar-paneled roofing tiles that are as aesthetically appealing as they are efficient.

Portugal is setting records for generating renewable energy, electricity produced from solar and wind is now the same or cheaper than fossil fuel in 30+ countries, and most recently, a team of Australian researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), invented a household paint that can also generate clean energy.

The paint contains titanium oxide (already found in traditional interior formulas), plus a new compound, synthetic molybdenum-sulfide, which absorbs solar energy and moisture from the air. RMIT’s website announced that the compound could divide water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then use the hydrogen as fuel cells or as a means to power cars. Any surface, from an outdoor shed to a fence can produce energy with the help of this paint.

“[T]he simple addition of the new material can convert a brick wall into energy harvesting and fuel production real estate,” lead researcher Dr. Torben Daeneke said.

Daeneke said that once the paint is available to the masses, it will be cheap to produce and effective in many conditions, from hot and dry environments to ones close to bodies of water. “Any place that has water vapor in the air, even remote areas far from water, can produce fuel.”

The paint can also be used in areas that don’t require a full solar panel, so homeowners can still utilize an opportunity to generate clean energy. The formula is one more addition to an expanding resource pool of technologies that make renewable energy more accessible.

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Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.