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Technology & Innovation

One Day Our Devices Will Self-Charge. This Technology Shows It’s Possible.

A future of renewable energy can be ours.

An industry powered by renewables could be ours as early as 2050, according to researchers. This future depends on whether that industry is up to the task of developing the technology to support such a market. The Paris Agreement has helped show the world’s commitment to supporting business decisions aimed at enhancing alternative energy solutions. Could this be the next step?

Smartwatch owners will be delighted to hear about this one: Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed an organic solar cell that can be taped to the skin, like a bandage, and is about half the size of a credit card. It generates enough energy to run a smartwatch.

“These devices are still kind of clunky,” researcher Timothy O’Connor said in an interview with New Scientist. “We’re trying to make these electronics almost imperceptibly integrated with the user.”

They tested the wearable solar cell’s ability to handle the day-to-day twisting and bending that the skin endures, as well as its ability to sustainably “power an LED and a digital watch.”

This solution is unconventional, and whether or not it would succeed in the market is questionable. Building a zero-emission future will require developers to create a market full of choice, and making renewable energy solutions the easier choice. Paul Droege did just that when he created the SunPort.

“We have also grown in the building trades in terms of how you build energy-efficient homes and buildings,” says EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “We have grown thousands and thousands of jobs. We are building the economy of the future by building in your considerations on environment into those decisions.”


Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker

Photo Credit: Pablo Cuadra / Stringer / Getty


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