If you have ever been to a big city, be it New York, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sydney, or Tokyo, those giant glass skyscrapers, those miles of glass and metal structures standing tall in the sky are a common sight.
As a kid, I used to wonder why Solar panels had to be those ugly looking square boxes on the roof and why all the glass used in the buildings were not just replaced with Solar panels. I used to wonder why so much of valuable real-estate laid around as untapped potential.
Imagine the amount of power that could be generated by replacing all the glass on the towers in Manhattan, New York or in Canary Wharf, London or in the Central district, Hong Kong with solar panels.
This has not been possible primarily due to the science behind how Solar panels work. Solar panels must trap and absorb sunlight to convert them to electricity. A transparent glass however would just let sunlight pass right through it, thus becoming ineffective in generating electricity. Due to this reason, solar panels often found their place in large multiple football-sized solar farms outside the cities or on the roof of the buildings hidden away.
What if it didnâ€™t have to be this way? What if we had a technological breakthrough that allowed transparent glasses to absorb sunlight and generate electricity from it?
What if the enormous amount of glass used in skyscrapers around the world could become energy generating machines that not only powered the entire building but also fed back into the city-wide energy grid?
This kind of technological breakthrough is already here today.