It’s a problem with solar power: There are times when the sun doesn’t shine. On such cloudy days (or during the night), expensive solar arrays are utterly useless, like a car engine without gas. Critics of alternative energy have long pointed to this failing as the main reason solar power will never account for a significant percentage of energy production.
But now, thanks to a breakthrough by MIT chemists, it appears that this technical problem is a thing of the past. The lab of Daniel Nocera has invented a cheap catalyst — a chemical substance that makes it easier for a particular chemical reaction to occur — that can break
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