That's the question enterprising inventor Ronald Ace from Maryland asked years ago as he embarked on a journey to develop a new take on solar energy. According to his claims, his unique approach to generating energy from sunlight will revolutionize the world's energy markets.
While Ace's ideas haven't been made public yet, there are a few people who have had the opportunity to actually see his calculations who aren't on the U.S. Patent Board. Of those cited in a recent story in the Miami Herald, everyone who had been shown the figures on paper stood staunchly in Ace's camp.
Even if Ace's invention is a brand new, super-effective tactic for generating energy, what would that mean for the average Jane?
In a word: everything.
A world without energy woes
Today, although energy costs money in the United States, our actions rarely have to take this into consideration. Energy is cheap today because of an apparently never-ending supply. Never mind the scientists' warnings of the dangers of depending on finite fossil fuel resources; until there is a significant energy shortage that affects not only our wallets but our lifestyles, the true value of abundant access to energy will evade most Americans.
With the capacity as a species to efficiently and affordably harness energy from sunlight – one of the most abundant resources worldwide – we would never have to worry about energy access again. Unfortunately, the solar energy technology that we're developing today just hasn't been able to make the leap from effective to efficient.
Imagine all the conflicts around the world that have been a direct result of access to energy resources. If Ace's invention makes good on its promises, those days could be over once and for all.
How does this wonder technology work?
Well, as was already noted, the details are still confidential. Even though Ace may have designed the piece of technology that can save humanity, that doesn't mean he wants to share the profits from his years of work with everyone. As his invention makes its way through the patent process, Ace has been willing to talk about some aspects of his approach, omitting any pertinent details of course.
In his own words, Ace designed a sunlight trap. Unlike other solar technologies, Ace believes his secret device can supply the vast majority of the world with electricity – affordably – from the get go. While the numbers are all more technical than the average person can really understand, the excitement of those who have had the opportunity to review Ace's work is evidence enough of the idea's explosive potential for some.
What to look for
If your interest has been piqued by this concept, you're not the only one. In just two days the Miami Herald story on Ace's work accumulated more than 600 social shares on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ combined. As we enter what may prove to be another hot and dry summer, everyone has energy on their minds. With any luck, and the success of Ace's solar trap invention, we may not have to even think about energy anymore in the not too distant future!