Governing Nanotechnology for Solar Fuels: Towards a Jurisprudence of Global Artificial Photosynthesis
Renewable Energy Law and Policy, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 160-165, 2011
6 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 25, 2011
The carbon-based fossil fuels (chiefly oil, coal, and natural gas) implicated in anthropogenic climate change are sequestered outcomes of millions of years of natural photosynthesis. Many emerging areas of nanotechnology research are focusing on artificial photosynthesis as a long-term planetary renewable energy and carbon management option – by providing an alternative form of energy to both fossil fuels and biofuels and as a means of stabilizing atmospheric CO2. A macroscience Global Artificial Photosynthesis (GAP) Project, by allowing researchers to refine and enhance the process of photosynthesis, has the potential to become a valuable adjunct to or even supplant other bioenergy and biosequestration policy options. This article explores what lessons can be drawn from the governance of contemporary macroscience projects about the ethical and legal principles upon which a GAP project should be organized.
Keywords: artificial photosynthesis, solar fuels, renewable energy, solar power, climate change, energy security
JEL Classification: L94, L62, O38, O33, Q42, Q43, Q48
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