10 Emerging Technologies in the Energy Industry

What's new in the energy industry?
What's new in the energy industry?
Sami Sarkis/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

The energy industry is a vast and magical world. It involves old-school fuel like coal and diesel and new-school sources like solar and wind power. Energy sources like natural gas straddle the line, like Madonna. It's been around forever, and we think we know everything about it, but then it reinvents itself and we're intrigued once more. Natural gas, you crafty substance, you.

But the old-school technologies just aren't going to cut it anymore, cost-wise or environment-wise. And the new-school technologies aren't quite ready to power everything from our smartphones to our cars.

That's where these 10 ideas come in. This list has it all: Farting microbes, pollution-reducing oxides that sound like terrible hairdos and even molten glass as a fuel storage medium. Molten glass! How cool is that, right? (Not at all cool. Just wait until you read how hot this stuff can get.)

So the old stuff gets a makeover, and the new stuff gets ready for prime time. And all of it is either here already, or on its way -- shortly.