51593436 – hand drawing signs of different green sources of energy in hexahedron shape, a ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ sign in the centre. blurred green background. concept of clean environment.The most relevant developments in nanomaterials and nano-related products that are enabling new applications in the energy sector are: 

  • Insulating materials
  • Nano powered sensors/activators
  • Isolated carbon nanotubes
  • Quantum dots
  • Nano-based silicon semiconductors (nanoelectronics)
  • Nanostructures at material interfaces in batteries
“The main societal effect will be big changes in employment and energy distribution. Jobs in energy production and distribution are jeopardized; new jobs are being created, but maybe in China. Europe needs a strong line of research and technological innovation to keep jobs.” [Industry]

These technologies are expected to contribute to the transformation of the energy sector from a fossil-based to a renewable-based sector. The most relevant impacts are expected from the application of these technologies in the following areas:

Energy generation

Examples of applications include advanced photovoltaics, and small distributed devices able to harvest energy from the environment
Benefits: better performances and reduced costs with impact on economics and increased use of renewable energy 



Energy Storage

Examples of applications include batteries for electric transport, small and wearable devices, domestic generation, super-capacitors
Benefits: Better performances and reduced costs with impact on economics and increased use of renewable energy; decrease of transport environmental footprint 


Energy efficiency

Examples of applications include OLEDs, new insulating materials, Rapid charging devices
Benefits: reduced energy consumption and environmental impact, foster electric mobility 



Internet of Things devices to support energy production, distribution and storage

Benefits: automation and control. Risks: cyber attacks 


Creative ways to explore the developments in nano and energy

Nano Supermarket

The NANO Supermarket presents speculative nanotech products that may hit the shelves within the next ten years: Medicinal candy, interactive wall paint, programmable wine and more. Our debate provoking products are both innovative as well as uncanny and disturbing. They function as scenarios for potential technological futures, helping us to decide what future we actually want.

Wall smart


Publication on the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan (2007-2017)
Containing information about Research & Innovation achievements over the last 10 years, implementation plans and the way forward towards an EU clean energy R&I policy. Prepared by European Commission’s Directorates-General for Research and Innovation, Energy and the Joint Research Centre.






European Technology Platform

ETIP Photo Voltaics