I've got another far fetched business venture idea, the problem is I've not seen the technology to make it possible.
I need some kind of plant or chemical (besides traditional and expensive semiconductors) that exhibit the photo Voltaic effect. this is where direct conversion from light (most often sunlight) results in electron movement, or electricity. We see this effect every day in solar powered calculators, solar powered lights in front of your house, and solar street signs.
I want to GROW an entire field of a plant that exhibits this effect and in basic terms.. just plug my field into the power grid. at 15Cents per KwH if some plant, even at a few percent effecient conversion, I might be able to make money. and hey, with the government paying you to not grow stuff I'll just have them pay me to not grow during the winter months and I'll make money all year.
maybe the miricle plant could double as silage for cows, or be used to make ethanol or something so after my field was all juiced out I could sell the plant for another use!
any ideas? I need the biologists and chemists to chime in, you know who you are. if you know how to do it i'll cut you in on the profits! =)