The frustration with the attitude we have taken in addressing global climate change concerns is some of the cool technologies that could be already but have not been able to get funding. Now that the general public opinion, and therefore government concern, is directed towards the potential detrimental effects of fossil fuel use there is money available to get research into some of these missed technologies.
The enormous leaps being made in wind and solar power are meaning they are starting to become cheaper than coal power production. Another very cool technology that is being researched is the ability to scrub carbon dioxide in the air and transforming it back into hydrocarbons. The team and Sandia National Labs are using a solar furnace to alternatively heat and cool cobalt ferrite which allows it to turn carbon dioxide in carbon monoxide and oxygen. The CO is highly reactive and can be used to easily create more complex hydrocarbons like methanol or even gasoline.
Even if you are not convinced that global warming exists, it would still be better if we were not breathing in the gasses from cars and coal fired power plants. And oil can be used for many more things that are useful in our lives than powering cars. And if we can convert the CO2 in the air back into those useful hydrocarbons at a reasonable price then we are all better off.
The “green” sector is definitely starting to produce some cool tech.