When firefighters pump thousands of gallons of water into a building on fire, many people don't realize that the high pressure water flow causes more damage to the building than the fire itself. Fire sprinklers break up the stream of water into a shower of mist. They extinguish fires and cause less damage.
So much in life hinges on and revolves around flow: Blood flow, energy flow and cash flow. Innovation is best modeled as a flow problem.
The contradiction that lies at the heart of your problem holds the key to its solution. Parallel lines don't cross, or do they?
Great solutions maximize benefit and minimize cost. When we harvest energy from the environment, we produce waste and dump that waste back in the environment. Can we do more work with less waste?
Catalysts can reduce the amount of energy required for reactions to occur, increase yield and reduce waste.