Significant advances in renewable H¬2 production from water and sunlight are happening using two different bioinspired approaches. We are using a salt-tolerant strain of cyanobacteria as cell factory to produce H2 from water and sunlight (http://www.princeton.edu/~biosolar/). Ongoing improvements in the yield of dark fermentative hydrogen formed via the hydrogenase pathway has achieved a 40-fold improvement, and currently equals the best photo-H2 yields reported for green algae. Using new analytical tools developed for this research, the intracellular pathways that produce H2 have been elucidated, thereby opening the door to rational genetic engineering approaches for further improvements (in progress). Strongly oxidizing inorganic materials, inspired by the photosynthetic oxygen-evolving enzyme, have been synthesized possessing the cubical [Mn4O4]7+ core type. A collaborative team has discovered methods for activating these cores for sustained photo-assisted electro-oxidation of water. We are working toward applications of these inexpensive catalysts as replacement for platinum in solar photoelectrochemical cells.