We present here a broadband, wide-angle, and polarization-independent nearly perfect absorber consisting of mirror-backed nanoporous alumina. By electrochemically anodizing the disordered multicomponent aluminum and properly tailoring the thickness and air-filling fraction of nanoporous alumina, according to the Maxwell-Garnet mixture theory, a large-area dark alumina can be made with excellent photothermal properties and absorption larger than 93% over a wide wavelength range spanning from near-infrared to ultraviolet light, i.e. 250 nm–2500 nm. The measured absorption is orders of magnitude greater than other reported anodized porous alumina, typically semi-transparent at similar wavelengths. This simple yet effective approach, however, does not require any lithography, nano-mixture deposition, pre- and post-treatment. Here, we also envisage and theoretically investigate the practical use of proposed absorbers and/or photothermal converters in integrated thermoelectronic and/or thermophotovoltaic energy conversion devices, which make efficient use of the entire spectrum of ambient visible to near-infrared radiation.