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South african Solar panel breakthrough PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 February 2006 08:50
South African researchers have announced a breakthrough in solar technology - this continues the trend of announcements of solar panels based on regular industrial processes rather than on growing silicon crystals. The other's I know about are Konarka's (that I blogged about in 2004) and Nanosolar. In all three cases, the panels are not likely to be as efficient, as measured in watts per square meter, but are much more efficient in watts per dollar. These sort of announcements are why I'm optimistic that solar will become the energy source of choice as we move to a peak-oil / carbon-emissions constrained world. I've seen numbers that show that if even a tiny fraction of the nuclear research budget was moved to solar, then we could be producing more energy from solar before the equivalent amount of nuclear power stations could be brought online. Of course, nuclear power is a really bad idea for lots of other reasons, but since solar can't be used to make bombs we can expect that the nuclear option will be being pushed for a long time.