Solar Technology Marches On

I’m really impressed. If Nanosolar can pull this one off… wow! Talk about an improvement in the availablity of solar power!

They’re working on a printed solar panel technology. They’re building a plant right now that could produce 430 megawatts of solar cells annually… compare that to current solar panel production in the United States of 153 megawatts. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

You can read a variety of news reports on their site. Here’s a quote I liked from one of the stories, which appeared in Mercury News:

But Nanosolar and other companies, such as Miasole, a privately held San Jose firm, have discarded silicon as their semiconductor material. Instead, they are working on mass-producing a complicated new technology: printing photovoltaic cells onto flexible plastic and foil, using a copper alloy that absorbs light and creates electricity.

The goal is to dramatically bring down costs, which have been the main stumbling block for expanding solar.

I just love it! It’s good to see a company thinking outside the limitations of the usual methods of production. Change the materials, change the problem.

I certainly hope investors are paying attention to companies like this. They’re really making me wish for even a little wiggle room in my budget. I want this one to go big!

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One reply

  1. Orion says:

    According to news reports Nanosolar’s Santa Clara plant should begin prodcution in late spring or early summer: They’re not building a plant so much as converting an existing one to their use. It will be very exciting BUT will not be the panacea greens hope for. Even at full production their plant will only provide a miniscule fraction of the power necessary to replace all carbon-producing powerplants in the world. Even if we made it a priority it would take 100 years to make a dent in world enercy consumption.

    Ironically in the short term the best way to bring down carbon emissions is to build only nuclear power plants, no more fossil fuel power plants, between now and 2100, to meet growing energy demands. Then when solar and other alternatives catch up phase those back out.

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