Can Nanotechnology Bring Down the Cost of Solar?

As a continuation of a discussion we've been having re the prohibitive costs of Photovoltaic energy collection, I decided to explore some of the new technologies that are being developed.

When I spotted this:

Solar power panels that use nanotechnology, which can create circuits out of individual silicon molecules, may cost half as much as traditional photovoltaic cells, according to executives and investors involved in developing the products.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0622-nanotech.html#

"This technology has the potential to make solar bigger than oil and gas," said Alf Bjorseth, chief executive officer of Norwegian solar company Scatec AS. "First we had photovoltaics, then thin-film, and now nanotech. It's the third wave of solar technology that will make it cost less than grid power," Bjorseth said yesterday at a conference in New York.

The other day I was on the verge of posting about the use of thin film, which I read allows panels to be even more efficient at high temperatures, which adversely effect the older panels. But if this is correct:

First Solar Inc., based in Phoenix, has the cheapest solar cells in commercial production at $1.39 per kilowatt-hour, the company's chief executive, Michael Ahearn, said at the conference.

"It's amazing what First Solar's been able to do with thin film, but nanotechnology could blow that away," said Floyd. "Nanotech is the path to $1-a-kilowatt-hour solar."

then we may be on the verge of cracking that nut we've been gnawing on.

Hope so. :)

here are the thin film folks:

http://www.firstsolar.com/

Comments