The solar power industry continues to make some big advances, in the labs at least. First up, scientists were able to make silicon crystals at a much lower temperature using liquid metal (read more here)…this has the potential to substantially lower the cost of solar panels, eventually.
A study published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal attempted to answer the question, what is more efficient at transforming solar energy into miles driven in a car – solar (PV) panels, or biofuels? PV panels handily bested biofuels in this comparison. Considering future demands for food with a growing planetary population, and given this new information, it seems that we should be more focused on growing food to eat rather than to be converted into liquid fuel for cars.
Last but certainly not least is some cool technology from Wysips, a transparent solar panel! Well it’s 90% transparent, but really, at that point who’s going to notice. Sure, it doesn’t produce as much electricity as a conventional PV panel…but it DOES make otherwise unproductive surfaces a valuable part of a building’s energy supply, with no architectural or visible impact. Imagine a skyscraper using this on their windows, for example. Or, in the example at the link above, imagine the glass on your iPhone recharging the phone itself when outdoors.