Liquid Solar

A Science Daily article this week grabbed me with a headline suggesting “Solar Panels as Inexpensive as Paint?” Reading on, this doesn’t refer exactly to the price point of paint, but to the ease with which solar technology could be installed in the near future. The article details research being done at the University of Buffalo to create a “new generation of photovoltaic cells that produce more power and cost less to manufacture than what’s available today.” These cells do not yet equal the energy production of existing solar panels, but they are processed in a liquid form, meaning they could “one day be applied to surfaces as easily as paint to walls,” said researcher, Qiaoqiang Gan. This thinner substance is also much cheaper to manufacture than traditional crystalline cells, therefore if scientists can reach higher levels of efficiency with this new technology, it will be competitive on the market. 

Here at CGC, we take a policy approach to making renewable energy more affordable and accessible  Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that without innovative work in the fields of physics, engineering, chemistry and others, solar technology wouldn’t even have a place in the market.  More than just the extremely cool notion of painting photovoltaic cells onto a building to supply energy, we appreciate the scientific research that goes into the ever-advancing technologies behind renewable energy. We recognize that it is the combination of innovation in both the science and policy fields that enable the shift we’d like to see in energy production and consumption.

Read the full Science Daily article here

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