Pliable Solar Cells Are On a Roll
Woo-hoo! Cheap solar power, finally! I've been reading about printed, flexible solar power for some time now, but this is the first company (Akzo-Nobel) I've heard about that was considering full-scale manufacturing for domestic generation - most companies working on this stuff are only working on the consumer electronics end of things. Laptops that power themselves, etc. Between better batteries and solar cells, the world may be saved by iPods and Cell phones. How crazy is that?
[marx] Nerds of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your wires - and the world to gain! [/marx]
Azko-Nobel is quoting a euro per watt of installed peak power, a comparable price to the cheapest wind turbines today. If this can be rolled out in Canada, it would be stupid for the government not to pay for people to install this stuff on their roofs. Next time you're out on a residential street, look at the roofs of the houses you pass. That's a lot of surface area, most of it pointed at the sky. Gee, I wonder if we could find a use for all that. And if we started designing our homes to make maximum use of that rooftop space, then we'd be talking some real potential.
The panels the article refers to are relatively low efficiency, but it seems to indicate that the same methods would be compatible with other, better materials as well. As the technology matures, it's quite possible we'll see the price-per-watt drop even more.