Solar panels with new anti-reflective layer discovered!
If we think of solar panels we tend to think of shining bright reflective rectangles on top of roofs: ugly and distracting. For me personally this is so off-putting that I have not placed them on my roof. I live in a neighbourhood built in the 1920s where this would be too distractive, and perhaps even prohibited. The good news is that these shiny blue panels can be covered with a thin anti-reflective layer which turns them into black surfaces! This ultra-thin layer makes sure that the photovoltaic cells in the panels let through hardly any light so that they can generate more energy. All of it, of course, green energy, straight from the sun. Solar panels from now on will be less ugly and more energy efficient!
These type of discoveries make solar panels increasingly efficient. Not only is the market growing for renewable energy, the market for solar panels in growing explosively. But the competition is killing. Especially the Chinese are very much getting into solar energy and solar panels which is why a lot of companies who are making and distributing solar panels have gone into bankruptcy. Prices of solar panels have dropped 80% in the last years!
Solar panels have dropped in price considerably!
To us as a consumer this is really good news because competition implies lower prices. Solar panels last for some thirty years and can be earned back within fifteen to twenty years. Discoveries such as the anti-reflective layer can even shorten this period of earning back. The layer now increases the efficiency of a solar panel with no less than 1 %. This does not seem to be a big increase, but it is. Developments go step by step, and add to the efficiency, which is now 15-20 %.
The next challenge is making the sun cells slimmer while maintaining the current levels of solar energy.
The International Energy Agency forecasts that half of all electricity will be generated by solar energy in fifty years time. Solar panels for consumers is to be the big thing! Differences between neighbouring countries can be rather large depending on governmental policies. For instance, in The Netherlands this is still 0,1 %, whereas in Germany this is already 4%. There is still a lot to be won in the world of renewable energy and solar panels in particular!
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