Navigation Links
Solar power: Is it time for the big push?
Date:1/31/2013

There are great expectations for solar power, especially in the coming years, when the International Energy Agency projects solar to grow faster than any other renewable power. But what does science need to do to more fully respond to the opportunities ahead?

Recently, three researchers discussed this with fellow scientist Harry A. Atwater, Jr., director of the DOE Energy Frontier Research Center on Light-Material Interactions in Solar Energy Conversion, as well as member of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) at the California Institute of Technology. To really give solar power a push, the scientists raised advancing how new materials are created, developed and then brought to industry.

"We need to engage with manufacturers and end-users of the technology as soon as possible, rather than spend years doing lab demonstrations before anyone talks with industry," said Michael Wasielewski, director of the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research Center and professor at Northwestern University. "We need to take advantage of manufacturers' expertise in how things are really done. On our part, we need to let them know about promising materials sooner, so they start to think about commercialization pathways earlier in the process."

It was also pointed out that barriers in the laboratory needed breaking. "I work more on the physics side, but there is a separation between what I do and the chemistry needed to make this work," said Albert Polman, director of the Dutch Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter's Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. "To make things happen faster, we need to have the disciplines talk to one another more than in the past."

Another challenge is making new technology more affordable. Nathan Lewis is principal investigator of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Innovation Hub in Fuels from Sunlight at the California Institute of Technology, where he is also a member of KNI. Said Lewis, "[W]e need to really scale up manufacturing to make this technology cheap. Right now, making solar cells is like making other highly engineered technologies, such as silicon chips. What we need are technologies that let us churn it out inexpensively, like newspaper or bubble wrap."

Scaling up means bridging a financial gulf, noted Atwater. "[T]o commercialize solar technologies, we must get past the valley of death that big gap between demonstrating a technology and finding someone to invest $100 million for large-scale manufacturing," he said.


'/>"/>
Contact: James Cohen
cohen@kavlifoundation.org
The Kavli Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. A new dimension for solar energy
2. Folding light: Wrinkles and twists boost power from solar panels
3. Climatic effects of a solar minimum
4. Bay Area PV Consortium announces $7.5 million in grants to lower the cost of large-scale solar
5. Weizmann Institute solar technology to convert greenhouse gas into fuel
6. Anti-aging elixir for solar cells
7. ASU awarded $3 million to research solar energy technologies, launch energy Ph.D. program
8. Microwave ovens may help produce lower cost solar energy technology
9. The George Washington University Researcher received $1.7 million to study solar cement
10. Stanford scientists build the first all-carbon solar cell
11. Rice unveils super-efficient solar-energy technology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/4/2017)... Oct. 4, 2017  GCE Solutions, a global clinical research organization ... document anonymization solution on October 4, 2017. Shadow is designed to ... comply with policy 0070 of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in ... ... ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... , June 30, 2017 Today, American ... and supplier of face and eye tracking software, ... Product provider program. "Artificial intelligence ... way to monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels while ... being able to detect fatigue and prevent potential ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... TEANECK, N.J. , May 16, 2017  Veratad ... leading provider of online age and identity verification solutions, ... the K(NO)W Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May ... Ronald Regan Building and International Trade Center. ... across the globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions ... over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected ... based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events ... announced today. The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase ... a significant growth period. , It will also expand its service offering from its ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of VetStem Biopharma, ... The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was held on ... DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., Chief of ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... business process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a ... in San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” ...
Breaking Biology Technology: