Saturday, December 29, 2007

Solar News

One of the little steps toward cheaper solar powar has been achieved:

The holy grail of renewable energy came a step closer yesterday as thousands of mass-produced wafer-thin solar cells printed on aluminium film rolled off a production line in California, heralding what British scientists called "a revolution" in generating electricity.

The solar panels produced by a Silicon Valley start-up company, Nanosolar, are radically different from the kind that European consumers are increasingly buying to generate power from their own roofs. Printed like a newspaper directly on to aluminium foil, they are flexible, light and, if you believe the company, expected to make it as cheap to produce electricity from sunlight as from coal.

Yesterday Nanosolar said its order books were full until mid-2009 and that a second factory would soon open in Germany where demand for solar power has rocketed. Britain was unlikely to benefit from the technology for some years because other countries paid better money for renewable electricity, it added.

One of my complaints about the most recent energy bill was that it didn't include any funding for solar or wind power, while spending billions on coal, oil, and ethanol from corn. While I'm glad to see a company like this, we need a much larger scale program to actually meet America's energy needs and address global warming.

Still, it's a start.

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