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Cheap Solar
Jamais Cascio, 2 Oct 03

According to CNN, Europe's largest semiconductor manufacturer, STMicroelectronics, has developed a new form of solar cells which could cut the price of solar-generated electricity to half of the average price for fossil fuel-generated electrical power.

The French-Italian company expects cheaper organic materials such as plastics to bring down the price of producing energy. Over a typical 20-year life span of a solar cell, a single produced watt should cost as little as $0.20, compared with the current $4.

The new solar cells would even be able to compete with electricity generated by burning fossil fuels such as oil and gas, which costs about $0.40 per watt, said Salvo Coffa, who heads ST's research group that is developing the technology.

Interestingly, the trick is to focus not on extremely efficient materials, but on relatively inefficient base materials which are also very inexpensive.

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Comments

How soon will this style of solar power be available? I am putting off buying a solar system for my home until I find out.


Posted by: Charlie Bow on 11 Apr 04



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