Thin-Film Solar Breaks Efficiency Record


When I got started in this subject a few years ago, the efficiency of thin film solar (i.e., the percentage of sun’s radiant power that is converted into electricity) was measured in single digits. Here, we just achieved 16.1%, a huge increase from the former record holder at 14.7%.

I certainly don’t track every element of technological progress that the clean energy industry makes, but I occasionally take note, as it serves as a reminder of the big picture. The sun bestows more energy on the Earth in 90 minutes than all seven billion of us are consuming in a full year. All we need is a cost-effective solution that captures that tiny fraction, and the game will be over. No more environmental damage from burning fossil fuels. No more dangers of nuclear accidents and issues with waste disposal.

Today’s quantum leap in efficiency is just another reminder of how truly close we are. The quality is rising, and the costs are falling. Sounds good to me.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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