Large-Scale, Cheap Solar Electricity

Posted on June 25, 2006  Comments (6)

Photo of solar sheet manufacturing

Large-Scale, Cheap Solar Electricity by Kevin Bullis

This week, Nanosolar, a startup in Palo Alto, CA, announced plans to build a production facility with the capacity to make enough solar cells annually to generate 430 megawatts. This output would represent a substantial portion of the worldwide production of solar energy.

According to Nanosolar’s CEO Martin Roscheisen, the company will be able to produce solar cells much less expensively than is done with existing photovoltaics because its new method allows for the mass-production of the devices. In fact, maintains Roscheisen, the company’s technology will eventually make solar power cost-competitive with electricity on the power grid.

Nanosolar also announced this week more than $100 million in funding from various sources, including venture firms and government grants. The company was founded in 2001 and first received seed money in 2003 from Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Information on the nanotechnology involved from the Nanosolar site.

6 Responses to “Large-Scale, Cheap Solar Electricity”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog:Solar Power Innovation
    April 7th, 2007 @ 9:16 am

    “Solar cell technology developed by the University’s Nanomaterials Research Centre will enable New Zealanders to generate electricity from sunlight at a 10th of the cost of current silicon-based photo-electric solar cells…”

  2. CuriousCat: Engineers Save Energy
    June 30th, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

    “The U.S. National Research Council (NRC) has estimated that energy efficiency improvements developed solely at DOE’s National Laboratories, saved the U.S. $30 billion between 1978 and 2000…”

  3. CuriousCat: Cheap, Superefficient Solar
    June 30th, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

    “Indeed, if manufacturers can meet the challenges of ramping up production and selling, distributing, and installing the systems, their prices could easily meet prices for electricity from the grid…”

  4. CuriousCat: 2007 Solar Decathlon of Homes
    October 13th, 2007 @ 9:46 pm

    “The Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon is a international competition in which 20 university-led teams compete to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house…”

  5. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Google Investing Huge Sums in Renewable Energy and is Hiring
    February 3rd, 2008 @ 1:45 pm

    Google has done an exceptional job of allowing engineers to do what they do best. And I think there is a chance they can translate that into effectively managing such a project as this…

  6. Japan to Add Personal Solar Subsidies at Curious Cat Investing and Economics Blog
    June 23rd, 2008 @ 3:35 pm

    “The incentive will decrease the cost of a solar photovoltaic system by an estimated 50% within 3 to 5 years. This initiative will make solar energy especially appealing because the cost of electricity in Japan is already over $.20…”

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