I am not a huge fan of solar power. But I am a fan.

On the positive side the fuel (sunlight) is free; the power is generated close to where it will be used; their peak generating time is peak usage time; there are no moving parts to a solar panel; after 20 years solar panels are still generating about 80% of that they did originally.

    On the negative side they are only 50% efficient due to the fact of nighttime; even though the price of solar panels has dropped dramatically most people put them on their roof which is expensive due to union electricians who must be certified to work on roofs; the panels are only one part of the system, you also have to buy an inverter, wire the system and connect it to the grid; if your state does not have net metering you may need to have batteries to store power and not be connected directly to the grid.

Well things have just gotten interesting. They seem to have figured out a way to make solar panels much easier with less expensive materials.

http://www.gizmag.com/screening-engineered-field-effect-photovoltaics-solar-cell/23539/

Granted this is still in the lab so I do not want to get too excited about it.

But if this simplified method can be integrated into today’s production lines with cheaper materials (or even with the materials we are using today) it could lead to a rapid decrease in cost for solar panels.

Solar panels have already come down in price quite a bit in the last few years.   This may be the tipping point technology where solar panels become a common sight. Lets hope.

-StoneMaster Dennis

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