Solar energy materials and solar cells on the forefront of breaking new frontiers in the global energy market
Fact: More than half of the potential global non-renewable energy has been exhausted since the dawn of the industrial revolution.
Nevertheless, the last few decades have seen considerable efforts in advancing sustainable and efficient energy resources in order to support renewable energy production and most of all, fight our planet’s cancer, global warming.
Confidently hoping to reach a turning point in what are the primary power sources employed by environmentally aware citizens around the globe, energy markets have been working hard to satisfy the politically (in)correct middlemen (think public affairs reps) agendas acting as interlocutors between governments and international green movements. Their goal? Pushing for the adoption and improvement of such renewable, natural energy sources as solar power, wind power, hydro power, or geothermal energy just to mention a few.
Making hay while the sun shines, ironically sounds just about right when shifting everyone’s attention from the earth’s primary energy resources such as oil or coal, towards the beaming sky and the yellow dwarf star more popularly known as the sun.
Leading its way as the potential throne ascendant of the kingdom of the number one alternative power supplier with 1600 EJ , in comparison to 600 EJ of wind power, or 50 EJ of hydro power, solar energy is produced by solar cells, more specifically electric devices transforming ray lights into electricity. So far so good, but no breaking new ground here.
What comes as the real deal in potentially revolutionizing the current research on solar power, solar energy panels and solar cells, it’s the possibility to print the latter on sheets of paper.
Researchers at MIT have been sweating over a new and cost effective way to make solar cells, printing them on just about any kind of paper, possibly the handkerchief anyone has lying somewhere in the bag or in the office drawer. Lay readers may indifferently shrug their shoulders but there’s more to it than it appears to be; the ingenious MIT Professor of Electrical Engineering Vladimir Bulovic explains it as follows,
“…This could open up a number of applications. For example, they could be used in remote developing countries where weight is a large factor in how many cells can be delivered. The paper can also easily be applied to a wall or to window shades to make it super easy to install your own solar panels.”
Also, think about the endless possibilities in applying such new method, as “solarly” recharging your smartphone while on the go, or to save your laptop’s battery from dying out right when you are to send that email you forgot about, but there’s no socket anywhere near you. No fuss, no frills, the sun might be your ultimate savior.
So are you ready to be efficiently solarised?
To find out more about renewable energy sources check out some of InTech’s specialized publications in earth sciences or be sure to browse through our latest book on Solar Cells to be published by the end of August.