30 Fascinating Solar Energy Facts

Solar power, the largest source of energy available on planet Earth.
Solar power, the largest source of energy available on planet Earth.

The next time somebody questions the viability of solar energy, arm yourself with these 30 solar energy facts. After all, there’s nothing better than access to a large warehouse of useful information, especially when considering this planet’s energy future. But before we start with that, here are three books concerning solar energy, its history, its future,… Continue reading 30 Fascinating Solar Energy Facts

A (Relatively) Gigantic Perovskite Solar Cell Breakthrough

[Editor’s Note: Solar power from can be achieved a number of ways. The typical solar panel is manufactured from silicone-based crystals mounted on a wafer, wired, covered with glass and embedded in a frame. It’s an inexpensive and easy way to get electricity from the Sun.

Indeed for large (utility-scale) purchases, a silicone-based solar panel can cost less than $10.00 each. Silocone-based panels can range up to 22% conversion efficiency (depending on the manufacturer and the manufacturing date — newer panel designs are more efficient) which means that of all the sunlight hitting them they can convert up to 22% of the light into electricity.

Other materials can produce electricity from the Sun however, and with much higher efficiency rates. Such panels are expensive, as exotic materials like cadmium-telluride don’t come cheap and are toxic if released into the environment. For now, these materials are largely experimental.

A new way to produce electricity using solar photovoltaic (PV) cells comes to us courtesy of Perovskite Solar Cell technology which looks to be a game-changer, although it’s still in the development stages.

Oxford University has it’s own very successful perovskite program, and Brown University and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have recently teamed-up in America to turn perovskite solar cells into an affordable reality.

One unique feature of the perovskite solar cell is the potential to be used as a ‘paint’ to cover buildings and cars thereby harvest energy from all surfaces that face the Sun.

While painting buildings and cars with perovskites is a separate field and in very early development, it looks as though perovskites will have a significant and positive impact on the conventional solar panel industry.

Renewable energy journalist extraordinaire Tina Casey describes the latest perovskite news. — Ed.]


We’ve been spilling a lot of ink over perovskite solar cells recently, and here comes Brown University with yet another breakthrough. Along with researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Brown team has figured out a way to grow larger perovskite solar cells while keeping the conversion efficiency at a fairly high level. (h/t James… Continue reading A (Relatively) Gigantic Perovskite Solar Cell Breakthrough

Perovskite technology gets $19M boost

"World-Beating" Perovskite Technology Rakes In $19 Million

The UK startup Oxford Photovoltaics has just announced a second round of funding for 2015 that brings its haul for the year to $19 million. That enables a big step forward in the company’s R&D plans for solar cells based on perovskite materials – those promising but pesky crystals that could help lower the cost of… Continue reading Perovskite technology gets $19M boost

Perovskite Solar Power Windows To Power Buildings

Perovskite Solar Power Windows To Power Buildings

Imagine if every building in the world had solar power windows that could generate a small amount of electricity from the sun. The technology exists. It has been tested and it is ready for production. In Manhattan alone, there are 47,000 buildings with over 10,700,000 windows, according to a 2013 estimate from The New York Times.… Continue reading Perovskite Solar Power Windows To Power Buildings