Originally posted by twhitehead
From the article:
This more efficient type of solar cell is easy to produce: the structure of linked nanospheres can be applied to the solar cell as a type of layered paint. Consequently the new solar cells will not only be more efficient but also cheaper than conventional cells.
I wonder how they come up with 'cheaper', since you add a step in the production of otherwise production cells? Maybe just that more efficient cells means you need less cells and less real estate to mount them. They still need to be about 4 times cheaper than now for real world application.
I did see a report that Germany is biting the bullet on solar and is now producing 18 GIGAwatts of electricity that way. That is equal to about 10 nuke plants.
In the US, there is still the problem of power distribution because where you want your solar cells is in the western deserts but the power grid is nowhere near those places, going north around the deserts mainly. That means another half trillion dollars or so to get the power from the desert even assuming you can get power for 50 cents a watt installed. I think right now the best we can buy now is something over 1 dollar a watt installed.