Solar Electric Generation Getting Cheaper

Posted on December 12, 2012

Solar Electric Generation is Getting Cheaper. It seems that scientists have developed a way to produce solar electricity cheaper than burning coal. According to reports, the cost of electricity produced by coal costs about $1 per watt and by Solar Panels $3 per watt. But with this new technology the cost comes down to only 30 cents per watt of power produced.

By combining nano and solar technology, Nanosolar, Inc. has developed a way to produce a type of ink that absorbs solar radiation and converts it into electric current. Sheets are produced on a machine similar to a printing press which rolls the ink on to the sheets that are like aluminum foil. These sheet can be produced at the rate of hundreds of feet per minute.

“It’s 100 times thinner than existing solar panels, and we can deposit the semiconductors 100 times faster,” said Nanosolar’s cofounder and chief executive officer, R. Martin Roscheisen. “It’s a combination that drives down costs dramatically.”

These sheets are light weight and flexible and much more versatile than current solar panels that must be mounted on a sturdy surface. Another money saving feature is that silicon isn’t used in the production of the PowerSheets.

As a result of this new technology the cost of solar electricity can drop down to a level that would be competitive with the ‘electric company’ in this and other industrialized nations.

On November 14th, 2012, Nanosolar Inc. announced that it has completed a 10.63 megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant in the town of Alfarrasi, Valencia region, Spain.

The power plant includes more than 50,000 solar panels across 65 acres of former agricultural land. The country offers hot dry climate with long hot summers. The plant is expected to produce enough energy to power 4,000 households and is expected to create a savings of more that 5,528 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year and is said to be equivalent to planting about 142,000 trees. Because of this project Nanosolar, Inc. expects Spain to be among the first countries to provide competitive solar electricity to Europe.

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