There has been a lot of interest in renewable energy the last decade or so. Of all the various ones we have such as wind and water and such I think solar is the best one. There is more solar energy hitting the Earth at any moment than we can use. The trick is to get solar cells to be high enough efficiency to power things and cheap enough so we can put them everywhere. I want solar panels on the roof of my house that powers it during the day. Living in Florida my AC bill tends to get kind of silly this time of year.
The place in the world where solar will make the biggest impact though is in the developing world, in places where they don’t have electricity now. Solar is attractive to me because it is a disaggregated model, which is in keeping with my theory of how society is reorganizing.
These solar cells aren’t efficient yet but they are certainly cheap. You just spray them on.
The concept of spray-on solar panels has existed for some time, but it’s been hard to make them efficient. Now, a team of scientists from Sheffield University is using a new material to create a solar paint that could change that.
The results are fairly impressive, too. The best perovskite cells can achieve an efficiency as high as 19 percent; cells currently created used the new spaying method achieve 11 percent. So, while there’s some way to go, these cells far out perform spray-coated solar technology from the past, which achieved efficiencies in the single digits.
The education implications are thus: as the developing world gets electrified, they can get online and join the online learning community. This is a very large group of people all looking for cheap education. Who will provide it?