Nanosys Incorporated announces breakthrough in solar element manufacturing. The team led by Dr. Paul Alivisatos has discovered a novel nanomaterial for the efficient production of solar energy. Dr. Alivisatos states, Traditional silicon-based photovoltaic elements are expensive to manufacture in large volumes, requiring extremely high temperature, high vacuum and numerous lithographic steps. Thats why we chose to pursue the hybrid nanocomposite approach, incorporating inorganic nanorods into organic semiconductor films. The nanorod/polymer hybrid elements can be mass-produced under ambient conditions without any of these complicated and expensive steps. By growing nanorods with a specific diameter, we can also precisely control the band gap of the nanocomposite, adjusting it for optimal absorption of ambient light; thats not possible to do with traditional semiconducting materials.
Professor Keith Barnham of Imperial College, London and a pioneer in the use of quantum well nanostructures in high efficiency solar cells, commented on the discovery made by Dr. Alivisatos and his team, There has been much interest in the possibility of making cheap, plastic solar cells. The efficiencies of these plastic-cells, however, are currently far too low for commercial exploitation. Professor Alivisatos group has made a breakthrough by incorporating nanorods into polymer devices, so as to give them many features of conventional, high-efficiency crystalline cells. His optimism is continued in his next statement when he said, I think this hybrid approach is a most promising way to achieve the efficiences necessary to make plastic solar cells commerciallyviable. It would help to make solar electricity competitive with fossil fuels. (05-02 BD74-9-10)
Global Solar helps commission one of the worlds largest photovoltaic PV power stations. The 1.4 megaWatt ground-mounted system, which converts sunlight directly into electricity, will be expanded to 2.4 megaWatts of generating capacity in 2002. For the solar array, Global Solar utilized modules made of various PV technologies, including crystaline-silicon, thin-film amorphous-silicon, and thin-film cadmium-telluride. Thin-film copper-indium-gallium selenide modules could be used in the future.
The PV power station is located near Tucson Electric Power Co.s (TEP) Springerville Generating Station in northeastern Arizona. Southwest Energy Solutions installed the solar collector panels and support structure. Global Solar and TEP worked on system design. Global Solar oversees daily operations.(04-02 BD73-7)
By 30 September 2001, Germanys two financing schemes for photovoltaics had encouraged the installation of over 100 MWp of PV, within the country. Module production had increased rapidly. The German industry had created over 3800 jobs by the end of 2000. However, Germany was still a major importer of PV despite the increase in production.(03-02 BD72-13
Half a dozen multimillion dollar projects designed to catalyse the market have, seemingly, failed, writes Mark Hankins, and exploitation of the market has been disappointingly slow.
Renewable Energy World
July August 2001
The solar electricity market is booming. In 2000, cumulative installed capacity of PV systems around the world surpassed the landmark figure of 1000 MWp. At the same time, global shipments of PV cells and modules have been growing at an average annual rate of 33% for the past few years. Now the European Photovoltaic Industry Association and Greenpeace have collaborated on producing a long-term analysis of the global solar electricity market up until 2020, with projections up to 2040. (03-02 BD72-13)
Renewable Energy World
Arizona Public Service is helping solar/photovoltaics to grow. They are already selling one MW to the grid and plan to double this by second quarter of 2002. Composite Power Corporation is considering a large solar power generation plant in Nevada that could produce in excess of 100 MW.
Although the solar industry expects that solar power may rise as high as 5,000 MW per year by 2020, the Department of Energy (DOE) only projects 3,200 MW for the same time period. Currently, solar power contributes 0.02 to the grid. It still costs about 20 cents/kWh to generate electricity; this equates to a cost equivalent of approximately four times as much as the electricity produced from fossil or nuclear fuels. (Data in chart is from Industrial Information Resources, Inc.) + (Jan. 2002, BD 70-9)
Bekaert ECD Solar Systems receives $1.5 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The contract was awarded under the Public Interest Energy Research program to be administrated by the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD). The total project cost over a three-years period is $3.3 million of which $1.5 million will be contributed by CEC. The project goal is to develop and commercialize an inexpensive and quick-to-install photovoltaic system that can be applied to a variety of roof decks. (03-02 BD72-10)
Duke Solar LLCs chief scientist, Roland Winston, receives Farrington Daniels Award for outstanding intellectual leadership in renewable energy from the International Solar Energy Society. The societies highest honor was given to Dr. Winston who has pioneered work in non-imaging solar optics that has been proven to concentrate sunlight at more than 84,000 times the natural level of Earth-surface sunlight (02-02 BD71-8)