Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thin Film Solar Power - Cheaper than Coal?

Thin Film solar superstar, Nanosolar, has shipped their first panels. Their 430 MW plant in California will be the largest in the world and allow them to sell at less than $1/Watt per panel, or about $2/Watt in a complete system. According to the Energy Department, building a new coal plant costs about $2.1 a watt, not including the costs of fuel and emissions. Is this a watershed for solar energy? It may be difficult for vacuum deposited thin film solar manufacturers to compete with Nanosolar, which uses nanoparticle ink jet printing in atmosphere on metal foil, roll to roll. Their plant reportedly is costing about 15 million dollars to build, compared to about 350 million for a vacuum deposited solar cell plant. Nanosolar is tight lipped about their efficiency, but Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) cells have reached 19.5% in the laboratory.

4 comments:

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Start Living Green! said...

Hi, I'd like to add-
Solar power plants are very similar to other conventional power plants – with one significant difference: The majority of power plants draw their power from fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas.
When power plants burn fossil fuels, they produce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Solar power plants or solar thermal power plants (or Concentrating Solar Power plants) utilize the power of the sun’s rays to generate electricity.
Best Wishes-
Barbara Taylor

Solar Power said...

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