When will solar panels be affordable and practical, practically free? Simply put: soon, at least affordable, maybe not free.
The Obama administration has invested billions of tax dollars to support several solar companies: Abengoa Solar and Abound Solar Manufacturing.
The idea behind this investment is to boost permanent job growth along with “. . . accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy and doubling our use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power,” as President Obama puts it.
It is great that we’re on a way to a more sustainable lifestyle, but what will these solar panels be like?
If all goes according to plan – and there’s little reason to doubt that it should – these solar panels will be both affordable and practical. Abound Solar Manufacturing will use proprietary manufacturing technology created by Colorado State University, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the National Science Foundation. These solar panels will sport thin films that are a step up in efficiency, film quality, and stability.
In recent news, scientist are working on a new filament that does not depend on lead and is cheaper to build, but at a slightly less efficiency, but it should be more affordable.
What about costs?
Photovoltaic panels, or panels that produce a voltage when exposed to sunlight, will be created by installing thin films of Cadmium-Telluride onto glass panels. This manufacturing process allows for low production costs. Basically, the solar panels will cost less to make and will, therefore, be sold at a consumer-friendly price.