Reaction: Efficient Transparent Solar Cells Developed

According to Businessweek, Phillips 66, along with California startup Solarmer and South China University of Technology have created a transparent polymer (plastic) solar cell that is as thin as a grocery bag and 9.31% efficient.  It costs between 70%-80% less than silicon panels, but degrades over time.

Vishal Shrotriya, a spokesman for Solarmer, says that the technology will have to reach 12-15% efficiency to compete with silicon, which continues to improve in price and efficiency each year.  However, he sees potential military and remote power applications in the immediate future.

Reference:  Solar cell efficiency receives a transparent boost [Houston Chronicle] – Businessweek.

My Reaction:

Because they are thin and transparent, this technology could be coupled with conventional solar cells and other technologies.  It demonstrates that solar is edging ever closer to economic viability

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