The solar industry is growing by leaps and bounds. This is the result of a positive feedback loop that is beneficial all the way around. As more and more people discover the benefits of solar energy, this creates new demand. The increased demand encourages manufacturers of solar equipment to scale up production. As productions is increased, economy of scale brings down prices. As prices come down, this encourages even more demand.
And around and around the positive feedback loop goes.
Additionally, with swelling demand for renewable, clean solar power, researchers are devoting more time and money into the field in hopes of creating a new solar technology that could reap potentially billions of dollars in profits.
When the solar energy industry was a small specialty field, big money flowing into research wasn’t worth the potential reward.
However, the solar industry has matured, and is rapidly becoming mainstream. This attracts research funding.
Research funding incubates new inventions.
And the researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have just announced a breakthrough “ultralight fabric solar cell that can quickly and easily turn any surface into a power source.”
“These durable, flexible solar cells, which are much thinner than a human hair, are glued to a strong, lightweight fabric, making them easy to install on a fixed surface. They can provide energy on the go as a wearable power fabric or be transported and rapidly deployed in remote locations for assistance in emergencies. They are one-hundredth the weight of conventional solar panels, generate 18 times more power-per-kilogram, and are made from semiconducting inks using printing processes that can be scaled in the future to large-area manufacturing.
Because they are so thin and lightweight, these solar cells can be laminated onto many different surfaces. For instance, they could be integrated onto the sails of a boat to provide power while at sea, adhered onto tents and tarps that are deployed in disaster recovery operations, or applied onto the wings of drones to extend their flying range. This lightweight solar technology can be easily integrated into built environments with minimal installation needs.”https://news.mit.edu/2022/ultrathin-solar-cells-1209
You can read the entire story about this exciting new solar cell invention by visiting news.mit.edu.