Those who are passionate about changing human behaviors to prevent global environmental change might already have solar water heaters, solar lights, and solar panels on their homes, but what does this technology really offer corporate America and mainstream consumers who still feel that technology like solar panels are too expensive and inefficient?
Quite a lot, according to Fred Krupp’s recent re-release of Earth: The Sequel.
Video of Earth: The Sequel
Saving Earth With Innovative Solar Energy Technologies?
Krupp, who is the president of Environmental Defense Fund, includes many significant warning signs in his book that point to potential environmental disaster, but he focuses on the positive aspects of a burgeoning industry that is making money from products and technologies that are eco-friendly.
Silicon Ink-Based Solar Panels Offer Affordability and Efficiency
One of the best examples in the book is a venture capital named Innovalight that, according to its Web site, “is focused on bringing high efficiency, low-cost modules to the marketplace”
Solar Energy at Affordable Prices?
Innovalight’s innovation has been to produce silicon ink that can be used to print solar panels inexpensively. The company claims that these highly efficient silicon ink-based solar energy panels will require less installation hardware and labor that today’s standard panels, which will make solar energy technology more affordable for consumers and manufacturers.
CNN reports that Innovalight “promises to make solar energy ten times cheaper by producing lower cost solar cells.”
Innovalight Is Not the Only Inventive Solar Cell Manufacturer Today
Innovlight’s products use an ink-based solar photovoltaic panel, but they are not the same as the Power Plastic developed by Konarka. Konarka makes a non-silicon ink-based solar cell that they hope to one day turn into transparent panels that can be used to power everything from cell phones to entire skyscrapers. The advantage of Konarka’s Power Plastic is that the ink and plastic technique allows solar panels to be installed just about anywhere because it has the flexibility of camera film.
Silicon Ink-Based Solar Cells May Be More Efficient
While Innovalight’s solar energy cells use silicon ink to harness the sun’s power, the ink is applied to flat panels that are similar to those typically seen today. This might not offer Power Plastic’s convenience, but one of the problems with Konarka’s non-silicon solar energy cells is that they do not use sunlight as efficiently as standard solar panels.
Perhaps Innovalight’s silicon ink will give consumers and industry leaders a more efficient, affordable solution to solar energy.
The Future of Innovalight
The company still has plenty of work to do before its products end up on the homes of average Americans, but it took a significant step in January when it opened “the world’s first silicon-ink based solar cell production line” in, appropriately enough, Sunnyvale, CA.