Thursday, February 14, 2008

nanosolar, again

i know i've posted about nanosolar before and, no, they haven't released any news recently, but they are just too cool for school. let the effusing begin:

they intend to make the world's cheapest and best solar panels. thin film printed on an aluminum foil substrate using printing press technology. and they are in it to win it, not just to make an IPO and run off with the cash, the way some other new solar panel manufacturers appear to be playing the game.

they don't even intend to offer stock. they have a few big investors and they don't want any more. they intend to use their profits to increase their manufacturing capacity, so they don't need to raise any more funds.

i don't much like solar power in general and i don't expect to see a huge market for it in the long run (i understand that there is a good chance that i'm wrong about this, but i figure that the most efficient commercial solar panels convert something like 15% of incident light energy into electricity. meanwhile, the average green leafy plant converts about 30% into stored energy. so, if i had to recover as much energy as possible from a given acre, it seems there are a lot of situations that would already favor the plants. and the bioengineering field is only in the very earliest stages of development. so, long term, i think solar panels may not be terribly interesting for energy purposes. also, i don't really like the sun, so i have a personal bias against the tech.).

that being said, nanosolar is building panels today and they are going to eat every other solar panel manufacturer's lunch. i'm looking at you: first solar. you've got a year or two left before nanosolar has a big enough manufacturing base to displace all of your sales.

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