There has been a breakthrough in solar power. A new design of solar cells achieves 42.8% efficiency. This may make Solar a viable energy source that can compete with nuclear and fossile fuel.

The current junk models are in the range of 10% efficiency. The weakness of solar power was due to its low efficiency. It required a large number of expensive cells, lots of manufactoring resources, and lots of space.

Here’s the article:

Using a novel technology that adds multiple innovations to a very high-performance crystalline silicon solar cell platform, a consortium led by the University of Delaware has achieved a record-breaking combined solar cell efficiency of 42.8 percent from sunlight at standard terrestrial conditions.

Via Future Pundit.

Both solar and wind farms require a large amount of space. The advantage goes to solar because the panels can be mounted on structures so it is not land intensive.

I still imagine two problems. One is the manufacturing costs of solar. If it is not cost-efficient – and it hasn’t been – then it will not be economically viable. Second, solar panels only work during the day, and we still cannot store energy. A hybrid electrical grid will work. Solar Power for daylight hours where electrical demand peaks, and coal or nuclear power at night and to meet daytime demands that exceed solar power.

It may be turning economically viable. IBM is getting into the Solar Power business.