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Solar Power

Researchers are creating novel types of photovoltaic devices that could finally make solar power a broadly practical source of renewable energy.


Low-Cost Solar

Solar cells can produce 10 times more electricity per gram of silicon thanks to this system.

Nanopillar solar cells

The new design could lead to cheaper solar cells.

Sun + Water = Fuel

With catalysts created by an MIT chemist, sunlight can turn water into hydrogen. If the process can scale up, it could make solar power a dominant source of energy.

Nanonets Snare Energy

A new material could cheaply convert sunlight into hydrogen.

Intensifying the Sun

A new way to concentrate sunlight could make solar power competitive with fossil fuels.

Bright Days for Solar

New investment fuels promising energy research at MIT.

A Cool Trick for Solar Cells

A technology developed by IBM to cool computer chips could be a boon for solar energy.

Slicing Up Silicon for Cheaper Solar

A California startup is cutting by half the amount of costly silicon used in solar panels.

Toward Cheaper, Robust Solar Cells

Researchers are working on solar cells that use a novel organic dye.

More-Powerful Solar Cells

A new solar cell is 27 percent more efficient without being more expensive to make.

Flexible, Nanowire Solar Cells

Exotic materials and cheaper substrates could lead to better photovoltaics.

A Better Solar Collector

A more efficient way to concentrate sunlight could reduce the cost of producing solar power.

TR10: Nanocharging Solar

Arthur Nozik believes quantum-dot solar power could boost output in cheap photovoltaics.

Flexible Silicon Solar Cells

Thin but efficient solar cells use one-tenth the silicon of conventional cells.

Solar Roofing Materials

Integrating solar cells into building materials could make solar power more attractive to homeowners.

Mass Production of Plastic Solar Cells

A novel photovoltaic technology moves into large-scale production.

Solar Boom

New twists on three leading solar technologies.

More-Efficient Solar Cells

A new solar panel could lower costs and improve efficiency.

Does Car-Mounted Solar Make Sense?

Researchers consider plug-in hybrids charged by stationary solar arrays a better bet.

Better Solar for Big Buildings

A startup is selling cylindrical solar cells that can generate more power than conventional panels.

Efficient, Cheap Solar Cells

New materials for high-performance cells could make solar power affordable.

Solar without the Panels

Utilities are using the sun's heat to boil water for steam turbines.

A Price Drop for Solar Panels

The silicon shortage that has kept solar electricity expensive is ending.

Focusing on Solar's Cost

Sunrgi claims that its concentrated photovoltaic system outshines the competition.

Solar-Power Breakthrough

Researchers have found a cheap and easy way to store the energy made by solar power.

Cheaper Solar Power

Solar Costs Heading Down

Silicon shortages drove up prices, but supplies are now increasing.

Here Comes the Sun

Solar research at MIT

Nanopillars Boost Solar Efficiency

A new design can make more-efficient thin-film solar cells using existing manufacturing equipment.

Solar Cells Use Nanoparticles to Capture More Sunlight

Optical antennas could help solar cells produce more energy.

Efficient Solar Cells from Cheaper Materials

IBM researchers have greatly increased the performance of a novel thin film solar cell.

Making More Solar Cells from Silicon

1366 Technologies hopes to cut the cost of solar with cheaper manufacturing.

Giving Plastic Solar Cells a Boost

Plastic cells are lighter than silicon ones, but they're not as efficient--one company aims to fix that.

Scaling Up Solar Power

Applied Materials makes the equipment needed to produce the biggest solar panels in the world.

GE to Make Thin-Film Solar Panels

Its entrance to the market could help make solar power cheaper.

Suntech Strategy Stresses R&D

China's solar giant shifts its strategy.

"Light Pipes" Boost Organic Solar Efficiency

A layer of optical fiber bristles doubles the performance of organic solar cells in tests.

Solar's Great Leap Forward

Suntech CEO Zhengrong Shi made China a powerhouse in photovoltaic technology–and became a billionaire in the process. His next ambition: to make solar power as cheap as conventional electricity.

Solar Plane Lasts All Night Long

Nighttime flight is an important milestone--but solar power is unlikely to transform aviation.

Solar Cell Maker Gets a $400-Million Boost

Abound Solar says it has a simpler process to make cadmium-telluride solar cells.

A Sticker Makes Solar Panels Work Better

A startup's polymer sticker increases power output by 10 percent, and can be applied to panels that are already installed.



Jack Dorsey Talks Technology




Technology Review's primers on key emerging technologies.

Social Networks

These online communities are redefining how we find and share information, but will operators be able to assuage privacy concerns?

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