What is the future of solar energy?
Before 2008, solar panel installations were very costly, discouraging people from shifting to using a clean form of electricity generation. However, this has become a thing of the past. Between 2008 and 2013, the installation cost of solar panels declined by more than 50%. With a continued decline in costs and an increasing awareness of the benefits, solar power is expected to meet around 20% of our total energy needs by 2027.
These are a number of new and upcoming innovations that may act as catalysts for an increasing global footprint of solar energy.
Biological Solar Cells
Cyanobacteria has been a subject of experimentation for quite some time now. This is because it is considered to have the ability to charge wireless devices when used in a solar cell. In 2017, scientists at Binghamton University, New York, created a small-sized bio solar cell that could provide higher output than any of its predecessors. Biological solar cells are being seen as a technology that can change the landscape of solar energy.
Spray on Solar Cells
A major breakthrough for the solar energy industry came in 2018, with the development of spray-on solar cells. Perovskite is viewed as a highly promising material for this purpose. It is lightweight and can be mixed in a liquid solution to act as a substitute for silicon.
Floating Solar Panels
This idea was given its true form by China in 2017. Since then, several other nations such as India and Thailand have jumped on the bandwagon. This technology places solar panels in water to keep the surface cool. Additionally, it will remove the need for disturbing agricultural or terrestrial landscapes for establishing solar farms.