If you are into solar energy, there is some good news on the horizon. According to research by a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, embedding a small amount of selenium into a mostly zinc-oxide base, dramatically boosts the material’s efficiency in absorbing light.
Currently the cost and performance of many photo-voltaic systems is prohibitive for the average consumer. However, with advances in technology, like the addition of selenium, we might be one step closer to a cost-effective and efficient method for converting solar energy into usable electricity.
So what do we do until products with these technologies are available?
While not a perfect solution, mother nature provides us her own renewable solar energy bank — trees. Trees harvest the sun’s energy and store it which can then be converted to usable energy through a variety of means. While it does not address the need for electricity directly, it may provide an offset to electrical consumption until solar technologies advance to an affordable level.
For more information on advances in solar energy technology please visit here.
Special thanks to Rosalind for passing along the idea for this post!