Surge in Solar

New technologies have resulted in a surge of investments in solar panels. When large corporations enter the market a strong signal is sent that renewable energy is finding it’s day in the sun.

IBM last week announced plans to make solar panels covered with a thin film of chemical compounds. The idea is that the film, when applied to different surfaces such as glass or brick, can produce solar energy more efficiently than conventional silicon wafer–based solar cells—which are made of materials similar to those used to fabricate computer chips. (That’s right—a company built on chips based on silicon is trying to get the world to move away from using it in solar cells.)
Also last week, Intel spun off a new solar tech company called SpectraWatt, which was born with $50 million in investment capital from Intel, Cogentrix Energy LLC, PCG Clean Energy and Technology Fund and Solon AG.
Meanwhile, HP earlier this month began licensing technology to Xtreme Energetics, Inc., in Livermore, Calif., designed to help that start-up company deliver rooftop solar energy systems that produce twice as much energy as conventional solar panels at half the cost.


Many of the latest technologies in solar have reached the production stage.

July 2 (Bloomberg) — Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., the Japanese unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, gained the most in four months in Tokyo trading after a report that it will build a solar-panel plant at a cost of more than 100 billion yen ($944 million). Source:

Previous posts on solar panels can be found here and here.

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