Cross-post at CleanTechnica on recent progress in making cheap solar cells from synthetic perovskite crystals. If you are curious, it’s got enough links in it to stuff by people who actually know what they are talking about.
It was an interesting challenge for a dilettante, one I’m not in a hurry to repeat, to report on news at the research frontier to a general audience.
You shouldn’t take my piece as evidence that perovskites will win out over competing lines of development. My hunch in their favour is based on little more than an aesthetic pleasure in a project to use the very stuff of the earth’s rocks to save its biosphere, and a touch of alma mater sentimentality: one of the key labs is in Oxford. It is evidence that in the medium term pv solar is not limited to the current commercial menu, two sorts of silicon and one thin-film. The solar learning curve will continue. Just as well: it’s half of what stands between us and climate catastrophe.
CleanTechnica cut the photo of Michael Grätzel of Lausanne, the pioneer of the solar perovskite field. Doesn’t look like a superhero, but then real heroes don’t. The cell he’s holding is from a precursor project that did not pan out commercially, a useful reminder of the risks. I do hope he gets his Nobel.