Ladies and gentlemen, the future is now. Solar power, which has long been an expensive and bulky, if well-intentioned, concept, is steps away from getting a pretty exciting new identity. According to Co.Exist, scientists at the University of Sheffield are turning a corner on a low-cost, more environmentally-friendly technology that would allow people to easily take advantage of solar energy.
Imagine adding a quick, spray-able coat of solar power to your curtains on a sunny day, or your jeans before heading off to lunch in the park. We're not quite there yet, but thanks to a new material called persvskite, we might be closer.
→Remember this previous iteration of solar equipped clothing?
Compared to current solar panels made from tough-to-produce silicon, the new technology would be cheaper to manufacture and have a wider range of practical applications. The downside is that it doesn't last as long, but considering that it's most likely to be used on products with a shorter lifespan anyway, that seems to be a fair tradeoff.
And here's another plus: the lower price could help keep the benefits of solar within reach of developing countries. Lead researcher on the project David Lidzey points out, "The technology offers the ultimate potential of very low-cost solar energy, with photovoltaic devices built into many varied environments...This will be particularly important in the developing world, where access to low-cost, carbon-free energy will be an important part of making sure that economic and population growth happens in a sustainable fashion."
Read more about it at Co.Exist.
(Image credits: Justice Darragh)