Will perovskite be the genius behind remodeling the solar industry?

Perovskite: changing the face of solar industry:

Even as the cost of most of the newer technologies surges (and these technologies also claim to perform better), solar power promises to provide sustainable energy at comparatively lower costs. And here at the SQHQ, our minds and interests were piqued by a new entrant into the solar industry-namely, perovskite (and believe us, as intriguing as the name sounds to you, we were also equally taken in by its potential in the solar market!)

And what is this perovskite?

Perovskite

So one thing is clear that perovskite is not a secret project of the Russian intelligence but a good conductor of sunlight. Originally founded in 1839 in the Ural Mountains, today it has come to draw all attention towards its potential replacement of silicon in solar cells. And what follows is the scientists’ race towards achieving the best possible model of a solar cell with perovskite that can conduct electricity better and prove to be a major breakthrough, etching their names in history an in science textbooks of the generations to come.

I shall safely choose not to explain the exact science behind perovskite conducting electricity better than silicon, given the complexity of scientific terminology like diffusion and action of nanoparticles, but will move on to the more social impact of such a breakthrough. The simple truth that concerns everyone is the seventy-five per cent cost-cut (yes, round about that much!) that will follow if this reformation were to happen. But wait, perovskite comes with a little more to offer. Henry Snaith, representative of his researching team at the prestigious Oxford University claims that there will be a rise in efficiency from 15% now to roughly 25% in future. Varun Sivaram, from Henry’s team, believes that it is a “major breakthrough ever since the very invention of the solar cell”.

Breaking preset myths

Therefore, if carefully introduced to the market, it has much scope in which it can effectively bring down costs and make solar energy more accessible. So the idea (and the mindset) that solar power is reserved only for the higher classes and the rich elite shall stand defended.  And who knows, solar power may come down to the levels of nuclear and coal to compete with them?

Beyond just the cost factor, what also demands attention is the fact that solar power shall soon allow us to move towards a time where we no longer have to pay heed to the unpredictability of government subsidies. And even as I may sound revolutionary, we at SQHQ have always campaigned (internally) for better and more substantial government support. Till how long will we have the federal state announcing subsidies in one place and withdrawing them in the other and at their own will?

Therefore, if perovskite were to actually come in and replace silicon, thereby reducing costs, it would do away with the requirement of any subsidy, whatsoever and you can only imagine the amount of hassle we shall be freed from! People have spoken much about “grid parity” and at the moment, perovskite in solar cells seems to be closest to meeting that definition.

So next time you come across a thin-film, flexible, light and transparent solar cell instead of one of those bulky green ones which used to be deployed on your rooftops, you know what is the reason behind such a revolution-that which comes at a cost equivalent to buying a new mattress!