Subscribe (free)
About NaturalNews
Contact Us
Write for NaturalNews
Media Info
Advertising Info
Solar power

Revolutionary solar panel technology start-up receives $35 million in funding

Monday, October 30, 2006 by: Ben Kage
Tags: solar power, renewable energy, green energy

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
(NaturalNews) Solar energy is one of the most promising renewable energy technologies, but one of the hurdles standing in the way of it replacing quickly dwindling fossil fuel supplies is the cost of implementation on a mass scale. California-based company Miasole has an answer to that question with its cheaper copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) cells, and the company recently raised $35 million in venture financing to continue to develop the technology.

Although CIGS are not as efficient as traditional silicon solar cells, they require less raw materials for construction and the factories are cheaper to build, too. According to CEO David Pearce, a Miasole factory could produce 100 megawatts worth of solar panels annually for $25 million, compared to a silicon solar factory, which usually produce about 30 megawatts worth of panels a year for $70 million.

The major difference is in the manufacturing. Whereas silicon panels are produced in a similar manner to computer chips, CIGS are printed onto thin, flexible foils or polymer sheets with silk screens.

Another advantage of CIGS is that it is not dependent on silicon, dwindling supplies of which have slowed sale of silicon panels, but some analysts say indium supplies could run short, too. Terry Schuyler, vice president of sales and marketing at rival CIGS manufacturer DayStar Technologies, said he was not worried because indium is fairly common in the earth.

The major drawback for CIGS currently is that they are only made in small amounts, but Miasole and DayStar are both making moves to mass-produce the technology. Nanosolar, another company working on expanding CIGS production, recently raised $100 million to build a factory capable of producing 430 megawatts worth of panels annually, and HelioVolt just acquired venture funds from investors such as New Enterprise Associates in order to produce CIGS.


STAY INFORMED! Free subscription to the Health Ranger's email newsletter
Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.