NewEnergyNews: SUNLIT GLASS

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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, September 20:

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Is 100% renewable energy the best goal to cut power sector emissions?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Have California's efforts to value distributed resources hit a roadblock?

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

    SUNLIT GLASS

    The Glass of the Future Will Be Made of Solar Panels

    Brian Merchant, February 18, 2013 (Motherboard)

    “The humans of the clean and prosperous future will…build windows or walls with…solar glass…[A] wide array of projects, most of them still in the testing stages…aim to transform windows into solar power generators…Oxford Photovoltaics…wants to build the solar panel directly into the glass…[Its recent] $3 million funding… means we’re getting closer to a world with buildings built out of solar glass.

    “…The technology works by adding a layer of transparent solid-state solar cells at most three microns thick to conventional glass, in order to turn around 12% of the solar energy received into low-carbon electricity. The power can then be exported to the national grid or used for the running of a building…Oxford’s CEO, Kevin Arthur, claims that the technology only adds 10% to the cost of typical glass building facades, which makes transforming your next corporate headquarters into a giant solar panel sort of a steal.”

    “…[U]nlike other incubating solar window technologies, this one comes in a wide array of aesthetically palatable hues…If it pans out, this is a game-changer…[because] buildings…[in the U.S.] account for 39% of all CO2 emissions…[and] suck down more power than anything else…so obviously, the more that are outfitted with onsite clean power-generators, the more we can bring that number down. New buildings built with solar glass could even feasibly be net energy exporters.

    “…[T]he bulk of the emissions reduction on buildings will come from hideously unsexy stuff like retrofits and additional insulation installation, but technologies like solar glass clearly light the way forward…[and could make] the commercial buildings of the future…towering, multi-colored solar panels.”

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