Solar Santa's Startup Supersedes Lumps Of Coal
Nanosolar’s founder and chief executive, Martin Roscheisen, claims to be the first solar panel manufacturer to be able to profitably sell solar panels for less than $1 a watt. That is the price at which solar energy becomes less expensive than coal.
“With a $1-per-watt panel,” he said, “it is possible to build $2-per-watt systems.”
According to the Energy Department, building a new coal plant costs about $2.1 a watt, plus the cost of fuel and emissions, he said.
The first Nanosolar panels are destined for a one-megawatt solar plant to be installed in Germany on a former landfill owned by a waste management company. The plant, being developed by Beck Energy, is expected to initially supply electrical power for about 400 homes.
In an amusing turn of events for a company from Silicon Valley, the manufacturing process they use to fabricate inexpensive solar panels is so cheap partly because it avoids the use of silicon, and uses copper-indium-gallium-selenide instead. This is a profoundly big development for the future of supplying electricity to our Hot Hardware.