Nano Technology Could Be 
the Next Big Thing In Solar Power


Renewable power is all about innovation. One new breakthrough begets another, and the cycle persists as we continue to do more with less.


The growth of solar power is no exception, as the technology of photovoltaics (PV) benefits from innovations in cell materials and other component parts.


Confirming this dynamic, one recent report identifies a burgeoning new market within the solar industry. The report, “Materials for Next Generation Photovoltaics—2014–2021,” was authored by the research firm NanoMarkets.


It identifies a number of growing and emerging nano materials for solar cells, which show potential for growth in the next six or seven years. They include advanced silicon or crystalline silicon (c-Si) technologies, next generation thin-film PV, organic cells, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC), perovskite materials, and other nano materials.


The report identifies changes taking place around each group of materials that are driving the incentive for innovation and growth. For example, it notes that competitive cost-cutting in the field of c-Si has encouraged more aggressive pursuit of new technologies, such as n-type cells, selective emitter options, wrap-through variants, and cells with rear-side passivation techniques.


Similar dynamics have affected the other PV technologies. The report is especially bullish on a promising new material for solar cells. It notes that perovskite cells have seen a dramatic increase in efficiency on recent years, going from 3.8 percent in 2009 to 19.3 percent in May 2014.


The report also identifies other nano technologies that could benefit the industry, including silver nanowires, carbon nanotubes, quantum dots and graphene.


Collectively, the report projects sharp growth in the PV nano market, from its current $20 million to $262 million in 2017 and $2.1 billion in 2021.


About the Author

Rick Laezman

Freelance Writer

Rick Laezman is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who has been covering renewable power for more than 10 years. He may be reached at richardlaezman@msn.com.

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