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November 09, 2006

Technology Review: BP Solar Sticks with Silicon

BP Solar Sticks with Silicon An industry giant says a tweak to silicon manufacturing could beat more exotic materials approaches over the next decade. By Kate Greene It's boom time for solar power, as a rising tide of startups tout various approaches--from organic thin films to concentrating light with holograms--for harvesting energy from the sun. But amid the flurry of nascent technologies, BP Solar, a 30-year-old subsidiary of oil giant BP, is betting that old-fashioned silicon still holds the most potential for cost-effective solar power in the next decade. In its latest move, the company has developed a solar module--a collection of solar cells--using a new silicon-manufacturing approach that the company says drives down the cost of generating solar power. The new technology boosts power production 8 percent without a price increase, the company says. BP Solar will begin production of these modules by mid 2007. Technology Review caught up with Lee Edwards, president and CEO of BP Solar, to ask about the new technology and other efforts at the company. Technology Review: You say your new silicon prototype--which you call Mono2--increases efficiency of your solar cells without increasing the cost. What is Mono2?

Posted by dymaxion at November 9, 2006 01:11 PM

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