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‘Miracle material’ smashes solar panel efficiency threshold

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece here in The Independent or enjoy below

🗞 Driving the news: Scientists have made a significant leap in solar panel efficiency, utilizing a "miracle material" known as perovskite
• Recent research demonstrates how this material could elevate the power conversion efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) solar cells above 30%—surpassing the theoretical 29% limit of conventional silicon-based PV cells

🔭 The context: Perovskite has emerged over the past 15 years as a material with the potential to revolutionize numerous sectors, including renewable energy and ultra high-speed communications
• Perovskite-based solar cells have increased their efficiency rising from under 4% in 2009 to a current record of 33.7%, set by engineers at the KAUST Solar Center in Saudi Arabia earlier this year

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Enhanced efficiency in solar panels translates to more power generation from the same amount of sunlight
• Perovskite may significantly reduce costs and potentially increase efficiency, which would accelerate the adoption of solar power helping to curb carbon emissions and fight climate change 

⏭️ What's next: Scientists are optimistic that their approach could eventually yield efficiency rates "well above 35%." 
However, challenges remain such as scaling to size of traditional solar panels, or discovering the annual degradation rate (which remains unknown)

💬 One quote: "Overcoming this threshold provides confidence that high-performance, low-cost PVs can be brought to the market" ( Stefaan de Wolf and Erkan Aydin, Material Science Researchers)

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