We all know what solar panels are and what they do. But the problem with solar panels is two-fold: (1) they are big and bulky; and (2) they require buttloads of silicon to manufacture and silicon is expensive.
These factors make for expensive solar panels. Solar panels cost about $3 for every watt of energy they produce. Coal, on the other hand, costs $1 per watt of energy. So if the idea is to save money, solar is not the way to go.
The "Innovation of the Year" is something called Powersheet solar cells. Rather than a bulky panel, it is a thin sheet about five times the width of aluminum foil. It does the work of a solar panel. Without silicon.
Essentially, it comes off a rolling press, and best of all, it costs around thirty cents per watt of energy produced. That’s ten times cheaper than solar panels, and three times more efficient than coal and gas. And being a sheet rather than a panel, it is flexible and can go on any type of roof.
And, of course, it is "green".
This is not something that we’ll see fifty years from now. This is a product which is ready to roll out NOW.