New technologies will be needed for photovoltaics to become cheap.


Fact 1:The primary ingredient of most solar panels is purified sand. Fact 2:Enough sunlight hits the Earth in an hour to provide all of humanity’s energy needs for a year. So why isn’t solar power cheap and abundant?


For starters, building a device capable of turning incoming photons into electricity isn’t cheap. Add in installation and the cost of a solar system can still be more than $10 per watt of electricity produced. That’s much higher than the cost per watt from burning coal or natural gas.


It’s going to take further technological breakthroughs to make photovoltaics cheaper.


New developments could include growing pure silicon wafers rather than sawing them from long ingots; or even fundamental shifts in the physics employed, like using so-called black silicon or quantum dots.


Of course, if all energy sources paid their full price, solar would be more competitive. After all, making solar panels doesn’t result in nearly as much mercury, CO2 and other pollution as spewed by coal-fired power plants. If the health and environmental costs of coal or natural gas were included in their prices, suddenly solar might look a whole lot cheaper.



ingredient :名詞,原料成分、要素。例句:What are the ingredients of the cake?(這蛋糕是用哪些原料做成的?)

breakthrough:名詞,突破性進展。例句:Researchers say they have made a breakthrough in cancer treatment.(研究人員說他們在癌症治療方面已有突破性進展。)

spew:動詞,噴出、放出。例句:Smoke and ashes spewed from the volcano. (煙和灰燼從火山口噴發出。)



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