A ten-year-old spin-out company from Oxford University aims to start manufacturing the world’s most efficient solar panels by the end of 2020, according to this article in The Guardian.
Oxford PV says that its new solar panels will be able to generate almost a third more electricity than traditional silicon-based solar panels, making it the biggest advance in solar power generation since the technology emerged in the 1950s. According to Oxford PV, silicon "is reaching its practical and economic photovoltaic efficiency limit." What it does is coat traditional solar power cells with a crystal material called perovskite, which is able to absorb different parts of the solar spectrum than traditional silicon. This means a solar panel can increase its power generation, and lower the overall costs of the clean electricity. (There's more on the science in this article in The Economist.)
There are not many firms in the world who are working with this technology. Oxford PV has its R&D in Oxford and a production line installed in Berlin. It has raised more than €74m in capital from a variety of investors, including solar equipment manufacturers and institutions such as L&G.
It will be exciting to track their progress.