Organic solar cells are apparently on the verge of a breakthrough and could revolutionize energy production. Because: They are environmentally friendly, flexible and relatively easy to assemble.
Switching to sustainable energy sources is likely to play an important role in the years to come. For example, the federal government plans to be completely climate-neutral by 2045. At the same time, however, coal-fired power plants still emit large amounts of CO2.
In addition to wind and water power, the generation of electricity from the sun therefore continues to play a major role. Because solar power is considered cheap and is available in almost unlimited quantities.
The problem, however, is that classic modules require a lot of space and can only be installed in open spaces. However, that could change soon. Researchers around the world are experimenting with so-called organic solar cells. So far, these have hardly played a role, since the efficiency of nine percent was relatively disappointing.
Organic solar cells can be used (almost) anywhere
Nevertheless, organic solar cells have some advantages. Because they are translucent and relatively flexible due to their structure. The panels can therefore be installed almost anywhere. A use on vehicles is just as conceivable as the use of aircraft wings. In addition, previously unavailable surfaces such as window panes or other transparent surfaces can be equipped with the technology.
Due to new findings in development, organic solar cells are now on the verge of a breakthrough. Researchers from Hong Kong recently developed a first cell with an efficiency of 19 percent. The organic variant thus approaches the efficiency of conventional solar modules. Germany is also considered a leader in research and development of the technology.
New technology reduces dependency on China
This can also be attributed to the current geopolitical situation. Most of our panels come from China, which increases the dependency on the People’s Republic. Nevertheless, recent conflicts show that Germany wants to decouple itself from the government in Beijing in the medium term.
And this is where organic solar cells come into play. Because they do without rare earths. The raw materials can therefore be obtained directly from Europe. This could also result in an independent industry in this country. And that also seems necessary. Because the Federal Republic is pursuing ambitious goals. By 2035, Germany would like to switch completely to green electricity.