Last week I was rebuked for saying nothing about grid parity, the point at which solar becomes competitive with fossil-fueled power. Understand that this is a marathon, Fools -- not a sprint. That said, there was a potentially game-changing development this week. But I'll save that one for last.
On Monday, both Intel
Intel spun off an in-house venture called SpectraWatt, raising capital from the likes of Goldman Sachs and German slugger Solon AG. Based on the firm's subsequent supply deal with PV Crystalox, we know that SpectraWatt will be a traditional multicrystalline PV player. That doesn't exactly fire the imagination.
IBM's foray into copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film cells is somewhat spicier. The company, along with a Japanese partner, is targeting 15%-plus conversion efficiencies out of next-generation cells that currently only yield 8%-12%. Other companies working on this flavor of thin-film material include Ascent Solar Technologies
In terms of expansion plans, two standouts this week were Canadian Solar
Possibly the biggest news, though, was a blog post by Martin Roscheisen, CEO of Nanosolar. In his post, Dr. Roscheisen claims that Nanosolar has introduced a thin-film printing press with one gigawatt of annual capacity. There's also a video of the $1.65 million production tool at work. Gigawatt-scale thin-film manufacturing equipment from the likes of Applied Materials