It is interesting the different ways that the big oil companies have responded over the years to the very real threat of renewable energy. Shell Oil for a while had a solar power division but sold it when it started to look like they where going to have to actually invest in some real research.
BP probably wishes they had a solar energy division after the fiasco they had in the gulf of Mexico for which they are still paying. However take a look at how Phillips 66 has handled the move to renewable energy and the very competative research environment for solar pv advancements.
Phillips 66 has successfully set a new world record in power conversion efficiency for polymer-based single junction organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells. The 11.84 percent efficiency was certified by Newport Corporation, a recognized center for independent verification of solar cell results under standard testing conditions.
The solar cells are based on proprietary state-of-the-art polymers and interfacial layers, which have been developed by Phillips 66. The advantaged technology can be printed using low-cost roll-to-roll manufacturing processes. The organic solar cells do not contain hazardous components, such as lead or cadmium, unlike some other types of thin film technologies.
“This breakthrough in efficiency brings us closer to the possibility of commercializing this promising form of solar technology,” said Merl Lindstrom, vice president of Technology at Phillips 66.
Continuing to increase the ability of OPV cells to convert power with high efficiency will one day make this energy source more affordable for the consumer.
Developments in the Organic Solar PV Market.
OPV technology enables the development of flexible, lightweight and transparent solar modules that can be manufactured at a low cost. The Phillips 66 materials provide the potential for cost-effective renewable electricity generation on par with conventional energy technologies.
About Gordon Smith Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.