These Transparent Solar Panels Are the Future of Green Energy

If used efficiently, these unassuming pieces of glass could provide almost 50 percent of the US's energy

Nov 27, 2017

(Richard Lunt/Michigan State University)

Going, going green! Pretty soon, we may be able to turn just about any glass surface into solar panels and dramatically increase the number of solar panels in our everyday lives.

Scientists at Michigan State University discovered how transparent solar panels could reduce the amount of fossil fuels and almost ‘meet the U.S. electricity demand.” Just like regular solar panels, the technology collects energy from invisible wavelengths of light, with one major difference.

The super-thin application can be fitted over the existing glass surfaces on smartphones, cars, and even skyscrapers, while still allowing anyone sitting behind the glass surface to have a clear and unobstructed view.

For people everywhere who would love a convenient method for reducing their carbon footprint and electricity bills, this new development may be their answer.

The desire for green energy has resulted in an increase in solar farms and solar-roof tops over the past decade, but currently only 1.5 percent of electricity in the US is generated by solar power.

Transparent solar panels, however, could account for 40 percent of the US’s energy demand, provided its used on the 5-7 billion square meters of glass surface in the country. While that ambitious goal is most likely still years away, the technology offers a promising route to inexpensive, widespread solar adoption in places that were until now inaccessible to regular solar panels.

An inexpensive, convenient way to run on solar power? Where do we sign up?

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REBECCA WOJNO, CONTRIBUTOR
Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.

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