Imagine being able to run your electrical meter backwards. . . . it’s a reality with many of today’s solar technologies. No longer just an “off-grid” concept, many businesses and residences are opting for solar systems that supplement, and in some cases exceed their power requirements. I continually fantasize about getting a solar power system and then watching our meter run backwards on a sunny day. Then, like the beep-beep-beep of a morning alarm clock, the prospect of investing $25,000 to do this jars me back to reality.
Thankfully, there’s some advancements to solar technology on the horizon. Nanosolar Inc., a Palo Alto, California based solar technology company is working on some innovative products. Their focus is a an ultra thin solar material that they hope will become the world’s most cost efficient solar panels. They are speculating this material will be made available at 1/10th the price of current solar panels. If that happens, I’ll be lining up to buy it! I also imagine that a very thin and flexible solar material will also open up the door to some very creative installations and applications. As of this writing, they don’t appear to be shipping product, but their website has a non-binding pre-order form available.