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Low-Cost, Printable Solar Panels Offer Ray Of Hope Amid Energy Gridlock


An Australian physicist is leading a push to pioneer a new type of low-cost solar energy he believes could make signing up for energy accounts as straightforward as taking up a mobile phone plan.

In May last year, the University of Newcastle professor Paul Dastoor used organic printed solar cells to power screens and displays at an exhibition in Melbourne.

Less than one millimetre thick and held down with double-sided sticky tape, the panels are similar in texture to a potato chip packet and can be produced for less than $10 per square metre.

Dastoor has been working on the technology for more than a decade, but has now begun a 200 square-metre installation – the first commercial application of its kind in Australia and possibly the world.

“The low cost and speed at which this technology can be deployed is exciting as we need to find solutions, and quickly, to reduce demand on base-load power – a renewed concern as we approach another summer here in Australia,” he said.