I just came across a recent article in "Industry Week" announcing that low-cost high efficient solar panels developed under the auspices of mechanical engineering Professor W.S. Sampath at Colorado State University will soon go into mass production.
The article estimates that the cost to the consumer could be about half the current cost of solar panels and points out that the technology can be affordably installed and operated in nearly any location.
This is very exciting news. A massive reduction in production cost compared to traditional solar panels means that the new panels will be able to produce energy at roughly the same cost as "traditionally" generated energy. Accordingly, the cost argument for continuing to use coal and other fossil fuels becomes less and less convincing.
Electricity generation is the biggest single contributor to global warming, both globally and in Australia. If we could replace old technologies such as coal fired power stations with cheap solar power energy, we could make a massive saving on our overall contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.
Production of these new panels is expected to start by the end of next year.