15 Sep 2010 12:09:40
New organic solar cell venture launched
The Carbon Trust and Cambridge Enterprise have launched a new venture to develop and manufacture solar cells.
Eight19, so called because its takes light from the sun eight minutes and 19 seconds to travel to the Earth from the sun, will use £4.5 million of investment from the trust and chemicals company Rhodia to develop product prototypes.
The focus will be on developing low-cost organic solar cells using semi-conducting plastics, which will build on the Cavendish Laboratory's current capabilities.
Organic solar cells hold the advantage of being able to be manufactured at a low cost, as well as the ease at which they can be installed by construction companies.
Dr Robert Trezona, head of research and development at the Carbon Trust, said: "Cost reduction through the development of advanced technology and innovative design are key to driving forward mass production and making solar power more affordable."
It is thought that the market for organic solar cells could increase to $500 million (£322 million) by 2015.
The Carbon Trust claims that its work on new technologies will help save 20 million tonnes of carbon a year by 2050.