According to recent reports, the United States wants India to manufacture a cheap alternative to silicon solar cells. US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, on Wednesday, said that he wanted India to explore this route. This statement comes at a time when the United States is trying to reduce its reliance on Chinese technology.
According to Brouillette, India as a nation was “perfectly positioned as a potential manufacturer” of perovskite cells. The US has been conducting research on this particular technology at its national laboratory which is located in Colorado.
“We have seen recently with this pandemic, supply chain issues have arisen with countries like China and in certain cases we have become overly dependent upon one country,” Brouillette said.
India is currently pursuing an highly ambitious plan to increase its renewable energy capacity to 175 gigawatts (GW) by the time year 2022 rolls around. As per reports, nearly three-fifths of it will be taken up by solar power.
India has always been a power hungry nation. India currently imports over 80% of its solar cells and modules from its neighbouring countries. India is also planning to increase its domestic manufacturing. However, as of yet, it has attained little to no success.
“It is a technology we want to share with India, we think it is better done there than other parts around the world,” Brouillette said.
In recent times, scientists have heavily weighed in on Perovskite solar cells (PSCs). These cells have been touted as a cheap alternative to silicon cells.
“PSCs offer a much lower production cost compared to silicon solar cells and its efficiency has improved dramatically,” said SandheepRavishankar, a scientist researching PSCs at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research, Forschungszentrum Julich, Germany.
“However, PSCs are still not stable enough to be considered as a commercial competitor of silicon,” Sandheep said.
Scientists are also exploring using perovskite in tandem with silicon to increase the overall efficiency. Research on this technology is being carried out in countries like the United States, Saudi Arabia and Germany.