The desire to create sustainable power sources to help supplant petroleum-based products has inspired considerable scientific research.
Among the distinctive inexhaustible sources, sun-powered energy is one of the most encouraging innovations to meet the developing worldwide electrical consumption requests and to determine the regularly expanding energy emergency because of the consumption of petroleum products.
Solar energy, in contrast to other Renewables such as Wind or Geothermal, has a far greater reach due to its worldwide coverage and not being affected due to topological or geological differences throughout the world.
Types of PV cells
Solar provides a decentralized structure which can be seen as a positive. We know that there are 2 kinds of technologies that were implemented throughout the world when it came to solar energy adoption.
They were known as 1G and 2G, respectively. 1G employed Silicon-based wafers which gave the highest Power Conversion Efficiency (PCE) and the highest production cost as well. 2G technologies were based on copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), and cadmium telluride (CdTe). Low PCE compared to the latter.
That’s why we have a new technology that is being developed that will give PCE as high as 22.7 % with production costs lower than 1G. The technology is called Perovskite Solar cells.
Out of all the technologies such as copper/zinc/tin sulfide solar cells, dye-sensitized solar cells, organic solar cells, polymer solar cells, quantum dot solar cells. Perovskite solar cells have shown the most promise with the most published research in the past six years.
Their accelerated growth is the testament to their future commercialization and adoption in open markets and Saudi Arabia should capitalize on said technology if it is to meet its sustainable development goals for the forthcoming vision 2030.
We are beginning to see that numerous nations are treating the risk of environmental change with the earnest it merits. It will complement the many high-rise buildings that are to be manufactured in line with Saudi Arabia’s meteoric rise on the world map.
Traditionally, what we have seen is that solar panels constitute a very minimal part of the overall architecture of the building, only being deployed on rooftops due to being sunlight directed. Perovskite solar cells can be woven into a thin film-like structure and applied on the outskirts of buildings on glass panels. Due to much of the exterior being sunlight facing, we can finally see the miracles of perovskite solar panels being dispatched as stand-alone units.
China, in contrast to Saudi Arabia, holds the biggest market in Solar panel technology and is holds the monopoly in renewable related exports. Perovskite layered glass structures of Saudi Arabia could be a game changer in the region and China could especially help Saudi escalate to the levels required to scale it quickly.
Given such promising results, one cannot ignore the fact that the world, in general, has only used 15% of its total energy consumption being made by renewable energy and KSA has a long way to go before changing from being a crude-oil based economy to one being charged by tourism and renewable energy-based alternatives.
Saudi Arabia has a significant arid area scathed by desert which can house the conventional solar panels. Modern, urban areas require the flexibility and mobility that perovskite solar cells provide and mark an energy-driven utopia that KSA strives to be.
Both Technologies need to go hand in hand if we are to see KSA keep it’s a commitment to lowering its carbon footprint and for the whole world to embark upon marking Saudi Arabia as a tourist hub and urban capital of the world.