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When solar current is cheap, plentiful and lasts all night through…what then of coming energy systems in Africa?

Organic photovoltaic systems now give more than 10% conversion efficiency from sunlight.  Further developments can make this form of electricity competitive with fossil based electricity in sun rich latitudes. To make electricity available when the sun is down is critical for use of the technology. New materials are needed for a scalable electrical storage, matching the eminent scalability of organic photovoltaics.  A recent publication (G Milczarek, O Inganäs. Renewable Cathode Materials from Biopolymer/Conjugated Polymer Interpenetrating Networks, Science (2012) 335, 1468) shows how cheap biopolymers from trees can be used for charge storage. Analysing the technological trajectories that plentiful photovoltaics and storage could take in an African setting is the primary task in this project.  Further analysis is strongly contingent on economic, social and political considerations.


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Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].