Unlike a lot of other energy-crisis solving tech that bursts into vapor at the last minute, the award-winning and groundbreaking Nanosolar PowerSheets are actually on sale today. They're super cheap, ultra-adaptable solar panels that can be printed on the side of pretty much anything, promising solar power anywhere you want it. At today's launch, they still slide under coal's $2.1-a-watt energy cost, though they're not mass produced at the scale needed to bring it to the 30-cents-a-watt level they're aiming for yet. But if they prove themselves on the field, the clamoring demand would quickly materialize for that kind of output. [NYT]
@reefdweller: Nanosolar offers a 25-year warranty on their panels.
@strider_mt2k: According to their Wikipedia write-up, the company uses Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide in their solar cells. Arguably, its only toxic component is selenium, which is paradoxically an essential nutrient and toxic in large quantity. I wouldn't worry about that.
Supposedly CIGD can achieve up to 19.5% efficiency, half that of crystalline silicon. Hardly great, but I think in this case, the superior cost-efficiency will trump the energy-efficiency.