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Thin-Film Solar: Bright Prospects and Shady Claims


The new millennium bought with it promises of solar photovoltaics (PV) technology that would revolutionise not only the PV industry, but global energy. Billions of dollars poured into next-generation thin-film technologies. Not much came out.


This short book, written in 2008, was commissioned to provide insight into the ‘dot com’ of the solar PV sector. It describes the PV technologies, their commercial potential and why they have struggled to leave the laboratory.

The book explains how the overpromising and underdelivering of dozens of companies left a strong generic technology - thin-film PV - with a crippled reputation. Over a decade on, it is yet to recover.

Thin-film solar Blue Book courtesy of CLSA research.

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Solar Electricity Services in the Developing World


This presentation was designed to help students relate to the complexities of energy in the developing world. To hopefully provide perspective, language and categorisations that enable clearer thinking and sustainable motivations.


Produced when Selling Daylight was nearing completion, the topics are all key discussion area from the book: types of people in the world with respect to energy; limitations of mains electricity grids and central generation; the ineffective motivators of fuel, climate and inequality; the importance of engaging local users and stakeholders, and the often misunderstood value of stand-alone PV.


The presentation was produced for University of Exeter and Falmouth University Energy student members of Engineers Without Borders.

It seeks to install caution, without diluting enthusiasm, in those with a desire to engage in developing world energy.


Full presentation and supporting notes are available on the energypedia site:

Solar electricity services in the developing world

Presentation notes

An introduction to solar PV

The technology, how it can be used and off-grid market sectors.

PV potential for energy-poor regions

Examples of the many commercial, social and environmental applications for solar PV.

Flexible PV applications overview

Examples of commercially valuable non-glass PV applications.

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