Russia to produce solar batteries - Alfyorov

ST. PETERSBURG - Russia will build a plant producing solar batteries, Academy of Sciences Vice-President Zhores Alfyorov said.

"Domestic R&D and innovative materials meet the world level, and the Nano-Technologies State Corporation has enough funds for the high-tech project," he said.

Private business has taken an interest in the project, Alfyorov said. "We can produce elements of solar photo-electric batteries not only for the Russian market but also export the high-tech product. In future the efficiency of solar batteries may enlarge from 35% to 50% and more and they will become competitive on the world market," he said.

"World energy industry of the 21st century will use solar energy as a renewable source of heating and electricity," Alfyorov said. "The Sun is eternal, absolutely safe and environmentally friendly source of energy, which belongs to everyone and is universally accessible. The stake on solar batteries would be a 'no regrets' and 'no alternative' choice of mankind. Meanwhile, the production of solar batteries grows by 30% per year."

"The overall capacity of photo-energy systems will exceed 50 giga-watt by 2020. In other words, the market dynamics will increase by 140 times within 20 years," he said.

Earth receives 174 PW of incoming solar radiation at the upper atmosphere. Approximately 30% is reflected back to space while the rest is absorbed by the atmosphere, oceans and land masses.

The absorption of solar energy by atmospheric convection and evaporation and condensation of water vapor powers the water cycle and drives the winds. Sunlight absorbed by the oceans and land masses keeps the surface at an average temperature of 14 _C. The conversion of solar energy into chemical energy via photosynthesis produces food, wood and the biomass from which fossil fuels are derived.

Solar energy along with secondary solar resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass account for over 99.9% of the available flow of renewable energy on Earth. The flows and stores of solar energy in the environment are vast in comparison to current human energy needs.


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