The new world record for solar cell efficiency has been set at 23.2 percent, up from the previous record of 21.9 percent.
Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology and Fraunhofer Institute in Germany developed a micro thin layer of aluminum oxide that when applied to specific types of solar panels increase efficiency by roughly 6 percent by preventing energy loss through the surface of the solar panel.
The aluminum oxide layer is expected to be rather inexpensive to apply and is being heralded as a sizable achievement in reducing the cost of solar power.
ScienceDaily.com predicts that the cost of producing photovoltaic solar power will be comparable to power production with fossil fuels within the next 15 years. The prediction is conservative in comparison to the claims made by Sungri, a solar technology company claiming a breakthrough in the solar industry called Xtreme Concentrated Photovoltaics (XCPV).