Making Photovoltaic Solar Cells More Financially Viable

BioSolar, Inc., developer of a breakthrough technology to produce bio-based materials from renewable plant sources that reduce the cost of photovoltaic solar cells, has been cited in recent news media reports exploring the increasing demand for bio-based solar cell components, which will help the entire industry make photovoltaic solar cells more financially viable by substantially lowering the cost of the cells through the use of petroleum-free materials.

In this week’s CLEANTECH column in energy trade publication California Energy Circuit, (CLEANTECH: Making Solar Power Fossil Free, June 6 2008 issue), energy correspondent William J. Kelly discusses the concept of life-cycle testing – utilizing the entire life-cycle of a product and its components to determine its total carbon footprint – noting that solar cells generate 0.04 kilograms of carbon dioxide per kilowatt of electricity generated.1 The article goes on to note that clean energy researchers see that level declining dramatically due to improvements in the materials used to make the solar cells.

“This article recognizes that BioSolar’s BioBacksheet™ is quickly becoming a driving force in a shift to replace plastic petroleum-based solar cell components with environmentally-friendlier fossil-free ones derived from plant-based products,” said Dr. David Lee, CEO of BioSolar. “This industry-wide trend is expected to continue accelerating as the cost benefits of bio-based products continue to far outperform petroleum-based products. Plus, by making solar cells fossil-free, we are also making the solar cell – and the entire solar industry – more financially sustainable. Products like the BioBacksheet™, among other new products from BioSolar, are helping the industry attain its long sought goal of weaning itself from governmental subsidies and achieving economic viability.”

BioSolar was also the subject of a piece in GreenTech Pastures, veteran newsman Harry Fuller’s column at ZDnet.com (http://blogs.zdnet.com/green/?p=1083). Noting that BioSolar’s “BioBacksheet” is made entirely of plant-based materials, Mr. Fuller’s article states that BioSolar has found a “way to really green solar: turning green plants into photovoltaics.”

The article also highlights another compelling business point: while other bio-based plastics are made from corn-starch or potato-starch derivatives, which are currently experiencing a surge in price, all of the plant-based materials used by BioSolar’s products are made from plants that are non-food based. This bodes well for the company’s pricing and market penetration strategy because BioSolar is more insulated from the negative effects of the recent run-up in food commodity pricing.

“This article is further evidence that we are succeeding in our mission to lead the industry both in terms of appealing to our customer base as well as industry influencers and that the products in our development pipeline are poised to experience the same rapid market acceptance in the multi-billion dollar photovoltaic market,” said Lee.

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