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Mixed Greens: Dyesol cracks new efficiency record – 15% for DSC

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More good news for ASX-listed dye solar cell company Dyesol and its investors, with the announcement it has achieved a new power-conversion record of 15 per cent for solid state DSC. In a paper published Thursday in the scientific journal Nature, the ‘father’ of DSC technology, Professor Michael Graetzel, said his team’s work on solid-state dye sensitised solar cells was now achieving efficiencies exceeding 15 per cent and had been externally validated with a world record of 14.1 per cent. At these efficiencies, the technology was now “extremely competitive” with conventional solar cells, he said, particularly in light of the fact that dye sensitised solar cells did not need perfect sunlight conditions to effectively produce energy.

Dyesol says the independently certified efficiency breakthrough “catapults the energy output of DSC devices to the next level,” offering relatively cheap and competitive efficiency. Most importantly, it is a critical achievement towards the goal of commercialising the technology, making it reproducible on a large scale. “In the task of scale up from small laboratory sized cells to industrial scale, we are particularly encouraged by the program from Dyesol to allow commercial deployment of this game changing technology in the shortest possible timeframe,” Graetzel said.

Last time Dyesol announced a ‘game-changing’ efficiency breakthrough – 11.3 per cent at full sun, announced in May – it sent Dyesol shares soaring by 109 per cent to 23 cents. So far, the market response this time around has been a bit more subdued, with Dyesol shares rising 17.2 per cent to around 46 cents at time of publication – down from a high of 49 cents in early June. The breakthrough follows two other recent announcements from Dyesol on its effort to embed DSC technology onto building products, such as steel roofing and glass facades, to meet the growing demand for building integrated photovoltaic products which turn buildings into active power generators.

In other news…

Energy utility AGL has deferred a decision on whether to proceed with a $500 million wind farm in regional Victoria due to uncertainty surrounding renewable energy regulation. AGL’s head of generation development Nigel Bean told a meeting in Silverton, near Broken Hill, on Wednesday that uncertainty surrounding the date of the federal election, the future of the carbon tax and the renewable energy target were all factors behind the delay.

“We will not be in a position where we can commit to half-a-billion dollars this coming year so we deferred that,” Bean said. “We’ve told the contractors who were short-listed. We’ll look at it again in 2014 when the uncertainty has dispersed a little bit and there’s more clarity.”

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