Quantfury Daily Gazette
A race to independence
The last couple of years have been very complex, global dynamics have changed, and globalization is at stake. The role of certain countries in commodity trade is very important to make everything “flow.” 2022, I dare say, was a turning point in raw materials used for energy. The dependence of certain countries on others became notorious, and the need to find alternative solutions is critical in order to return to a state of “normalcy.”
At this moment, everything adds up, and the union of different energy sources is key, not only for countries to achieve energy autonomy but also because by focusing on renewable energies, we make them sustainable, unlike traditional energies that work with limited resources, such as oil, for example.
First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) is a U.S. company that is doing its bit in this race toward energy autonomy and sustainability by designing photovoltaic panels with an ultra-thin film called Cadtel. This grain of sand is more than a reference because sand is used to make glass, something that became a central element in the manufacture of these panels.
Research is constantly being conducted on new materials that increase energy efficiency, i.e., materials that can capture more solar energy in a better way, and the fact that some companies are already evaluating theoretical limits sounds futuristic but also encouraging for the transition we are heading towards.
Part of this greater efficiency is due to the materials that are used in the construction, which is basically glass, and as they say, less is more; such a simple element improves the performance of sophisticated technologies such as this type of panels. This material minimizes the risk of micro-fractures that can occur during the installation or the transfer of these modules from one place to another.
I think that the use of more resistant glass can be a great advantage for those adventurous with the tutorials, to do it yourself or even also for installers of solar panels that do not have a great experience in the placement of the same, since today the delicacy of this type of parts makes that not everyone can make an installation, at least without risks.
The photovoltaic panels that use these materials are not designed for just any installation since special components are required to make proper use of the greater power generated by them; with this in mind, panels with high efficiency, designed and manufactured for large installations, are two of the keys to the ambitious project of generating more than 20 Giga Watts by 2025.
In a context where the world has been turned upside down, where energy independence is important, the supply chain is also important, so I wonder, are companies really independent of each other? To my surprise, First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) has the ability to produce its solar panels in a single factory, making its supply chain has no major drawbacks, unlike other companies that depend not only on ocean shipping or high production costs but also in some cases, political decisions. But can you go one step further? The simple answer is yes.
Having the supply chain under control is not enough; ensuring the ability to recycle the materials used is. CadTel’s photovoltaic panels have the capacity to be 90% recycled, and the glass from which they are made can also be used not only for new panels but also for any object that uses this material.
Imagine in a few years be using your favourite tableware and learning that the glass used to make it comes from what was a solar panel. In this race towards energy independence, the search for alternative energies is important, as it opens new paths, and by discovering new materials such as CadTel, costs will be further reduced, making these options increasingly viable for implementation.
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