Most solar panels convert less than 20 percent of the energy in the sunlight that falls on them into electricity. A new $2.4 million project funded by the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy aims to greatly increase the amount of sunlight that becomes electricity. Its goal is a conversion efficiency of more than 50 percent, which would more than double the amount of power generated by a solar panel of a given size. This would cut the number of solar panels needed in half and potentially make solar power more competitive with fossil fuels.
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