Nanosolar, a well funded startup in Palo Alto, CA, announced a production facility for solar cells with sufficient capacity to produce enough solar cells to generate 430 megawatts. This production capacity is about a quarter of the total worldwide solar cell production capacity. The company developed a new method to mass produce solar cells based on a thin film technology which could eventually be cost competitive with grid electricity, as opposed to the traditional crystalline silicon approach, which is about three to five times too costly to compete with grid technology. Ramping up to full production will take some time, and demand for solar cells worldwide will keep initial prices high, but in several years prices should make solar-power electricity competitive with grid power. The production process is based on printing technology similar to that used to print newspapers, as opposed to the expensive vacuum-based methods.
[Source: MIT Technology Review]