Alta Devices

It’s not the absorbing of photons that matters most, it’s the emitting of them. That counterintuitive bit of wisdom about boosting photovoltaic cell efficiency is at the heart of work at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) that has led to record-breaking solar cell performances.

According to the lab, the most efficient solar cells on the market today are made from monocrystalline silicon wafers that operate at about 23% efficiency – that is, they convert about 23% of the energy hitting the cell into electricity. But based on work by the Berkeley researchers, the private company Alta Devices – founded by lead researcher Eli Yablonovitch – was able “to fabricate solar cells from gallium arsenide that have achieved a record conversion efficiency of 28.4% ,” the lab said. Keep reading →

High energy prices have unleashed a wave of energy innovation around the world, says GE Energy Financial Services Managing Director of Venture Capital Kevin Skillern on this video.

Shot by GE for its Ecomagination series on people, profits and the planet, this video features a recent GE partnership with electric company NRG Energy and oil and gas giant ConocoPhillips to establish a $300 million fund that is currently investing in 30 emerging energy firms. The firm takes a heterodox approach to investing, taking positions in firms across the sector and focusing on the prospects for scaling and transforming the energy business on a global scale. Keep reading →