Silicon panels pretty much rule the solar energy sector, with more than 90% of panels manufactured using the versatile element. This is not by chance; Si PV cells are cheap, robust, relatively easy to install and perform reliably for decades. Unfortunately, they also come with a major drawback: Silicon PV panels are quite inefficient, with the most affordable models managing only 7%-16% energy efficiency depending on factors like placement, orientation, and weather conditions. Indeed, solar cells have been around for more than six decades, yet commercial silicon has barely scraped into the 25% range. Even the much-hyped perovskite solar cells have just barely managed to break the efficiency glass ceiling , with scientists recently setting a new efficiency record for a single-junction perovskite solar cell at 25.6%. To complicate matters, sunlight is a diffuse form of energy. This makes solar panels unsuitable for hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as steel, […]