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Solar Energy

Published on December 2nd, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz


IBM Predicts Solar Sidewalks in 5 Years

December 2nd, 2008 by  

thin film

According to IBM’s annual “Next Five in Five” report, thin-film solar cells will be embedded in driveways, sidewalks, paint, rooftop, and windows within 5 years.

The prediction is based on an expected drop in the price of thin-film solar cells, which are 100 times thinner than silicon solar cells.

Thin-film solar cells are already cheaper than silicon-wafer cells because of a production process that allows them to be printed and arranged on any flexible backing, including cell-phones, notebook computers, and clothing.

Other IBM predictions include digital shopping assistants, personalized genetic maps, and advances in voice recognition software.

Photo Credit: NREL 



About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.

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