Solar panels are installed on the roof of a building in Avigdor, Israel. Israeli engineers are at the cutting edge of solar energy technology. Solar panels are installed on the roof of a building in Avigdor, Israel. Israeli engineers are at the cutting edge of solar energy technology. Solar panels are installed on the roof of a large building.

The new extra-powerful solar panels that could replace fossil fuels

These scientists are making solar power 70 percent more efficient.

A practically limitless supply of energy comes from the sun every day. That's why solar power is such a big deal: if we could harness the sun's power, we wouldn't need to drill for oil or use fossil fuels. But right now, solar technology is in its infancy, and it isn't always efficient enough to compete with oil, natural gas and coal.

But that may be about to change. A team of scientists from the Technion Institute, a research university in Haifa, Israel (the country that's making the world's tallest solar tower) are developing a technology that could make solar panels 70 percent more efficient.

That means we might be able to use a whole lot more of the energy coming from the sun, and doing so could become way more cost-efficient than the fuels that are currently contributing to environmental issues.

Researchers at Israel's Technion Institute work on solar cells.Researchers at Israel's Technion Institute work on solar cells. (Photo: The Technion)

Currently, solar panels can only use a small portion of the kinds of light that the sun beams at us, making them only about 30 percent efficient. This new technology aims to take in a bunch of other kinds of light and convert them to energy, making solar cells way more effective.

"In our generation, we will run out of oil, gas, coal, etc.” explained Carmel Rotschild, a Technion professor working on the study. “Solar is here, and it is the only sustainable solution.”

Not a bad way to save the planet and save money at the same time.

MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE:

Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows

Related Topics: Environment

The new extra-powerful solar panels that could replace fossil fuels
These scientists are making solar panels 70 percent more efficient.