University of Melbourne

Whatever oil and gas true believers want to think, the world is doing this solar power thing. It’s getting cheaper and cheaper to make solar panels, and the panels are getting more and more effective. For example: A team in Australia just built a gigantic printer that spits out solar cells at a rate, Gizmodo reports, of about 33 feet every minute.

It’s not even particularly complicated technology, according to the researchers. Gizmodo writes:

[The printer system] utilizes only existing printer technology to embed polymer solar cells (also known as organic or plastic solar cells) in thin sheets of plastic or steel at a rate of ten meters per minute. “We’re using the same techniques that you would use if you were screen printing an image on to a T-Shirt,” project coordinator and University of Melbourne researcher Dr David Jones said in a press release.

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This particular type of cell isn’t the most efficient, but it’s the type that lends itself to uses where you need a little flexibility — solar windows, bags, or tents, for instances. And now it’s also the easiest type to make. You could probably even print a solar-powered T-shirt that said “Eat it, oil.”

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