Narrator: This is Science Today. The University of California is leading the California Solar Energy Collaborative to expand the development and use of solar energy in the state. Ed Yu, an associate director of the University of California San Diego's Center for Energy Research, says a lot of the technologies are directed towards lowering the costs of manufacturing.
Yu: So that you can lower the costs in maintaining a reasonable level of efficiency, so that you lower the total cost of solar generated power.
Narrator: There are also technologies being developed for extremely inexpensive solar cells.
Yu: For example, solar cells based on polymers and other organic materials. Essentially plastics, where the efficiencies most likely will be lowered - say hopefully to ten percent level as opposed to close to twenty percent, which you can get commercially with silicon and those might come into play in sort of portable, roll-up photovoltaics where you might unroll something and use it to charge up your computer battery or your cell phone or something of that nature.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.