GWBasic writes "A Silicon Valley start-up called Nanosolar has shipped its first solar panels — priced at $1 a watt. That's the price at which solar energy gets cheaper than coal. While other companies have been focusing their efforts on increasing the efficiency of solar panels, Nanosolar took a different approach. It focused on manufacturing. 'The company [has developed] a process to print solar cells made out of CIGS, or copper indium gallium selenide, a combination of elements that many companies are pursuing as an alternative to silicon.'" The outfit also happens to be backed by Google, a fact that's getting some attention at tech media sites.