Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Power Hardware News Technology

Solar Cell Inventor Wins Millennium Prize 147

Posted by samzenpus
from the fun-in-the-sun dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "The inventor of a new type of solar cell won the Finnish state and industry-funded, €800,000 ($1.07 million), Millennium Technology Prize. According to the foundation, Michael Graetzel's dye-sensitized solar cells, known as Graetzel cells, could be a significant contributor to the future energy technologies due to their excellent price-performance ratio."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Solar Cell Inventor Wins Millennium Prize

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:05AM (#32521098)

    I still think we should decrease our use of energy, instead of inventing new ways to increase its production.

    Dr. Pekka Paisti

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:12AM (#32521126)

      You are right. And naive.

      • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:26AM (#32521198)

        I still think we should decrease our use of energy, instead of inventing new ways to increase its production. Dr. Pekka Paisti

        You are right. And naive.

        Hmmm, what a funny two first posts. Both are totally correct, yet at polar opposites.

        Yes, we should decrease the amount of power we use. I totally agree, yet, the chances of getting the average consumer to actually do so, keep dreaming. As long as people keep coming up with power hungry devices that people want (read: air conditioners, plasma TVs, faster PCs and just about every other imaginable device), people will in fact keep buying them. Will they pay vastly larger sums for them if they are power efficient? Unlikely, some might, most won't. Will they put up with lower/smaller/decreased functionality? Again, some might, most won't.

        I totally support using less power (my own electricity bill for example comes from 100% wind energy, which costs a good deal more than normal coal fired here in Australia) but I welcome any steps that are taken to make the overall impact of the "sheep consumers" less on the environment.

        • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @05:55AM (#32521544)

          You're actually wrong. The sort of people who are upgrading computers and plasma screens (North Americans, Europeans and similar) are actually not increasing their per-capita energy use each year. They're the same people who are upgrading their insulation, light bulbs, etc.

          All the increases in energy use is from the global poor, the people who are just now acquiring computers, light bulbs and cars. And I know that orthodox environmentalists disagree with me on this, because they're assholes and want the destitute to stay destitute, but I say that it is a good thing that the world's poor are using more energy. A life with any reasonable standard of living is necessarily going to involve some significant energy use, and if we want people to escape from poverty (and the non-assholes among us do), we have to welcome this.

          Those of us who waste energy should cut down, but not to the point of making ourselves poor. And since that won't save nearly enough energy to allow to poor to escape poverty, what we need is a lot more energy. I would guess at least 10 terrawatts more. It's that simple. Solar will help.

          • by IrquiM (471313)

            but the engergy used to produce those new gadets are not taken in to the calculation, is it? Also, a lot of the people by more new gadgets instead of upgrading for a more energy efficient place at home. Your statement is valid for some, for others, not at all.

          • by sznupi (719324)

            As you point out at the end - the thing is that, well, "our" places can still go a long way to improve efficiency - it's not that hard to find two developed countries with basically the same standard of living, but the difference in total resource usage amounting to doubling (overconsuption, also of gadgets, is art of that too, btw). And even the "better" one can surely improve, too...

            More generally - it's not a good thing if the poor of today will make similar mistakes. We have to welcome wiser energy pro

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Candyban (723804)

          Yes, we should decrease the amount of power we use. I totally agree, yet, the chances of getting the average consumer to actually do so, keep dreaming. As long as people keep coming up with power hungry devices that people want (read: air conditioners, plasma TVs, faster PCs and just about every other imaginable device), people will in fact keep buying them. Will they pay vastly larger sums for them if they are power efficient? Unlikely, some might, most won't. Will they put up with lower/smaller/decreased functionality? Again, some might, most won't.

          I disagree. If you look fuel consumption in cars, you will notice that in the last 20 years, they consume LESS fuel, have MORE power, safety and luxury. Are they so much more expensive than they were 20 years ago? I don't think so.
          LCD screens consume less power, are more space efficient and have less negative health effects than their CRT equivalents. (though some purist may say there is loss of quality as well). CRT TVs the size of the average TV sold nowadays would be vastly more expensive not to say t

        • by dwywit (1109409)
          Funny, that. We're off-grid, 100% PV powered - except for today which is very cloudy, and I have the backup generator on :-(. On a sunny day, I can run 2+ computers, a TV, and the washing machine with energy to spare, i.e. the batteries still reach float voltage. Cloudy days, not so much, but being sunny Queensland, there's not many days like this. You have to learn to adjust your usage to the conditions.

          I'd like to know more about PV that's "dye sensitised". Coming from an old-skool photographic background

    • by LingNoi (1066278)

      Why would you advocate wasting time and money on the effect (energy usage) rather than the problem (production of energy) . Simple fact of the matter is energy usage is going to get bigger and bigger regardless of how little we use it individually.

      • by tsm_sf (545316)
        Yeah it's a shame we can only do one thing at a time.
        • by LingNoi (1066278)

          Well yeah, when it comes to advocating something over something else you can't do both... what was your point?

          • by tsm_sf (545316)

            Oh, advocating. I thought we were talking about actually doing something.

            My bad.

      • by Firethorn (177587) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @07:03AM (#32521788) Homepage Journal

        Not only that, I love how people say that we can simply reduce usage over building new power plants, then turn around and rave how electric cars are going to solve all of our problems.

        The 'average' household uses something around 700-1400 kwh a month.
        The 'average' electronic vehicle gets about 5 miles to the kwh, and the average vehicle is driven around 10-15k miles a year.
        Don't forget that the average household is 2 cars today.

        So, you're looking at probably around a 22% increase in electricity usage if people go to EVs. You just can't reduce energy usage that much via other means, especially when you also have 5% growth in population/households on top of it.

        Still, I salute the inventer in the op, because he's, well, actually addressing the problem. The moment I can make solar panels make sense in a cost-benefit analysis is when I recommend all my relatives in Florida get them.

        I'm moving to Alaska(work), so they'd probably still have to come down in price another 50% before they'd make sense for me.

        Until I was informed of my exciting new opportunity, I was looking at a wind turbine for the small town I live in - because a turbine big enough to power a town costs a lot less per watt of capacity, and by reaching higher has steadier wind, resulting in lower costs when you factor the cost of the turbine into the cost per kwh it produces. Small $10k turbine = 5k kwh per year, expensive. $1M turbine = 1M kwh per year, much better. These figures are example only. Actual production is so location dependent it's hard to put proper figures on.

        • by Bemopolis (698691) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @10:29AM (#32523268)

          So, you're looking at probably around a 22% increase in electricity usage if people go to EVs.

          And around a 100% reduction in the use of gasoline. You see, that's why it's called a cost-BENEFIT analysis.

          • by Firethorn (177587)

            Notice I mentioned such analysis when it comes to solar panels?

            I use the 100% figure mostly as an example. For one, it's easy to scale.

            Due to my using the high end of energy figures, my 22% number is low end. 36% would be closer for a true '100%' replacement.

            Still, if you figure on 10% of vehicles being EV, you'd better figure on increasing electricity production 2.2% to cover it.

            And when major electricity plants take longer to build than the average car lasts, we need to plan ahead.

        • by jhol13 (1087781)

          Small $10k turbine = 5k kwh per year, expensive. $1M turbine = 1M kwh per year

          This is something far too many wind power enthusiasts forget, thanks for pointing it out.

          Actually situation is likely even more against small turbines, not only is bigger cheaper to build, it is cheaper to maintain.

          • by Firethorn (177587)

            Actually situation is likely even more against small turbines, not only is bigger cheaper to build, it is cheaper to maintain.

            Getting similar figures can be difficult as well; finding out how much a big turbine will cost can be difficult, while small turbine prices are easier, they're for the turbine only, not including install costs.

            I seem to remember the small turbine I looked at costing so much that even applying an assumed production factor of 70% of faceplate, at 5% cost of capital I'd be better off investing and buying electricity at retail with the interest.

            Meanwhile, a large turbine seems to install for around $1-2/watt, a

        • by jbengt (874751)

          The 'average' household uses something around 700-1400 kwh a month.. . . So, you're looking at probably around a 22% increase in electricity usage if people go to EVs.

          Not quite that much, as average households are not the only users of electricity.

          • by Firethorn (177587)

            Not quite that much, as average households are not the only users of electricity.

            The figures I used for that number is actually for housholds only; I have all electric appliances except for building heat and use ~1000 kwh a month.

            http://www.eia.doe.gov/ask/electricity_faqs.asp#electricity_use_home [doe.gov]

            920 kwh/month nation wide for a 'US residential utility customer'.
            Tennessee was highest at 1302, Maine lowest at 521 kwh/month.

            I still wonder if I have something using way more power than it should, but I've gone around with the meter and haven't found anything.

            Looks like I overestimated househ

        • The 'average' household uses something around 700-1400 kwh a month.
          The 'average' electronic vehicle gets about 5 miles to the kwh, and the average vehicle is driven around 10-15k miles a year.
          Don't forget that the average household is 2 cars today.

          So, you're looking at probably around a 22% increase in electricity usage if people go to EVs. You just can't reduce energy usage that much via other means, especially when you also have 5% growth in population/households on top of it.

          1) Upgrade the power grid (T [npr.org]

          • by Firethorn (177587)

            Wow, was mostly just wailing on people who harp *exclusively* on reducing power demand.

            This is perfectly within our means, provided big oil and auto makers are unsuccessful at stonewalling these initiatives (which they are desperately trying to do through their mostly Republican congress critters). The auto-industry relies on planned obsolesence, which is much more difficult to hide using simple electric engines that can last for decades.

            I agree with the electric motor - the things just shouldn't quit. Might actually help out the custom interior people; cheaper to refurbish the inside than to replace the whole vehicle.

            Still got a lot of work to do on the batteries though.

            Personally, I love nuclear, agree with fixing up the grid, and think the problems with EVs can be fixed, but I think that most of the work still remains in the lab, not in deployment. I

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Dear Paisti, Increasing the performance of energy production and decreasing use of energy can both be goals at the same time.

      • by rhsanborn (773855)
        Agreed, unfortunately, history says that that doesn't happen unless there is also a cost increase for energy. People like energy, and they keep on finding new and inventive ways to use it. There is some call from consumers to produce things that use less energy, like CFL bulbs, and more efficient TVs and computers. I suspect that for the majority of people, it's price and quality conscious, and far less environmentally conscious. i.e. the CFLs last longer and end up costing less. Likewise, our computers hav
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by clarkkent09 (1104833) *
      I don't understand. The energy is there anyway. We are just converting it from a useless form to a form that is useful to humans. What is wrong with that?
      • by rhsanborn (773855)
        Cost and space. Yes, the energy is there, but it 1) costs energy to build these panels 2) costs resources to build these panels (not terribly common minerals) 3) costs land on which to locate these panels. So, it isn't really free, and unfortunately, those costs are currently more than the cost of setting a piece of coal on fire.
    • by PhongUK (1301747) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:25AM (#32521190)
      In order to decrease our use of energy, or atleast to have any chance of doing it at all, we need to stop making babies.
      • Why? You mean that making babies costs lots of energy?
        ...oh wait, it does.

        On a more serious note: nice overview of the energy <-> population issue here [ted.com] (by none other than our beloved mr. Gates).

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Actually...I may have a.. modest proposal along these lines.

        - J. Swift.

      • by kcelery (410487) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @05:33AM (#32521448)

        Everyone seems to have the same idea as yours, but they don't seem to agree upon whose babies.

      • by ZiakII (829432) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @05:44AM (#32521494)
        Well I am happy to announce that the Slashdot crowd is leading in that front!
      • Wrong.
        We need to stop using cellphones unless we actully need them, we need to restart gathering for telling stories in the evening in stead of watching TV, we need to forbid any kind of personal cars and force people to use bikes (what, are you really going to tell me that a car is faster than a bike in a big city? be serious), we need to stop wasting paper for stupid bureaucrats and use computers for what they were built for, we need to stop playing chess and other cardgames online and restart doing it wi

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Rogerborg (306625)
          Do we need to stop using our computers to tell others to do as we say, not as we do? Apparently not.
      • We see how well that's worked in China, with their gender disparity problem. Or do you mean everyone should stop making babies, in which case Homo sapiens becomes extinct?
      • In order to decrease our use of energy, or atleast to have any chance of doing it at all, we need to stop making babies.

        The only proven way to do this reliably is with education. To get people educated, they require an above-subsistence level of prosperity first. To get there, they must harness energy.

        We have plenty of energy. From solar to wind to hydro to nuclear (plus efficiency gains), there's no reason to not increase our total energy usage. Just responsibly getting rid of our nuclear waste would p

      • by sznupi (719324)

        The only civilised and working way of reducing birth rate is assuring good standard of living and social security (in whatever form that works, let us not get into the favorite implementation method here). So the trick is to do that in a way that produces and uses energy efficiently, with as small impact as possible.

        And apart from finding new tech, we have lots of headway to improve efficiency... [wikipedia.org] (which is simply the logical thing to do - think about it as putting your progress ahead with the same amount of

      • by tmosley (996283)
        Abortions! Abortions should be for free at Walmart!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMEe7JqBgvg [youtube.com]
    • I still think we should decrease our per-capita energy usage and invent new ways to increase its production.

      Dr. Wenka Gumi

    • by hey! (33014) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @07:33AM (#32521926) Homepage Journal

      Then increase the price. That's the only way.

      The problem is that the practical effect of this falls disproportionately on the poor (as do the negative effects of current energy production). The wealthy have to adjust the distribution of their investments -- an inconvenience. The poor have to endure cold, give up that job that's too far to walk to, cut back on food which has become more expensive.

      Let's say the price of energy doubled overnight. A lot of us would lose our jobs as investments were shuffled around. But for those of us who didn't lose our jobs, we wouldn't go without. We'd have food, heat, transportation. We wouldn't stay home during vacation. We'd alter our use of energy by changing the kind of car we bought next time around, or keeping our thermostats set differently. We might go to one place instead of taking a driving vacation. In the short term the low inflation caused by lost employment would blunt the impact of the price increases, and in a few years we wouldn't even notice the difference.

      I'm all for conservation through tax credits, incentives, even carbon taxes with provisions for blunting the impact on people who will feel it the most. But we've had all our energy eggs in one basket for the last century: cheap oil. Moving some or even most of those eggs to the conservation basket is a good idea, but we can't do it overnight and we certainly can't move all of them.

      What's the "right" amount of energy to consume? That's a meaningless question when asked in isolation. You need to ask "for what" and "from what sources" and "with what impact?" Clearly the answer for fossil fuels, given their externalized impacts (pollution) and future availability (dwindling) is that we should be using less of them. But conservation is no more a panacea for our energy problems than nuclear power is.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NeutronCowboy (896098)

        Simple solution to the downside of expensive gas: create a public transportation system that works. You can even fund it from a nice gas tax. Kinda like Europe does it. It's pathetic that the only places with a public transportation system that is worth taking is NYC and Boston.

      • by potat0man (724766)
        The problem is that the practical effect of this falls disproportionately on the poor

        We can mitigate this with tiered pricing. e.g. Your first X kw/hrs are subsidized below market price. Anything over X is taxed in order to pay the subsidy. Rich people with big houses who pollute more end up subsidizing the frugal energy users who are disciplined enough to keep their energy use down. PSNH already does this at my parent's place in NH.
    • So you seem like an ultra-green idealist. The sort that thinks we should go back to living in mud huts and killing our food with spears. You probably like sustenance farming and would prefer an agrarian society. I had hoped that you were a fringe extremist, but the fact that you're modded up there scares me. But let's be clear, you're rallying AGAINST alternative energy research because you WANT a post-apocalyptic earth scenario.

      There are a few problems with this. Transitioning to such a state is trick
    • by mspohr (589790)
      There is no reason that we need to reduce our use of energy as long as the energy is generated from renewable, non-CO2, non-other toxin producing methods (such as solar).

      The problem is not energy use, it is the unintended consequences of producing energy from carbon and other toxic sources. As an example, we could use as much energy as we wanted from solar since that is only transferring energy from on site to another. Solar energy is captured in one place and released in another (usually within a very

    • I still think we should decrease our use of energy, instead of inventing new ways to increase its production.

      Why? Save for the production process (which this guy made easier and cheaper per watt), solar energy contributes zero to the net energy in the ecosystem. The sun's going to beat down on my roof anyway. If I can transport some of that energy to where I can conveniently use it, why shouldn't I?

  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:08AM (#32521114)

    Have this guy's solar cells left the lab yet?

    I searched around and the achievement of creating a low cost solar cell is great, but I couldn't find anywhere you can get them from. Since he's been doing this since 1991 (?) I'm guessing they'd have come to market by now.

    One site I saw listed it as being 100W m2 but having a price to go along with it would be good for comparison with other solar cells.

    • by afidel (530433) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:29AM (#32521208)
      Not yet, some reports have shown promise in stabilizing the dyes for long term exposure but I don't think there are any commercial cells available yet. Also I'm not sure how much of a panacea they are, according to the articles I can find most of the lab cells use ruthenium and platinum, any solution using trace elements is unlikely to bring a mass scale replacement to our current fuels. That's why I think we need to concentrate on stored energy wind farms and collecting solar/thermal plants, neither require exotic trace materials (some "rare" earths for more efficient magnets, but nothing on a gram/kW scale compared to any of the photovoltaic solutions).
    • by Maury Markowitz (452832) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @07:24AM (#32521884) Homepage

      > Have this guy's solar cells left the lab yet?

      In some small applications, yes, but nothing serious. There are several reason:

      1) the electrolyte is a liquid. It loses efficiency in cold weather, and eventually stops working.

      2) well before that limit, expansion and contraction is a serious issue and large-scale structures have problems with sealing and leakage.

      3) the electrolyte dissolves silver. It can be used for small-scale systems where the cost of platinum is not a major factor compared to construction costs, but for large low-cost solutions silver is the only practical solution.

      4) the solvents used to mix the dye with the TiO degrade plastics.

      None of these is unsolvable. It just needs another decade of work. I install mSi panels now, I suspect I will be installing DSSCs in 15 years.

      Maury

    • by ishmalius (153450) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @07:42AM (#32521992)

      http://www.dyesol.com/ [dyesol.com] . It's not often that you see a tech announcement that is realized so soon, but this seems to be real.

    • by SharpFang (651121)

      Look up some prior /. stories. There are some new inexpensive solar cells in production and sale already.
      The problem is the factory is booked solid with 100% of production already pre-sold up to 5 years ahead. Big companies made multimillion dollar orders and currently the loans have to be paid off before more factories are built.

  • The Berry Cell (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kcelery (410487) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:21AM (#32521164)

    http://nnin.unm.edu/lesson13.pdf [unm.edu]

    The interesting part of the Graetzel is that one can use the dye in berry to make
    the cell. Interesting and tasty.

  • Sadly the Grätzel cells failed to achieve a proper efficiency factor yet. 11% is far behind the factor it's silicon based or semiconductor siblings achieve. But I do not want do devalue the achievement of Michael Grätzel and his team(s). He deserved that prize.
    • It's far less than 11% in production, closer to 7 to 8. That's not terrible compared to other thin-film approaches however.

      Maury

      • And still, that's only in a lab. More like 6 to 7. Also, the dye breaks down with continued exposure to UV and high temperatures.
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @06:22AM (#32521636) Homepage
    There's a market crying out for efficient photovoltaic cells. If Graetzel's cells did what he claimed, then he'd already be swimming in the gold moat surrounding his platinum castle. Enough with rewarding promising looking theory: it's time to amp up or GTFO.
  • Finland pays again (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ultranova (717540) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @06:46AM (#32521702)

    As a Finnish taxpayer, I'm happy that my government is once again [wikipedia.org] giving my tax money to foreigners, rather than keeping Finnish hospitals going [reuma.fi]. No, really, I'm sure that photovoltaic cells will do a lot of good to us here in the Arctic Circle where the Sun shines a few hours a day most of the year. Really, it's better to spend money on useless shit like this than to treat rheumatic children.

    • by captainpanic (1173915) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @07:04AM (#32521792)

      As a Finnish taxpayer, I'm happy that my government is once again [wikipedia.org] giving my tax money to foreigners, rather than keeping Finnish hospitals going [reuma.fi]. No, really, I'm sure that photovoltaic cells will do a lot of good to us here in the Arctic Circle where the Sun shines a few hours a day most of the year. Really, it's better to spend money on useless shit like this than to treat rheumatic children.

      Your government has spent loads to subsidize innovation. The Espoo campus (near Helsinki) is brand new, and produces a lot of knowledge which in turn keeps the Finnish knowledge-economy running. Finland is doing quite well because of these investments (it attracts companies).

      However, science is an international effort, and it's only fair to award a prize to whoever is the best... And why wouldn't you have some research on solar cells in Finland? It's not like you are actually investing in the production and implementation. It's just research. You can do solar cell research in the basement or any other place where the sun never shines, as long as you have the right equipment.

      Of course, healthcare is important. Finnish healthcare is among the best in the world... and already heavily subsidized. Perhaps you found that 1 single example where something went wrong, but the tone of your reply is in contrast with the Finnish reality.

    • by marsu_k (701360) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @07:06AM (#32521796)
      Oh FFS, I'm a Finn and I really don't have any problem with this. In the summary you'll find the price is "Finnish state and industry-funded". And the price is biannual, 400k€ annually is not really that much for the state, even if it were completely "my tax money".
    • by Maury Markowitz (452832) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @07:13AM (#32521838) Homepage

      > Sun shines a few hours a day most of the year

      And 24 hours a day for others. Sure, it's not California, but if we can get a 1/2 reduction in price (totally doable) then it's perfectly economical even in Finland. In the meantime, you need to build infrastructure.

      Maury

      • by ErikZ (55491) *

        "Sure, it's not California, but if we can get a 1/2 reduction in price (totally doable)..."

        Hey, our budgets received an enormous amount of money from oil and gas. Now that we get the majority of our power from solar, our budgets are trashed. What do we do?

        I know! Heavily tax power generated from solar cells! And solar cell production!

        It's the government that's making your energy so expensive.

      • by Firethorn (177587)

        Personally, my calculations point out to needing more a 75-80% reduction in price to break even for most people.

        Part of the problem is that ancillary equipment alone tends to run you $1-2 per watt.

        The inverter, wiring, mounts to hook the panels to a roof, to name the primary ones.

        Now, as with anything, as you drop the price, it becomes more economical to more people. First to people in remote areas not hooked to the grid, then to people in southern climates coupled with high electricity costs(california, f

        • > The inverter, wiring, mounts to hook the panels to a roof, to name the primary ones.

          Panels are 2.30 wholesale in skid quantities.
          Inverters are around 65 cents.
          Everything else put together is another 50 cents or so.

          Panels are, by far, the majority of the material costs. Depending on where you are, overhead and installation is another 25 to 100% of material costs.

          > North Dakota would be better off renting land in Nevada and running some long power lines

          No way, ND has excellent sunlight. Best-case prod

          • by Firethorn (177587)

            Inverters are around 65 cents.
            Everything else put together is another 50 cents or so.

            And what did I say? Ancillary costs like 'inverter, wiring, and mounts' run $1-2? .65+.50=$1.15, or a third of total equipment costs. $2/watt probably includes some install work.

            Yes, panels are the most expensive part of the install. My point was that even if the panels are free that you're looking at quite a long payback.

            1 watt of panel, 30% capacity factor('Pretty Sunny' area), will produce around 2.6 kwh a year.

            I pay around 10 cents a kwh. So that's 26 cents worth of electricity. If the install ends

    • by Ogive17 (691899)
      If these solar cells end up being cheap enough I would imagine them being worth the cost even in a location that doesn't get intense sunlight most of the year. Put them on mobile stands and once summer is over, store them in the shed.
    • by sznupi (719324)

      As a Finnish citizen, I guess you're happy with focus on R&D at your place resulting in, say, a company like Nokia contributing quite decent portion of your GDP (maybe even that one contribution covers ongoing gov funding of R&D?). BTW, I'm not sure about this - is Nokia allowed to sell anything at all outside the Finnish borders?

      If yes, that could maybe work for solar cells, too... (nvm that I was under the impression of daylight in the Arctic Circle still averaging close to 12h throughout the year

    • Well for what it's worth, the rest of the world that needs this sort of thing appreciates it.
    • No, really, I'm sure that photovoltaic cells will do a lot of good to us here in the Arctic Circle where the Sun shines a few hours a day most of the year. Really, it's better to spend money on useless shit like this than to treat rheumatic children.

      You're a shortsighted dumbass. There's no other way I can put it. If my country could invest a billion dollars to make North and South Korea get along, I'd vote for it in a heartbeat. Your country is investing a thousandth that to make every place south of you a little saner and you're whining? Finland is part of the world, and spending a rounding-error amount to make that world a nicer place to live seems like a reasonable idea.

  • What Millennium are we talking about? The previous Millennium ended nearly 9 and a half years ago (31st Dec 2000), the current Millennium has still over 990 years to run.

    Or do the Finns use some other calendar?

  • So they won a huge price because their invention "could be a significant contributor to the future energy technologies ". OK, so when does this happen again?

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde

Working...