Catching Sunbeams

Solar power has its knockers, and many of them focus on the low efficiency of current implementations. A new semiconductor material may remedy this shortcoming in times to come, enabling a 45% efficienct use of the available energy in sunlight thanks to an extra ‘energy band’ which allows it to use low-energy photons as well as the more powerful ones. As with all stories of this nature, there’s a lot of R&D to do and obstacles to overcome, and maybe you’re still skeptical. So how about hybrid solar lighting systems that pipe sunlight into buildings optically when it’s available, and switch to electricity when it’s not?