Electro optical technology is the key element for transformation of sunlight to heat, electricity, or fuels. Successful innovation, requires integration into a system designed for a particular application. The criteria for success include cost, and environmental benefit, as well as technical performance. However the absence of clear government policies adds additional uncertainty to design choices and comparison between different approaches. Despite these challenges it is sure that solar will become a dominant source of energy in the future – when and how much cannot be predicted today.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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