I can see clearly now: Michigan researchers’ transparent solar material achieves efficiency record

🌞 SOLAR: A University of Michigan-led research team developed a material for transparent solar panels that has achieved a new efficiency record. The innovation uses an organic design instead of the traditional solar cell component silicon. The achievement furthers progress toward using windows as solar energy sources.

  • The team reached 8.1% efficiency and 43% transparency. Light utilization efficiency indicates how much energy from the light hitting a window becomes electricity or light transmitted to the building interior.
  • Researchers say the material had to balance multiple trade-offs to provide good sunlight absorption, high voltage, high current, low resistance, and color-neutral transparency.
  • Using this material, the windows could be manufactured at a large scale and using less toxic materials than for other transparent solar cells.

🌬️ WIND: Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy is one of the power utilities aiming to complete wind turbine upgrades to more efficient technologies before federal tax credits expire this year, reports The Wall Street Journal.

⛽ BIOGAS: Novi, Michigan-based Aria Energy is partnering with BP and Republic Services on a landfill-gas-to-renewable-natural-gas project at a Tennessee landfill. Aria’s technology will process and purify the biogas from the landfill into renewable natural gas.

***SPONSORED LINK: Join CELI for emPOWER20 August 26-28. emPOWER is a virtual experience with 30 unique sessions and 40+ hours of content designed to foster a new kind of energy leadership and drive toward a resilient, equitable, and decarbonized energy ecosystem.***

💰 FUNDING: The REMADE Institute issued a request for proposals for technologies to increase the recovery, reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling of metals, polymers, fibers, and e-waste. REMADE will contribute up to $35 million, and matching funds from participants will create a total investment of up to $70 million. Letters of intent are due September 14.

***SPONSORED LINK: The Rise Up! podcast brings real-time, relevant energy and policy information to Midwest stakeholders through an engaging and entertaining medium. Episode 4: “Credit Where Credit is Due” with special guest Andy Johnson is out now! #RiseUpMidwest***

🎉 BUSINESS LAUNCH: A Michigan entrepreneur launched Silver Wolf Midstream, an energy and renewables infrastructure company that aims to find new ways to deliver resources such as energy and clean, sustainable water while keeping the environmental footprint low.


  • Southfield, Michigan’s Centrepolis Accelerator, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy are holding a webinar on August 26 to educate Michigan cleantech companies on available funding and support resources to help with commercialization and growth.
  • Nonprofit Ann Arbor SPARK will host its third annual mobility summit on September 23. Topics include sustainable and autonomous mobility.


  • Reinaldo Tonkoski, an associate professor in the South Dakota State University Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is part of the working group to receive the 2020 Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Power & Energy Society Working Group Recognition Award for a report on microgrid stability.

Des Moines, Iowa-based smart building business Igor (previously featured in Centered) won the IoT World COVID-19 Innovation Award for its Nexos Intelligent Disinfection technology, which disinfects building interiors by combining UVC lighting with smart building controls.

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