Solar Energy Demand Bullish for Silver and Other Silver News
Silver is a vital component in the solar energy sector. Solar power generation is expected to nearly double by 2025 and that’s bullish news for the silver market, according to a report highlighted in the latest edition of the Silver Institute’s Silver News.
The Silver Institute commissioned a report that examines trends in solar power generation and provides regional perspectives on future demand for solar installations. The report maintains that a combination of global efforts to reduce fossil fuel reliance, legislation to lower carbon emissions, and favorable government tax policies, should result in a continued expansion of solar panel installations over the next decade.
Silver has the lowest electrical resistance of any metal at normal temperatures. According to the report, “Potential substitute metals cannot match silver in terms of energy output per solar panel. Further, due to technical hurdles, non-silver PVs tend to be less reliable and have shorter lifespans, presenting serious issues for their widespread commercial development.”
A recent report from the World Bank forecasts that by 2050, consumption of silver in energy technologies could grow dramatically, reaching a level equivalent to more than 50% of current total silver demand; the largest proportion for any non-battery metal.
The latest edition of Silver News also highlights some other fascinating technological developments utilizing the white metal.
- Silver is helping move superconductor research forward. Superconductors are materials that have zero or close to zero electrical resistance at extremely low temperatures. Scientists at Tokyo Metropolitan University say they have created a new superconductor material using silver that works at a higher temperature.
- Engineering researchers at North Carolina State University have found a way to create breathable, wearable electronics using silver nanowires.
- Small amounts of electricity have been shown to kill many germs, so one company is building tiny silver/zinc batteries into face masks to keep the wearer safe from infection.
- Luxury financial and lifestyle management group Insignia has developed a silver-coated credit card that kills germs. Their studies showed that the best germ-killing power on their Clean Card occurred when a silver coating was applied to cards made of layers of titanium or zinc.
- Silver and gold nanoparticles can be used to produce environmentally-safe ceramic glazes. A wide range of colors could become available at a low cost.