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At 2% efficient and 0 cost they would probably be more expensive than current when looking at total installed cost for commercial/residential, maybe even utility.

You can see even at utility scale the panel prices are generally less than 50%.[1] I think 2018 increase was tariff related. Been out of the industry ~5 years so don't follow stuff that closely. Many of the other costs are basically a multiple of # of panels which would be 10x at 2% efficiency.


I did say fabricate and install you'll notice. If they came up with something really light and cheap to produce installation costs would plummet. Compare the cost of installing windows to installing solar panels - windows don't even have a rate of return but everyone has windows. It is a no-brainer to install windows. Solar panels are not a no brainer decision (yet, hopefully).

And that was the point - weight and difficulty of transporting the final system is a very important variable. Probably more important than efficiency when orders of magnitude are concerned. From a 25% base efficiency can double and double then it stops improving. Weights and installation costs due to the panel technology can halve and halve and halve and so on - and each halving reduces the cost of transporting the panels. There are more gains to be made there. It would be worth trading efficiency away to make big gains there.

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