IBM becomed a partner with company Tokyo Ohka Kogyo (TOK). IBM wants to develop cheaper and more efficient solar power technologies based on CIGS ( copper-indium-gallium-selenide ). Those cells should be more than 15% efficient. This is much more efficient than usual 6% to 12% efficiency that current (CIGS) solar cells have achieved.
Classic photovoltaic solar cells convert usually 20% of sunlignt into electricity. Which is more than CIGS can do right now, but the cost of CIGS should be much less than the silicon based cells. Also the silicon cells are much more thicker than CIGS cells so the thin-film applications are more adapted for different use.
Announcing the partnership, an IBM spokesman Supratik Guha said, “I think that if we can get to a module cost of less than $1 per watt, and be able to keep a handle on the system costs, then one should be able to get to grid parity…We strongly feel that we have a shot.”