Reports suggest that the Tokyo metropolitan government will start joint research with a major Japanese chemical maker on perovskite-based solar cells, that are film-thin, lightweight and bendable, as part of its efforts to promote the use of renewable energy.
The metropolitan government expects that the next-generation solar cells, due to their characteristics, can be used in a wider range of locations compared with current mainstream solar panels.
The perovskite solar cells, made mainly from iodine, are about a millimeter thick, can be bent and have a weight just a 10th that of silicon-based solar panels. The new solar cells do not require major installation work and can be put on not only roofs but also walls and other places.
According to the Tokyo government, Japan accounts for around 30% of the world's iodine production. While solar panels are mainly produced in China, the Tokyo government has hopes for the perovskite solar cells from the viewpoint of economic security as the main material can be procured stably in Japan.