Some of US-MAP’s commercial partners are already thinking about how to get the first perovskite solar panels out into the wild. Swift Solar, a California startup founded in 2017, is planning to stack two different layers of perovskites in tandem to create lightweight, high-efficiency solar cells that initially will be marketed for mobile applications like drones, satellites, and the lighting and air conditioning systems on trucks. Swift Solar co-founder Kevin Bush says vehicles are a good place for the first generation of perovskite solar panels to shine, both because portability is at a premium and because mobile markets “might only need five to 10 years’ stability, and it’s just a lot easier to promise that” right now.

“I think it’s nice to have markets that are initially not that demanding” in terms of longevity, Bush said, “so we can prove the technology out more.”

Solar panels are more efficient than you’ve heard. This material could make them even better.