In what could be a game changer for industrial silver, Natcore announced in August 2015 that it has successfully replaced the silver backing in solar cells. While this great news for the solar industry, the implications for silver are as yet unknown.
According to PV Magazine:
Natcore has successfully eliminated silver from an all-back-contact silicon heterojunction cell, and replaced it with aluminum. No loss of performance was said to have been recorded at the company’s R&D center in Rochester, the U.S. A provisional patent application is expected to be filed in the next two weeks.
Although it boasts high conductivity, silver is very expensive. And, while twice as much aluminum is needed as silver, “raw material costs would still be just 0.6% of the direct material cost of using silver in the cell,” says Natcore.
Currently, silver costs around US$15.28 per troy ounce – contributing to roughly 30% of a silicon cell’s production cost – whereas the same quantity of aluminum is said to cost $0.05. The average solar panel is calculated to use around one-half of an ounce of silver, comprising around 11% of a solar module’s raw material cost, adds the company.
On July 9, Natcore announced it had developed a “breakthrough” cell structure “that will simplify the production process, significantly lower costs, and speed the path toward ultra high-efficiency cells.” This claim was based on eliminating silver from mass produced solar cells.
Bill Murphy, LeMetropole Cafe and Chairman of GATA, dropped this news on me at the New Orleans Investment Conference during our interview. To say that I was stunned would be a massive understatement. The understanding that I have, China and India have both been importing ton upon ton of raw silver for the specific purpose of producing solar panels for their respective countries solar infrastructure projects; as was discussed with Jeff Brown in June 2015 – link.
The bright side of this scenario is all the silver that was earmarked for the solar industry can now be reallocated into investment silver. With the supply strains we have been witnessing over the past two years, and in particular since mid 2015, the silver investment community should breathe a sigh of relief. This should bring premiums down and increase supplies. We shall see. I am trying to look at this optimistically. Personally, I don’t really see this having a great impact on supplies. Remember, mining has been in a stranglehold for four long years. Mines are slowing down, shutting down and 90% of the low hanging fruit is gone. This means the back fill on investment coins, bars and rounds will be slow and in declining amounts. If you have not listened to the two interviews regarding the mining industry, you should give them a listen. You can find them here and here.
Bill Murphy walks us through what is happening right now with the gold and silver markets. His perspective has been shaped by over fifteen years of in-depth, hardcore research, along with his GATA partner, Chris Powell. The view Bill has is one that most of us will never be allowed to acquire. The documents, files and reports paint a picture of deception, lies and manipulation by the bullion banking cabal. Through the ongoing manipulation of gold and silver the governments, through the banking cartel has stripped each of us of our humanity our sovereignty and in some cases our dignity. How much longer this is allowed to go is up to each one of us.
“It does not require a majority, but an irate minority, keen to set brushfires in the minds of men.” ~Samuel Adams
Listen in to what Bill Murphy has to share with you.
Rory Hall has been a daily contributor at SGTReport.com. for more than two years. He has written several original articles and interviewed some of the top precious metals professionals in the industry, as well as top preparedness specialists in the world. His YouTube Channel, The Daily Coin, was launched in February 2014 and his website TheDailyCoin.org was launched April 25, 2014. QUOTE: “As a student of monetary, financial and economic history for the past five years it has taught me to watch the markets with an open mind and a hand on my wallet.”