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Solar power anywhere: Lightweight organic cells aim beyond rooftops

Ricoh, European startups race to bring flexible power source to market this year

Ricoh says its organic solar cells maintain work well in indoor light. (Photo courtesy of Ricoh)

TOKYO -- A thin, flexible alternative to silicon-based solar cells is set to be produced in greater volumes, opening up more uses for renewable energy such as powering indoor smart devices.

Organic solar cells are made by printing photovoltaic material on plastic sheets and other bendable substrates. They are expected to cost half as much to make as silicon-based solar cells and are 100 times lighter, manufacturers say.

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