For example, investment banks financing 10,000 rooftop solar systems or large power plants in the desert are very risk averse.
"They don't make bets on technology," Meydbray said. "That's why a totally different technology coming into the market isn't typically adopted very well. This is part of the reason the majority of thin-film companies that were the future back in 2006 are now bankrupt."
However, Sol Voltaic argues that its the use of nanowires in its PVs is far less expensive than previous materials being utilized by thin films manufacturers.
"Most importantly, Sol Voltaic's patented Aerotaxy process, their secret sauce, will enable them to produce the films at a very cost competitive level," a spokeperson wrote in a reply to Computerworld.
The thin film modules Sol Voltaic is developing are aimed at crystalline silicon module manufacturers. "By building the simple film into the final stages of their manufacturing process and laying the film on top of the cells, they will be able to reach these unprecedented levels of efficiency," the spokesman added.
In addition to the nanowire alignment breakthrough, Sol Voltaics said it has progressed through several generations of development of its Aerotaxy production technology. The patented process allows cost-effective nanowire solar cell production via a continuous gas phase process.
"Realistically, we have a few remaining hurdles to get over in order to get into commercialization, but we're very confident we can deliver a truly transformative energy solution," Smith said.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.