The beautiful future of solar power | Marjan van Aubel

  • Published on Mar 22, 2019
  • The sun delivers more energy to earth in one hour than all of humanity uses in an entire year. How can we make this power more accessible to everyone, everywhere? Solar designer Marjan van Aubel shows how she's turning everyday objects like tabletops and stained glass windows into elegant solar cells -- and shares her vision to make every surface a power station.
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  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 406

  • Final Fantasy
    Final Fantasy 12 days ago

    Tell whats the next lvl of solar panles ??isnt there any porgress?

  • Joshua Sanchez
    Joshua Sanchez 17 days ago

    Nuclear is the only way. Making the US 100% solar energy would be 24 trillion dollars not including the massive amount of batteries needed. The amount of mining to manufacturing these panels would cost too much for the environment as well.

  • efraim johansson
    efraim johansson 19 days ago

    Anyone saying solar panels are ugly are hideous creatures

  • EdocsilM
    EdocsilM 23 days ago

    Let's face the truth: Solar is a wonderful solution for remote places and for portability, it isn't the solution for sustainable energy. They cost quite a lot of resource to make and aren't very efficient. These panels are hard and costly to recycle.

  • OlleyG
    OlleyG Month ago

    next step is recycling solar panels waste...

  • Van Rollins
    Van Rollins Month ago

    There's no solar panels with an efficiency of 44%!

  • knowledge share
    knowledge share Month ago

    Two photographs chosen to dishonestly prove that solar is ugly. I can provide hundreds of photos that prove the opposite.

  • knowledge share
    knowledge share Month ago

    They are not always ugly mostly far from it.

  • Ahmed Alseragi
    Ahmed Alseragi Month ago

    its hard to explain my feeling towards your brain & personality. I admire you, I hope one day I can meet you :) Thanks

  • Solar Solution Today
    Solar Solution Today 2 months ago

    I loved your video. Solar Solutions Today ( provides free online quotes for all our customers in Southern California.

  • Tea Autumn
    Tea Autumn 2 months ago

    I love seeing this coming into play

  • Michael Bernhardt
    Michael Bernhardt 2 months ago

    that booty

  • amekanasai
    amekanasai 2 months ago

    These are the kind of videos that make me happy amidst all the depressing climate change ones.

  • Rohit Kumar
    Rohit Kumar 3 months ago

    my ideas .... I am really happpy

  • Mike Ladnun
    Mike Ladnun 3 months ago

    I love solar energy! It brought us COAL!

  • Ben Scriven
    Ben Scriven 3 months ago

    Lunacy. She is ignoring the embodied energy of the materials, all of her projects will use more energy than they produce in their lifetime I'd wager. Solar panels need to be south facing, angled correctly for their latitude and placed in full sun. Theres also no point conserving a little water to grow plants inside a steel, plastic and glass building that took tons of CO2 to produce.

  • John Augsburger
    John Augsburger 3 months ago

    Thanks, very smart approach. I still love my old flat rectangular panels.

  • Mauro Scimone
    Mauro Scimone 3 months ago

    With Perovskite this applications will be more adopted on mass because flexibility and cheaper solution to harvest light , solar and indoor light

  • Jay Markow
    Jay Markow 3 months ago

    Mobile Solar Power, Will is a Youtiuber with great DIY solar systems with everything you need from education, step by step, and Amazon based buys.

  • lukas duke
    lukas duke 3 months ago

    Hey great content, amazing work!
    U should look into suncontract, they are a decentralized energy market, u can have ur solar on some place at your country and send it to your house or flat in the city (currently active in Slovenia and Italy this year, but working on more partnerships and expanding in EU and Asia)

    • lukas duke
      lukas duke 3 months ago

      Go have a chat with the team, I am sure they will be happy :)

  • TheZseries
    TheZseries 3 months ago

    the design aspect is nice but obviously has no experience with hydroponics, Using a clear container and tubing with hydroponics will very quickly become an experiment in growing algae.

  • Dadson worldwide
    Dadson worldwide 3 months ago

    Heating pads on a large scale wont be as clean as you think. It's a lot worse than plastic to deal with as trash.

  • J Schlock
    J Schlock 3 months ago

    She and Elon Musk; a synergistic couple!

  • Naeem Akram
    Naeem Akram 3 months ago

    Wow! This is awesome. How can someone setup a small plant in Pakistan to make solar panels you design?

  • Trigger Troll
    Trigger Troll 3 months ago

    It’s going to take more time but it can happen if battery technology improves. They have to be cheap . Governments have to start giving back the taxes they collect on resources companies. We could use the carbon bucks to buy solar panels . Taxing the people just shows how little they care.

  • Aaron Ha
    Aaron Ha 3 months ago

    Great Idea!

  • Midhun Thomas
    Midhun Thomas 3 months ago


  • Jay Q Public
    Jay Q Public 3 months ago

    Centralized power plants have always been, are, and will always be primary targets for sabotage.
    The solar panels on my roof are not.
    The wider we spread production the small the profile energy presents as an target for economic or physical harm.
    Camouflaging it beautifully is even smarter.
    Two thumbs up. I: :I

  • Kon Tiki
    Kon Tiki 3 months ago

    would have been nice if you had mentioned where you can find these products too.

  • Dr. TJ
    Dr. TJ 3 months ago

    I've been saying for a while that as far as I know, there has not been a systematic and comprehensive approach to materials research for solar panels. Yes, there are lots of researchers developing and testing new materials, but there's probably a lot of duplication of failed materials, a lot of materials that have yet to be tested, etc. Because a very efficient and less expensive to build panel could potentially benefit all humans, it's time we got organized across the world and figure out how to make cheaper and more efficient panels through a systematic and comprehensive materials testing program. Of course, a cheaper and more efficient panel only solves part of the problem. We still have to figure out either storage technologies or other ways to produce electricity at night (nuclear?).

  • Vertios
    Vertios 3 months ago

    Nuclear power is the future. We can't talk about seriously fixing the climate problems while leaving out nuclear. Solar and other renewable energy resources are not enough to power the Earth. It's unrealistic and paints a far too optimistic picture of the future. Solar also produces waste and requires some metals to build. What about the batteries? It's not efficient enough and thinking we can shut down coal while relying on renewable is not even a realistic vision. Nuclear needs to enter the conversation again. Too much unnecessary fear as well misinformation which is holding back government funding nuclear and research.

  • Timothy Stratton
    Timothy Stratton 3 months ago

    Ted... the same people that pushed solar roadways. Ha!

  • The Paper Pineapple
    The Paper Pineapple 4 months ago

    6:20 She doesn't understand something very basic and very critical.
    Economists call it "opportunity cost." Engineers call it "conservation of energy."
    If the glass is converting sunlight into electricity then that is energy *NOT* going to the plants.
    Likewise, every unit of energy going to plants is not going into production of electricity.
    It gets worse, because solar technologies are nowhere near 100% efficient.
    So, if you siphon off 50% of the sunlight for electricity production instead of giving it to the plants in the greenhouse, you have less usable energy than if you had just let the plants have it.
    chlorophyll absorbs red and blue light only. All other colors in sunlight have a low absorption rate. It's possible that you could have a solar panel which absorbs the other colors, and then use red and blue LEDs to light the plants. At that point you don't need transparent panels at all, the outside of the grow house could be completely opaque.

  • kumar Ayush
    kumar Ayush 4 months ago

    In books - solar panels are cheap and eco friendly.
    Reality - solor panels contains toxic elements such as lead....
    After 30 years when solar panels will expire.
    Alone India produce 1.8 billion tons of waste.
    No one is taking about its
    I never found how solar panels are recycled efficiently.

  • Buffalo and Pine
    Buffalo and Pine 4 months ago


  • Artem Klimov
    Artem Klimov 4 months ago

    I would start with Tesla roofs) They are already nice looking, just make them cheap enough for most people)

  • Matthew Huszarik
    Matthew Huszarik 4 months ago

    Tesla has esthetic solar roofs.

  • Christian V-H
    Christian V-H 4 months ago

    Just a few weeks after Greta Thunberg's call for urgent action against climate change (TEDx), _this_ comes :)

  • Matt W
    Matt W 4 months ago

    It's still debatable that climate change is the greatest problem of humanity. We still have nuclear weapons, for example. Then there are all the problems of social organisation that are arguably underlying climate change and potential nuclear obliteration. There's also run away AI.

  • Garrett Fleming
    Garrett Fleming 4 months ago

    Is she tracking that Tesla has already made solar power roof shingles?

  • plesher
    plesher 4 months ago +4

    why is nobody commenting on the efficiency trade off of the transparent solar glass greenhouse? Am I missing something. Are the transparent solar cells and the plants using different parts of the light spectrum. I think it's a non sustainable tradeoff. The solar cells produce electric energy which needs to be used even more becaus the plants are not getting enough light to grow without artificial lightning

    • Artem Klimov
      Artem Klimov 4 months ago

      I think she meant that turning it to electricity and then emitting back the light through red+blue LEDs can be more efficient. But I'm not if that's true. Plants evolved to use sunlight and giving direct or slightly scattered natural sunlight should be enough, even when there are lots of extra waves in the spectrum that plants don't use. If they plan to use those LEDs to illuminate
      the plants even in the night (as they showed in the rendered pictures), that would be wrong, as plants need day/night natural cycle for photosynthetic cells to multiply correctly.

  • Henry Gustav
    Henry Gustav 4 months ago

    Sorry but Govts are the only ones with the financial power to organize resources to limit climate change.

  • Richi
    Richi 4 months ago


  • Sonic Storm
    Sonic Storm 4 months ago

    The energy companies would not let that happen. To be independent from them is less money in their own pockets

  • Elvis Van
    Elvis Van 4 months ago

    _🌆10PM Mar 31 2019~_

  • jim Nicosia
    jim Nicosia 4 months ago

    They will have to learn how to make it efficient.

  • B. Rippy
    B. Rippy 4 months ago +5

    Wait, what? She's not doing anything other than making stained glass that can charge probably only one model of phone. And that's gonna help how exactly?
    I don't think she actually knows anything about basic electrical circuitry, much less the electrical engineering knowledge it would require to make a house that every surface is a solar panel. And you thought the wiring cost for a modern home was expensive, this would be 100 times more expensive.

    PAVANZYL 4 months ago

    Solar will become the norm if it is competitive with fossil fuels. Look at W/m2 and $/W. Those two factors will decide it.

  • pyroblasten
    pyroblasten 4 months ago +4

    Solar is a nice thought, but until you find an effective way to store that energy on mass it's a pipe dream

  • Natalia Rivas
    Natalia Rivas 4 months ago

    solar panels which conduct electricity on the floor... Don't pour water on it :l However the idea sounds cool in windows or courtains...

  • 김윤정
    김윤정 4 months ago +2

    Dull and ignorant concepts. which PV material has 44% efficiency in ambient at 300K.

  • Feofan Chichikov
    Feofan Chichikov 4 months ago

    but we need to work on the connected tech: battaries for example, its not well disposible and consume a lot of energy to produce the , also they last for few years only

  • Nathan Chilton
    Nathan Chilton 4 months ago

    Solar cells have their application, but may not work so well for powering cities, or countries. Michael Shellenberger's TED talk covers most of this.

  • Fancy Pants
    Fancy Pants 4 months ago

    Crazy how people in the comment section like this video, but when AOC proposes a shift to solar, it's suddenly a ludicrous concept

  • Rickbearcat
    Rickbearcat 4 months ago

    People forget that you have to manufacture these solar panels, which takes many resources, adding to the climate problem. And then, eventually, say 10-15 years down the road, when the panels have used up their useable life, they have to be recycled or thrown away in the landfills. Large scale solar is not sustainable.

  • Evren Bekdaş
    Evren Bekdaş 4 months ago


  • lloydagola
    lloydagola 4 months ago

    i think it's too early to talk about "aesthetics." I think we should prioritize efficiency, cost reduction and storage.

  • Ultimate Spider-man
    Ultimate Spider-man 4 months ago

    😇😇😇👼👼👼👏👏👏👏❤💓💕💖💗💟💞💝💞💝🌷🌼🌻🌺🌸🌱🌲⚘🌹💐🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴you r good having the best dream ever god help i wish all organizations to help make it so cheap so beautiful as your hart good bless you

  • Michael Madden
    Michael Madden 4 months ago

    It gets dark at night. There is a place for solar but it is not the answer. Nuclear is the answer.

  • Lane Sterenberg
    Lane Sterenberg 4 months ago


  • Franz Nainggolan
    Franz Nainggolan 4 months ago

    I want to learn solar engineering from scrap. Where should i start.. :)

  • Pacifick 02
    Pacifick 02 4 months ago

    thanks for mentioning climate change and ur work on solar u beautiful woman

  • Chhay Chhin
    Chhay Chhin 4 months ago

    Wooooow what an idea.. as soon as I heard it and saw it

  • NaoTa MF
    NaoTa MF 4 months ago

    gimme that phone charging window! link please?

  • Rachel Gong
    Rachel Gong 4 months ago

    Instead of having a table with solar panels to charge phones, why not have phones built up with solar panels to self-charge as calculators do.

  • Nameirakpam Lakshmi
    Nameirakpam Lakshmi 4 months ago +1

    Am so proud of this woman as being born into the 21st Century. This feels like the real 21st Century. I cannot believe that some of us still live in places where we even have to fight for basic rights as humans. Kudos to this woman and I too believe in Solar Democracy! 👍🏽👏🏽💜☺️

  • Ea Jordan
    Ea Jordan 4 months ago

    So women in the 60's opposed nuclear energy because they where not educated. Today women oppose nuclear energy because they know it takes a lot of work .... and they still dont understand energy

  • Kevin Bell
    Kevin Bell 4 months ago

    65, 000 views and only 332 comments. Anyone else not buying this? It's a pattern all over TVclip.

  • AREK Derlukiewicz
    AREK Derlukiewicz 4 months ago

    ted is dead. come and spoil everything with your pretencious bad taste. utility gives form. elegant and simple. you just making noise.

  • johnny71424
    johnny71424 4 months ago

    This is a dream come true. She needs all the backing up she can get. Get her in touch with gates and the likes of him

  • Highzler Almir
    Highzler Almir 4 months ago

    This is definitely the future. However it's not being admired bc of all the jobs that would be lost & business/money in the electricity industry. We would have to go through an apocalyptic event for this to kick off! Same about electric cars, fuel companies depend on gas driving cars.

  • Aykut
    Aykut 4 months ago +1

    She is changing the world

  • Kurt E. Clothier
    Kurt E. Clothier 4 months ago

    This is a really great topic and presentation! I love the designs she's showcased - great ideas to build upon.
    The problem is that just standard, ugly solar panels are a huge initial investment that lot of people and businesses just can't get over. You need enormous ones to get useful energy, the small ones that are embedded in things are mostly only novelty - lighting an LED, charging a battery pack, etc.
    On top of that, the process to make them is extremely dirty (you're transforming quite a few raw materials into a cell that must be minded and processed). Companies will need some form of "encouragement" to clean this process up, or a lot of personal conviction to do it just because they should.

  • Brian Kenneth Kondas
    Brian Kenneth Kondas 4 months ago

    i loved your speech. i wish you well.

  • Inspire Web Services
    Inspire Web Services 4 months ago +1

    Thank you very much for your innovations.
    Man kind will proceed forward with the help of people like you.