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 • 396

  • Solar Solution Today

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

  • Tea Autumn
    Tea Autumn 13 days ago

    I love seeing this coming into play

  • Michael Bernhardt
    Michael Bernhardt 13 days ago

    that booty

  • amekanasai
    amekanasai 15 days ago

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

  • Rohit Kumar
    Rohit Kumar Month ago

    my ideas .... I am really happpy

  • Mike Ladnun
    Mike Ladnun Month ago

    I love solar energy! It brought us COAL!

  • Ben Scriven
    Ben Scriven Month 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 Month ago

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

  • Mauro Scimone
    Mauro Scimone Month 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 Month 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 Month 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 Month ago

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

  • TheZseries
    TheZseries Month 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 Month 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 Month ago

    She and Elon Musk; a synergistic couple!

  • Naeem Akram
    Naeem Akram Month ago

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

  • Trigger Troll
    Trigger Troll Month 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 Month ago

    Great Idea!

  • Midhun Thomas
    Midhun Thomas Month ago


  • Jay Q Public
    Jay Q Public Month 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 Month ago

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

  • Dr. TJ
    Dr. TJ Month 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 Month 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 Month ago

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

  • The Paper Pineapple

    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 2 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 2 months ago


  • Artem Klimov
    Artem Klimov 2 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 2 months ago

    Tesla has esthetic solar roofs.

  • Christian V-H
    Christian V-H 2 months ago

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

  • Matt W
    Matt W 2 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 2 months ago

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

  • plesher
    plesher 2 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 2 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 2 months ago

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

  • Richi
    Richi 2 months ago


  • Sonic Storm
    Sonic Storm 2 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 2 months ago

    _🌆10PM Mar 31 2019~_

  • jim Nicosia
    jim Nicosia 2 months ago

    They will have to learn how to make it efficient.

  • B. Rippy
    B. Rippy 2 months ago +4

    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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 months ago +2

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

  • Feofan Chichikov
    Feofan Chichikov 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 months ago


  • lloydagola
    lloydagola 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 months ago


  • Franz Nainggolan
    Franz Nainggolan 2 months ago

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

  • Pacifick 02
    Pacifick 02 2 months ago

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

  • Chhay Chhin
    Chhay Chhin 2 months ago

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

  • NaoTa MF
    NaoTa MF 2 months ago

    gimme that phone charging window! link please?

  • Rachel Gong
    Rachel Gong 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 months ago +1

    She is changing the world

  • Kurt E. Clothier
    Kurt E. Clothier 2 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 2 months ago

    i loved your speech. i wish you well.

  • Inspire Web Services
    Inspire Web Services 2 months ago +1

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

  • Bogdan-Vladimir D
    Bogdan-Vladimir D 2 months ago

    go go go

  • Kongolox
    Kongolox 2 months ago

    would that table and window get extra hot..?

  • Don Hyon
    Don Hyon 2 months ago

    Who said solar panels are ugly? I love that dark blue color of those PV cells.

  • C Dykhuizen
    C Dykhuizen 2 months ago +2

    Apply the technology to the windshield and sunroof of electric cars

  • Don Brloks
    Don Brloks 2 months ago

    Yes you can charge your cell phone with solar. The problem is battery technology has not yet caught up. When the sun goes down you can’t don’t much of anything that requires electricity. No laundry air conditioning not cooking, the list goes on. Renewable energy is something we certainly are striving for. But we are a long ways from achieving it.

  • Van Ruker
    Van Ruker 2 months ago

    Good afternoon. I was aiming to add the Spanis Translation to your video but, unfortunately, it appears to be unabilitate for contribute. Can we arrange that somehow to spread this conference for Latin America? Thank you for your time.

  • Deive Teahay
    Deive Teahay 2 months ago


  • erdiaz13
    erdiaz13 2 months ago

    What about charging your phone with your sunglasses...? Or hat? Then it could be accessible to those that can't modify their home... 🤷

  • Leonidas666
    Leonidas666 2 months ago

    If every skyscrapper uses this in the city, it will be beautiful.

  • Dmitry Platonov
    Dmitry Platonov 2 months ago

    This kind if solar is not sustainable nor affordable. You are just riding hype train.

  • Anon archist
    Anon archist 2 months ago

    i want to put a solar cell on an immobile vertical wall in permanent shade, that sounds like a great idea.

  • Anon archist
    Anon archist 2 months ago

    ill take cheap and ugly utilities over expensive and pretty any day. id rather have to replace a scratched up chinese rectangle than a shattered swarovski gem.

  • Michał Kondratowicz
    Michał Kondratowicz 2 months ago

    The topic is great, but I find it extremely difficult to hear her speech properly and not feel annoyed. My ears are bleeding.

  • MrSchweppes
    MrSchweppes 2 months ago +1

    Dear Marjan van Aubel, you are doing a very important job. Thank you very much!

  • Abir Ahmed
    Abir Ahmed 2 months ago +1

    Design works when it is unnoticeable"
    I agree with her

  • Avik Sanyal
    Avik Sanyal 2 months ago

    None of these are new ideas. And, what about the cost? We are sticking to crystalline Si coz its cheap and reliable. Sure there’s GaAs, CdTe which may look more appealing but are not as economically “accessible”.

  • Mo Koubar
    Mo Koubar 2 months ago

    The solar problem is majorly a political one ,also the inconsistent of the sun and the low efficiency still a problem (high efficiency is not affordable for average incomes). Great speech ty👍🏻

  • sourya charan bolisetty

    The idea of1 hour of sunlight is sufficient to provide electricity for the whole world for one year is mind-boggling and I'll definitely be a part in transforming the world with this :)

  • DeathAngel
    DeathAngel 2 months ago

    whole new meaning to Feng shui

  • Priyank Garg
    Priyank Garg 2 months ago

    For solar to be a preferred option for cold countries who doesn't receive as much sunlight as hot countries does, these technologies might help to a degree. For hotter climates, there is lot of space and radiation available to develop mega solar plants which countries like India are already doing. Africa is the next big example. Another option is transferring this excess power through the grid to cold countries during overcast days and way to earn money by hot countries. But this needs a global grid which is currently not feasible but maybe in next 20 years when globalisation extends here as well.

  • will260007
    will260007 2 months ago +1

    As much as I love solar power, this presentation is absolutely horrendous on an efficiency/cost point of view. Funny how a really good presentation can make such absurd design sound awesome. Unfortunately it's not only about how pretty it looks. She managed to make a very inefficient and expensive way of harvesting energy even less efficient and therefore much more expensive.

  • 스시
    스시 2 months ago +1

    I like chicken

  • Priyanka Chitte
    Priyanka Chitte 2 months ago

    Mind blowing..😘..I love this woman

  • Jhw Webster
    Jhw Webster 2 months ago

    Solar power has to be made a) more efficient b) less fragile c) effective through snow and high wind, ice and extremes of temperature d) pollute far, far less in its manufacture.

  • Hussein Nour
    Hussein Nour 2 months ago

    Wonderful speech, Marjan. Hope to see your work flourish.

  • Brent Weeks
    Brent Weeks 2 months ago


  • pool Boy
    pool Boy 2 months ago +1

    I would like to know who makes a 44% efficient solar panel that would be really nice to know.

  • Green-Grounds
    Green-Grounds 2 months ago

    I despise the way global warming has been framed. No matter how many solar panels are used in the US and Europe it will not matter one degree. Instead of speaking about pollution you say climate change. You can’t change one half of one degree. And you know it.

  • I M
    I M 2 months ago

    7000,000,000 ppl on planet Earth. Where are you going to find a place to instal the panels?

  • Rabbi Shlomo Schimmelpfennig

    actually u cant sniff photovoltaics. it has the wrong color and a bad heat absorbtion rate. get the cars painted and uve won the first prize. there are many other ways to convert energy while pv delivers nothing. and easier ways than making the whole city a pv-surface. elon musk seriously told hongkong that pv can provide all their energy and thats a fuckin joke. perhaps i do the math for a longer time or perhaps i need a new geographics book i dont really know. and its simply safer to have different sources. its even more safe to conservate existing thermal plants. u camels.

  • Leonardo Avellar
    Leonardo Avellar 2 months ago +3

    harvest sunlight in every surface sounds realy dumb to me
    you can make an high efficiency solar farm in the most efficient place and move or sell the eletricity, placing many very inneficient solar pannels everywere is just not smart

  • Elan Wolfson
    Elan Wolfson 2 months ago

    you should research and come to Israel, it will change your life

  • TheArtyninja
    TheArtyninja 2 months ago

    Brilliant talk. Brilliant designs.

  • Teodor Sandu
    Teodor Sandu 2 months ago +28

    Normal PV panels *are* beautiful already! We don't need more design(and more expensive), but we need them to be (even)cheaper! Let's get them first dirt cheap, and then we talk about design.

    • wanderbär
      wanderbär 2 months ago +3

      Both at the same time. People are more willing to buy something if it is beautiful and doesn't cost too much. Practicabilty and cost effectiveness doesn't have to be ugly. We're just indoctrinated that beauty is only for the wealthy.