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Stanford Engineers Discover New Solar Energy Conversion Process

A new process discovered and proven by Stanford engineers simultaneously combines the light and heat of solar radiation to generate electricity, potentially offering more than double the efficiency of existing solar cell technology. Dubbed "photon enhanced thermionic emission" or PETE, the process could lower the costs of solar energy production enough for it to compete with oil as an energy source.  And the materials needed to build a device to make the process work are cheap and easily available, meaning the power that comes from it will be affordable.

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/august/new-solar-method-080210.html