For the first time, scientists have figured out a way to create efficient, affordable spray-on solar cells. While the concept itself isn’t something new, spray-on technology in the past has been so inefficient or costly that it didn’t hold much promise for changing the way we make solar panels. But now, using a new material called perovskite, scientists have created a spray-painting process that could change the solar game.

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Right now the gold standard for solar power is silicon, which has a light absorbing efficiency of about 25%. Organic cells hover right around 10% and, until now, spray-on technology never got out of the single digits. But perovskite, which is a calcium titanium oxide mineral, can get as high as 19% efficiency – not far off of silicon.

Related: Spray-On Solar Cells Energize Almost Any Surface

Having spray technology could make solar production quicker and more affordable. But it could also change the way we use solar in other ways: you could spray cars or coat oddly-shaped objects or architecture. It could be used in a thousand different places that we haven’t even dreamed of yet. And with solar becoming more and more important for energy production, the new technology is perfectly timed.

Via Gizmodo, Energy Environmental Science and

Images via The University of Sheffield and Shutterstock