"We don't need subsidies, we just need governments to get out of the way and do no harm. They've spent $170bn subsidising nuclear power over the last thirty years," he said.
His ultra-light technology, based on a copper indium compound, can power mobile phones and laptop computers with a sliver of foil.
"You won't have to get down on your knees ever again to hunt for plug socket," he said
Michael Rogol, a solar expert at Credit Lyonnais, expects the solar industry to grow from $7bn in 2004 to nearer $40bn by 2010, with operating earnings of $3bn.
The sector is poised to outstrip wind power. It is a remarkable boom for a technology long dismissed by experts as hopelessly unviable.