A team of researchers at the University of Notre Dame has made a major advance toward this vision by creating an inexpensive "solar paint" that uses semiconducting nanoparticles to produce energy. The advance was made with nano-sized particles of titanium dioxide, which were coated with either cadmium sulfide or cadmium selenide. The particles were then suspended in a water-alcohol mixture to create a paste.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for researchers is to get the efficiency levels to be as great if not greater than typical solar cells which means around 10-15%. So far the paint is at 1% efficiency in the best-case scenario.
The paint has been deemed Sun-Believable by its creators because it can be made cheaply in large quantities. Certainly one distinguishing characteristic of solar paint is it is a lightweight and potentially inexpensive addition to something which is already being used in mass quantities throughout the world.
In other words, you don’t need to get permits and spend millions or more on wind harnessing equipment or buy solar panels which require sophisticated installation. This advance can basically yield increased energy with little work and minor changes to homes, cars,buildings and perhaps even concrete and pavement.