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Chris O'Meara / AP

Researchers engineered a solar cell that worked for 10,000 hours without its performance being compromised, according to a new study.

Why it matters: The solar energy industry has been intensely focused on perovskite solar cells that cost less to produce compared to silicon-based ones. Perovskite cells could potentially disrupt the industry but have been hampered by the fact that they can rapidly degrade with wear and tear from water and UV light.

The next step: The efficiency of the new solar cell was low — only up to 12.7%. If the stability can be achieved with previously demonstrated efficiencies for perovskite cells (upwards of 22% and on par with silicon solar cells), the price of solar energy might even compete with fossil fuels.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.

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