Imagine if every outdoor surface of your house or office building could generate electricity. That could soon be a reality thanks to a team at the University of Newcastle who have invented a solar paint. The water-based lacquer contains tiny plastic particles - smaller than the diameter of a human hair - that absorb sunlight to produce electricity. The project leader, Paul Dastoor, says the ultimate goal is a paint that can be applied directly to a roof or wall, but early versions will paint the material on plastic sheets, which contain electrical wires to transmit the electricity, that can be rolled out. The solar paint could generate electricity at half today's electricity prices.