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November 09, 2006

Comments

Paul Dietz

each time that production doubles, cost drops 81%.

That should be: cost drops to 81% (that is, it declines by 19%.)

This rate of decline (the so-called 'experience curve') is typical in many industries, although the precise exponent in the power law can vary.

hamerhokie

Can anyone use the EEStor sage to illustrate the boundary line between innuendo and vapor?

Cervus

Don't forget solar thermal, in the form of Stirling Energy Systems. They've already contracted to build over 1000MW in the SoCal deserts.

Rgriisser

I wish that our royalty (politicians) would think. There are some that say we went to Iraq for their oil. So far the Iraq war has cost us about 380 million (not to mention the many lives lost.) Using the economies of scale, we could have put solar PV systems on about 200 million homes in the USA. I would love to see the figures on how close this would bring us to energy independence.

rgriisser

Sorry, I meant to say 380 BILLION not million.

amazingdrx

That drop in cost compared to the drop in the cost of computer chip density, speed, and memory provides some real hope for solar power.

As does solar cogeneration using concentrating collectors. This raises the efficiency of solar to over 50% as proven by NREL tests.

Solar competes with fossil energy sources, so on initial cost solar would need to be one third of the cost per watt of generation capacity to match initial cost of natural gas fired plants.

But factor in the cost to society of CO2 greenhouse gas pollution and the ever rising cost of fossil fuel and that initial cost is a less vital factor.

With no fuel costs ever and the value society places in clean energy production (worth 1200 dollars per year to a typical home solar installation) that initial cost of solar can be higher and still be competitive with fossil fuel.

How competitive depends upon how fast fuel prices rise and how seriously greenhouse gas climate disaster is taken.

dano

What is CIGS?

George

That drop in cost compared to the drop in the cost of computer chip density, speed, and memory provides some real hope for solar power.

Not exactly. The increasing density in chips isn't very analogous to solar cells. If you look at the cost per square centimeter of computer chips as a function of time, the curve is probably closer to solar. It would not drop anywhere near the rate that MIPS increased.

What is CIGS?

Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide. It's a thin film technology alternative to traditional silicon crystal cells.

Harvey D.

Rgriisser

You have a good point. Many believe that the Irak war may cost as much as 1000 billion dollars before it's over (with negative results?)

All the money wasted in Irak could have financed a clean energy Marshall plan for 5+ years and avoided many lost of life. Clean energy economy would be going strong. CO2 & GHG emissions would be dropping already.

One may wonder if we put the proper persons on trial.

rgriisser

George

I agree with your thoughts. I wonder if we will ever have a sane energy policy. It appears that every decision that our government makes (Dems or GOP)is made with the intent of making somebody richer. This thought is from a lifelong Republican.

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