Good news on solar power?

Some years ago this chart from the DOE convinced me that solar power was in trouble; that 4-5$/watt was about as good as it gets.  Bad news, given that coal is substantially cheaper than than.  It was beyond my wit to know what the source of this problem is.  It might be market forces – that the floor looks like it was hit just about the time the pulse of money generated by the 70’s oil crises is thought provoking.  It might be a technology limit of some kind, something in the physics say.

In any case it appears there is good news.  Because these folks are claiming they will hit a dollar a watt soon.  “we believe will make us the first solar manufacturer capable of profitably selling solar panels at as little as $.99/Watt.”  That’s the future tense, and it doesn’t include the rest of the capital equipment involved in the installation.    Good news none the less.

It’s weird that they are shipping them to East Germany; you’d think they would prefer someplace sunny.

4 thoughts on “Good news on solar power?

  1. Steve Loughran

    -I know one of the people there, Marv Keshner. Nanosolar focuses on cost/metre rather than watts/metre, using bulk printing processes rather than foundry processes. If they get it right, you get solar power for the consumer at less than retail electricity. Remember, its not the cost/watt for a power station feeding the grid that matters, its whether its cheaper to have solar on your roof than get AC from a wire.

    as to why east germany -.de has a policy on electrons that allows you to pump spare ones back into the grid at a fixed (and nice) cost. If you have spare electricity during periods of the day, you can share them with others for money. Its why germany is ahead of the rest of europe, even though france, italy and spain are sunnier.

  2. bhyde

    Yeah, I guess the question was rhetorical. Take your subsidies where you can get ’em. I’m all for subsidies to help accelerate this stuff. But yet; presumably these panels in a better location would output 3-5 times more energy. That’s a lot of subsidy.

    I like that North African scheme as well, though not as much as geo thermal generation; which I think is just plain fun. Particularly if you combine it with fire-less steam engines; then it’s pure entertainment.

  3. Peter

    I think, for the good of the industry, one must be very careful not to buy into the “hype”.

    It is a long way from “trying” to a commercial product. A long way, especially with a potential product that uses an untested process.

    First the product must “work”
    Then it must work cost effectively
    Then it must be tested to be long tern durable
    etc etc

    It is NOT that simple, or else everyone would have done it.

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