[ExI] solar is looking better all the time: was RE: Efficiency of wind power

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sun Apr 17 18:42:34 UTC 2011

On Sun, Apr 17, 2011 at 12:26:39PM -0600, Kelly Anderson wrote:

> > Unlike Moore's law, making solar cells smaller doesn't double
> > the power. The opposite, in fact.
> Just to be crystal clear... Ray K's application of the Law of
> Accelerating Returns is to the Price of a Watt of Solar Panel, not to

Yes, I know. I pointed out the reason why Moore scales that way
and why solar doesn't. USD/Wp is subject to world demand, USD/Wp
installed is a lot higher, since inverters don't follow the same
price curve, installation costs are basically constant, and grid
upgrade costs are also nothing like that.

Kurzweil said he expects 100% of renewable *total* power, 
world wide. This means a substitution rate of 1 TW/year, for
the next 20 years. As the current substution rate is negligible,
and he believes in linear semilog plots, this means most of
substution will happen in the last 1-2 years.

> it's size. The period of halving the price is estimated at around 3
> years.

Germany doubled PV from 1% to 2% within about a year. Will this year
double it to 4%? Unfortunately, probably not. Will the next year see it
to 8%? Definitely not. The year after to 16%? The next, to 32%? And then,
to 64%, and then to 128%?

Singularity is sure quicker, but Singularity in 20 years? It's always
20, 30 years away.

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