[ExI] EP and Peak oil.

Gary Miller aiguy at comcast.net
Tue Apr 1 03:07:02 UTC 2008

John K. Clarke Said:

>> Maybe solar energy could someday make a dent in the problem, but the
technology just isn't there yet. Right now it would take a solar panel the
size New Jersey to replace the energy dispensed by just 100 gas stations.
There are about 20,000 gas stations in the USA alone. >>

My Response:

I think solar is making breakthroughs much faster now than most of us

The solar market grew 62% in 2007 and it remained capacity constrained due
to a shortage of polysilicon.

But over 21 new entrants started manufacturing polysilicon during the year.

So this constraint will be lifted in 2008 going forward.


High cost is being tackled on many fronts.

And MIT has just announced a solar startup that aims to match coal in price.


"The cell architecture, developed at MIT, improves surface texture and
metallization to improve silicon solar cell efficiency from about 15 percent
to 19 percent, while lowering costs. 

1366 Technologies said it plans licensing its technology to solar companies
and government agencies and thus accelerate a transition from fossil fuel
based energy to solar. In addition, the company plans to build industrial,
100 megawatt plants around the world. 

"The science is understood, the raw materials are abundant and the products
work. All that is left to do is innovate in manufacturing and scale up
volume production, and thats just what we intend to do," said Sachs, in a

It looks like the Free Market may be arriving just in time!

By making this technology available to other companies to continue to
innovate and improve upon using other efficiency increasing and cost
lowering technology, this technolgy and competition to improve upon it
should spread quickly.

As for the real estate taken up by solar farms, once the technology becomes
cheap enough to put on our roofs with a reasonable payback period, look for
new houses to start being energy self sufficient and perhaps even selling
their excess back to the power companies.

The company Nanosolar that offers low priced thin film solar cells is
already sold out of product until 2009.

"Their new $100,000,000 plant will produce Nanosolar SolarPly, its flagship
building-integrated product that acts as a solar-electric "carpet" for
integration with commercial roofing membranes; and Nanosolar Utiliscale, a
product specifically designed for large-scale, ground-mounted plant


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