[ExI] [tt] Smaller, cheaper, faster: Does Moore's law apply to solar cells?

spike spike66 at att.net
Tue Mar 22 15:08:54 UTC 2011

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Eugen Leitl
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 7:53 AM
To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
Subject: Re: [ExI] [tt] Smaller, cheaper, faster: Does Moore's law apply to
solar cells?

On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 07:19:44AM -0700, spike wrote:

> OK, well Kelly I sure hope you are right on this one.  {8-]  All our 
> alternatives look seriously flawed to me.

Spike, this is frustrating. You're an aerospace guy.
You know numbers. I give you numbers you don't even comment on...

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org

It isn't only numbers, or even primarily numbers.  Energy policy seems to
get hopelessly mired in political considerations.  As an example, we can
build safe nukes, but the reputation of all nuclear power was seriously
damaged last week.  We can build relatively clean coal fired plants and
coal-to-octane plants, but we have governments wanting to tax carbon dioxide
emissions.  Solar power will get cheaper, but I see some materials and
manufacturing challenges that will take a while to overcome.

I did get an encouraging note this week.  Around newer residential
developments in California, many homeowners associations were disallowing
solar power and water heating on any street-facing roof area.  I heard that
several of them are leading a trend to eliminate those restrictions.  I am
not in a homeowners association, but I found it encouraging.  Between PV,
solar water heating and more efficient home electronics, I see promise there
of having roofs everywhere with power generation.  It will not be cheap, but
we can get it done eventually.

Houses facing north will be more valuable than houses facing south, since
north facers don't need PVs on the front of their houses.

I don't know how we are going to do load leveling, but I assume it will be
done primarily with natural gas fired Brayton cycle plants.


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