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View Diary: This graph shows why solar power will take over the world (377 comments)

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  •  I don't know man (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17, akze29, VClib, caul, VL Baker, AoT, splashy

    for 30 years I was told that there was a Absolute
    physical limit on line widths, and it was all explainable
    using simple diffraction equations.

    I used to always say, there is a big market and people
    pushing to drop costs, maybe line size won't drop, but,
    we will learn to grow bigger wafers, or reduce defects,
    or lower voltage or change to GaAs, turns out we did all those.

    Sure the limit on Solar PV looks to be 58% and we are pushing 44%, but, if some clever physicists or Materials
    scientists sees a way to push that to 65%, and become a
    billionaire,  wether it's clever approaches like nano-dots,
    and fresnel films ortriple junction, or even brute force methods like CSP, where there is a billion to be made,
    people will come up with it.

    Clever tricks like putting the inverter on the wafer, so there is no inverter, or growing triangular wafers so you can pack them denser.  

    Dude, If we can get module prices down and put little smart zigbee chips on them so the controls are all wireless, i think
    we can really move the costs down.

    It's going to be exciting, with that kind of growth rate,
    it will happen.

    •  I am not sure we disagree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VL Baker, nzanne, jfromga

      The current commodity solar panel uses 20 year old technology. That technology has been optimized and I don't think will get cheaper. I do think solar can be less expensive, but with the adoption of new technology.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 01:21:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  interesting discussion (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VL Baker

        but the bottom line seems to be that new technology is in the works, looks promising, will be more efficient at producing electricity, lowering costs so that in the future solar will be able to provide much more electricity at competitive costs, so the trendline will probably continue as predicted.

        It makes not sense to assume no technological advances.  I remember the stories about the suggestion to close the patent office as surely everything had already been discovered more than 100 years ago.  Human history doesn't support a prediction that new technology won't appear.   Will it be enough, soon enough, to stop us from destroying the climate to the point where life is vitually unsupportable as we know it,  that seems to be the question, not will solar continue to expand and be cheaper.

      •  IC chips use 50 year old silicon (0+ / 0-)

        we've been optimizing silicon for 50 years.

        I suspect there is a lot more room to optimize silicon PV.

        Remember a lot of very bright people lost their asses
        betting against silicon.

        GaAs which was going to be everything, well, Silicon
        ran it down.

        SIlicon ran down CIGS, which should have been 6X cheaper.

        Who knows, i think there is still a lot of room to go.

        What did Feynman say? Lots of room at the bottom?

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