Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Solar: Too expensive!

Some data points for the "renewables are too expensive crowd":

1) Korean researchers develop plastic solar panels that deliver power at $0.10 per watt. (Rule of thumb: coal is $1/watt, nuclear as much as $6/watt.)

2) NJIT researcher developing process that could lead to home-made solar panels from your inkjet printer.

3) California utility buying concentrating solar power at $0.10 per kilowatt-hour. Peak cost of electricity in Ontario, yesterday at 3PM: $0.09 per kilowatt-hour. (This was about twice the average for the year so far, but the point is clearly, we can afford it.)

4) And if you need to store renewable energy, how about a big block of pencil-lead?

1 comment:

Green Assassin Brigade said...

None of these technologies are ready for home use but certainly the concentrator style using the sterling engine is entering use on a commercial level. There are a number of concentrator sytems almost ready for home use it's just he tracking ability which makes them questionable for durability.

The only one here I would discount is the self printable one which is quite laughable in that they claim such a low price per watt yet the carbon nano tubes they plan on using still cost a bizillion dollars to manufacture.

As for energy storage, on a commerial scale I perfer
Vrb a Canadian company using Vanadium redux flow batteries in Ireland wind farms for load leveling.