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The Solar Singularity?

Arnold Kling has some thoughts on our near-term (in the next couple decades) energy future.


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Dennis Ray Wingo wrote:

I don't buy what Kurzwell is selling. Rand is right, without subsidies solar is not a good deal. The problem is the cost of purification of the silicon. Until we can get the cost of that down to about 1/4 what it is today we really aren't going to make a lot of progress.

Paul F. Dietz wrote:

There are solar technologies that don't use silicon (CIGS, CdTe, GaAs concentrator, solar thermal) or use much less of it (highly textured Si, x-Si concentrator, a-Si). Each of these has their own issues, though.

The historic decline in the cost of PV has followed an experience curve with an exponent of roughly -0.2 (so, the cost per unit of PV capacity goes as about (cumulative production)^-0.2). This is about what you see in the aerospace industry, not the microelectronics industry.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on March 10, 2008 8:02 AM.

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