Friday, August 15, 2008

first industrial-strength solar power plants, in california (where else?)

aug 15th, 2008

just in time for independence day: energy security is just over the horizon via solar.

note one plant is using thin-film material and the other crystalline silicon.

if you take into account the enormous indirect investment that has gone into hydrocarbon-based electricity generation (eg. pipelines and ports for moving natural gas and oil; railroads for moving coal around) and if you consider their enormous carbon footprint, i would say solar power is entirely competitive right now. the fully amortized long-term cost of hydrocarbon-based (and also of nuclear waste-generating nuclear) plants is taken into account, i'd say solar is probably cheaper, and will continue to get cheaper as economies of scale kick in.