1. Joined
    06 Mar '12
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    625
    23 Jul '15 09:2015 edits
    http://phys.org/news/2015-07-solar-power.html

    this link is not to give news of any particular breakthrough but rather is just here for the layperson who wants to know something about where the world currently stands on solar and where it may be heading.

    Note the assertion in that link which asserts something which I think too many people fail to fully appreciate or, worse, completely fail to appropriate at all, which is:

    "...
    "It's not fair to compare solar and wind with technologies that pollute," said Fthenakis. "We don't account for the societal costs of pollution from coal. … If we did, we'd see that electricity from coal is a lot more expensive than what we actually pay for it. This would make wind and solar much more appealing."
    ..."

    It is pretty obvious to most people that have studied all this and generally kept up-to-date on solar research like I have that, in about 20 years time if not much earlier, solar panels would surely be much cheaper than they are now and would be perhaps something like only ~one-tenth of the current price per unit area (perovskite solar cells currently show the greatest promise to make this happen but that could change with advances in other solar technologies currently in the research stage ); and the price will just keep going down.
    This, along with possible significant gains in energy efficiency, would surely make solar energy much more cost effective than it is now and more cost effective than fossil fuels even in many areas of the world least favorable for solar such as most places in the UK but, even in the north parts in the UK, currently solar panels typically pay for themselves within about 9 or 10 years despite this. I got that figure from; http://www.theguardian.com/uk/the-northerner/2012/sep/18/solar-panels-leeds-manchester-liverpool-sheffield-newcastle. And this is ignoring the pollution costs of fossil fuels!
    So, even in the UK, solar power with current solar panel designs can, over a 10 year period or more, economically out-compete fossil fuels although currently it far from completely replaces fossil fuels.

    Of course, various other (none solar ) renewables are already highly cost effective and already economically out-compete fossil fuels (even ignoring the pollution costs ) in many areas of the world. For example, many hydroelectric dams have already payed for themselves but are still producing electricity.
  2. Germany
    Joined
    27 Oct '08
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    3081
    23 Jul '15 10:08
    Much of the future of solar power will depend on the development of cheaper and more robust organic-based solar power cells.
  3. Joined
    06 Mar '12
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    625
    23 Jul '15 10:243 edits
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Much of the future of solar power will depend on the development of cheaper and more robust organic-based solar power cells.
    But currently perovskite solar cells currently show the greatest promise to dramatically reduce costs within the next ~20 years and I am sure will dramatically reduce costs within ~20 years if no other solar technology (such as organic-based solar power cells ) pans out in the mean time.
    But I agree that organic-based solar power cells also have huge potential to reduce costs if fully developed.
    I think one of these several solar technologies is bound to pan out within the next 20 years making much cheaper solar pretty much inevitable.
  4. Joined
    11 Nov '05
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    43938
    25 Jul '15 09:45
    What kind of solar power are we talking about?
    And what scale are we talking about?
    Just so we discuss the same thing here...
  5. Standard memberSoothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    Planet Rain
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    25 Jul '15 18:33
    Originally posted by humy
    http://phys.org/news/2015-07-solar-power.html

    this link is not to give news of any particular breakthrough but rather is just here for the layperson who wants to know something about where the world currently stands on solar and where it may be heading.

    Note the assertion in that link which asserts something which I think too many people fail to fully app ...[text shortened]... , many hydroelectric dams have already payed for themselves but are still producing electricity.
    Hell, if we replaced the tin-foil hats of all the right-wing nutters in the US with comparable sized solar panels, we could power Oklahoma City for a year.
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