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Is the Future of Silicon Valley Solar?

Brian McConnell writes an interesting argument on why Silicon Valley should go into the renewable energy business. It makes sense to me. For the last two years I've been ranting about the fact that most of the arguments against solar are from the Carter years when digital watches were new and computing technology as we now think of it was virtually non-existent. The lack of "control systems" and such that held back solar can't be nearly as complicated as what friends have done with X10 devices. Read the article. It will open your eyes.

Even without banking on major breakthroughs, it should be possible to substantially reduce costs. For example, a 50 percent reduction in design and installation costs (due largely to simplified components, not exotic new technologies) would reduce total project costs by 15 percent or more, even if production efficiency remains unchanged. Factor in reasonable assumptions about improvements in production efficiency, say 10 percent per year, and it will be possible to reduce overall per-unit costs by 50 percent in five years, more than enough to tip the balance in favor of solar electricity in many markets, especially if energy prices continue to creep upward.

Read the article here.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli

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