With all the exciting news that seems to constantly be happening in the solar energy world, it can sometimes be easy to forget that even the most recent of technological breakthroughs will eventually be things of the past in favor of further technological developments. It leaves plenty of excitement to be had for upcoming gadgets that offer the ability to harness energy from both solar power and ambient lighting into even more energy to power the likes of cell phones, tablets, and plenty more.
When it comes to the bigger steps forward for the solar energy world, we tend to talk about those things somewhat often here on this very blog. But it’s rare that we see all those points compiled in the same place. Between progressing technologies, lowering costs, storage capacities, and lowering appeal of other energy outlets, the folks at readwrite.com summed up each of these points in a recent piece that shouldn’t be missed.
Check out a snipped of the list below…
- Swanson’s Law. This rule, a play on Moore’s law, posits that the cost of the photovoltaic solar cells used to generate solar power will fall by about 20% each time global manufacturing capacity doubles. Spin that forward a few generations and you have the prospect of solar power plants that are reasonably cheap to build… and nearly free to operate.
- Better electricity storage and transmission. The sun doesn’t always shine, of course. But new types of industrial-scale battery storage — whether using liquid-electrolyte “flow” cells or something else — could make it possible to save energy produced while the sun beams down for, well, a rainy day. And then transmit it to where it can do the most good.
- New photovoltaic technologies. Forget Solyndra. Yes, its failure was a cause celebre for a while, but quite a lot has been going on outside that spotlight. In December, for instance, San Jose, Calif.-based Solar Junction hit a world record 44% solar conversion efficiency with a new type of photovoltaic cell. Many other startups continue to win federal funding for promising photovoltaic manufacturing processes that will keep Swanson’s Law in business.
- Climate change and high fossil-fuel prices. Should global temperatures continue to rise, or should oil prices remain high due to “peak oil” — or both — that would go a long way toward creating the economic incentives necessary to push solar technologies into mainstream energy production.
One exciting aspect of all of this is that there’s no real place for any of these points to top out. Each could continue to progress and develop to become more efficient or cost-effective over time. In the meantime, the creative minds of the world will surely provide the industry with plenty of other revolutions to continue taking solar technology to new heights!
Check out the full article of the list reference above by heading here: http://readwrite.com/2013/03/12/solar-power-the-next-big-thing