Over the past year I have alluded to the pending change taking over the solar energy business. You may wish to reread these posts.
The breakthrough is happening now. Nanosolar which is partially funded by the founders of Google has successfully produced a printing tool that is now producing by using print technology sheets of photovoltaic material on a metal substrate. This is ahead of my expectations and the stage is now set for a rapid decline in the cost per watt of installed power. From now on, all the remaining problems are merely perfecting what is clearly working.
The apparent energy yield is peaking at 13%, which suggests that the usual yield is comparable to that of the amorphous silica that we use on calculators or close to 10%. As the technology is advanced, there are promising strategies that suggest 30% is possible.
Regardless, this is enough to fully justify making a tool to produce this product by the mile.
The tool is now doing 100 feet per minute and their objective is to hit 2000 feet per minute.
The real importance of printed solar energy panels is to drive the cost of solar energy from the current $6.00 per installed watt to below $.50. This is absolutely huge. It makes all other forms of static energy including coal obsolete and simply more expensive. They are already shipping at $1.00 per watt.
The tool, which came in at under $2,000,000 and is working, generates enough product in a year to replace a nuclear power plant. All other forms of alternative static energy are thus toast. I really cannot say this any more strongly. The entire power industry is about to find out that their most valuable assets are the local distribution systems. These are about to be fed by local solar plants good for perhaps 5000 homes at a time.
Right now, with the machine running, the product design team is picking the low hanging fruit. As costs drop, there will be many machines made and the new infrastructure will quickly emerge everywhere. Remember how India and China jumped over the need for land lines in the telecommunication industry? The rest of the world is about to be able to jump past the need for high voltage power systems and power plants.
This should be in full roll out mode within a couple of years as everyone understands the implications. And yes we are all going to be driving electric cars very soon. It suddenly became too easy and way too cheap.
The site that you need to visit can be googled under the word nanosolar. The enthusiasm is totally justified and these boys have already been shipping product for six months. It will soon be front page news.