1kg CIGS = 5kg Uranium

Martin Roscheisen made this very telling comparison on his blog recently. Without question, the one side effect of nano techniques is the dearth of raw materials actually required. This something not fully appreciated by those in the materials side of things.

Of course, that one kilo has to be spread on many square miles of substrate to generate the actual energy.
Regardless this technology is going to change all aspects of the energy business and the sheer capacity to have one tool produce the energy equivalent of one nuclear plant each and every year has not sunk in yet. That is going to need a year, by which time I hope to have an early version of the Eden machine operating.

Before we are all finished, every square mile of usable land on Earth will have a large surplus of power to dispose of in the daily course of business, either at the farm gate or internally. It is just that simple.

It will still take decades to perfect efficient networks and adapt our civilization to this new bounty of energy. But make no mistake, it is a bounty. The average household will be primary producer of power at a nominal cost. There will be no distribution system to pay for.

This power source has a starting selling price of $1.00 per watt which competes now with every other option. A couple years out, the selling price can be much lower and capacity can be at four nuclear power plants and doubling every year therafter until the Earth is saturated.

1kg CIGS = 5kg Uranium

December 16, 2008

By Martin Roscheisen, CEO - Nanosolar

The notion of a kilogram of enriched Uranium conjures up an image of a powerful amount of energy.
Enough to power an entire city for years when used in a nuclear power plant, or enough to flatten an entire county when used in a bomb — that’s presumably what many people would say if one asked them about their thoughts.

In our new solar cell technology, we use an active material called CIGS, a Copper based semiconductor. How does this stack up against enriched Uranium?

Here’s a noteworthy fact, pointed out to me by one of our engineers: It turns out that 1kg of CIGS, embedded in a solar cell, produces 5 times as much electricity as 1kg of enriched Uranium, embedded in a nuclear power plant.

Or said differently, 1kg of CIGS is equivalent to 5kg of enriched Uranium in terms of the energy the materials deliver in solar and nuclear respectively.

The Uranium is burned and then stored in a nuclear waste facility; the CIGS material produces power for at least the warranty period of the solar cell product after which it can then be recycled and reused an indefinite number of times.

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