Climate change is solved

I see the cost of [solar] photovoltaics going down and down. Right now it\’s about $4 per watt for full installation. In 10 years\’ time, it will certainly be less than $2. If it\’s $1 or $1.25 then everyone will put it up without subsidy.

That\’s Steven Chu, US Energy Sexcretary.

And he\’s absolutely right. As soon as non fossil energy generation is cheaper than fossil energy generation then the problem goes away.

Yes, even things like cars….if electricty is cheap enough then cracking water to make hydrogen for fuel cells, or battery powered cars, these work.

Essentially, whatever it was that we needed to do we\’ve already done. Sure, getting the manufacturing cost of the necessary technologies takes time but we did start doing this a couple of decades ago.

5 comments on “Climate change is solved

  1. “In 10 years’ time, it will certainly be less than $2”; nothing is certain in 10 years’ time. “Likely”, maybe; “certain”, no.

  2. I’ve been saying this for years (no, really I have). Solar panels are already (just) viable in sunnier climes.

  3. For what it’s worth, solar panels (unsubsidised) can be seen on the roofs of virtually every private house in Arequipa, Peru, where the sun shines almost every day.

  4. Oh Goody … at a load factor of around 10 percent (for a domestic installation in temperate climes), that makes the cost about $40 per Watt of actual capacity … as opposed to about $1 per Watt for a CCGT plant.

    As to costs, as pressure for raw materials increases, they are more likely to increase in price than reduce.

  5. Richard:

    As to costs, as pressure for raw materials increases, they are more likely to increase in price than reduce…….

    I imagine that if our electronics still relied upon valves, then they would be more expensive than 60 years ago. However, technological progress means that new materials may be substituted for the old ones. There are numerous technologies that can make extremely cheap solar cells (in terms of raw materials) in a lab. It is highly probable that at least one will make it to the market.

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