# And a Merry Christmas One and All!

Yes, I know, that\’s tomorrow. But read this.

Solar PV at less than \$1 per Watt. Panels at less than \$2 per Watt.

Plus a variation of Li batteries that provides 10 times the storage.

That\’s cheaper than electricity from coal for the capital costs. Plus, of course, no fuel costs, nor CO2 while running.

They\’re actually shipping such cells, started last week.

Of course, the climate change opera ain\’t over until the fat lady sings, but this sounds like some pretty decent arpeggios as she prepares to do so.

As Lomborg said, at some point solar will be cheaper than fossil, then we\’ll all switch, won\’t we?

What a Merry Christmas!

#### 8 comments on “And a Merry Christmas One and All!”

1. And a merry Christmas to you.

I’m feeling pretty ill, and that article brought a large grin to my face for so many reasons. Particularly:-

“not interested in faeries’ farts and unicorn horn shavings used to power my smug machine”

2. countingcats says:

Solar will be a nice supplament, but there just isn’t enough of it. Insufficient radient energy density to do much more than nibble arount the edges of any fossil fuel problem you might mention.

Now, this might make a difference (energy at 10% of the cost of burning coal) , and we will know by mid year whether it truly works –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bussard

3. Randy (Internet Ronin) says:

Happy Christmas to you and yours, Tim!

4. See the 4th comment on that post. Anyone care to verify that maths?

5. anon says:

Pretty accurate – look like the numbers that Heinlein put in the his story about the discovery of cheap solar cells, in the 50s….

Say 20 watts a square yard. Take a plot of land 1 mile by 1 mile. 1760 yards * 1760 yards. 3,097, 600 sq yards. 61,952,000 watts per square mile.

A piece of land 3 miles * 3 miles would yield 557,568,000 watts. 558 Megawatts is pretty fair – a big coal power station takes up that kind of space.

6. Math in comment ballpark but:

Take PV film & use it as part of the lower hemisphere of a spherical balloon. The rest is transparent, Mylar or similar. Make the balloon big. Cubic mile or so. Fill it with warm air and let it float up. 150,000ft’d be nice. Rotate the balloon so that the PV area is pointing at the sun & keep it there & use the lensing effect of the rest of the envelope to direct the sunlight. Tether the balloon with nano-carbon cored cables & pass the generated electricity down the cables & into the grid. The thing’s above most of the atmosphere so it’s not worried about clouds or dust and by deforming the ‘lens’ it captures light from sun-up to dusk at maximum efficiency.
Oh & put in the right place it doubles as a ‘geosynchronous’ telecom ‘satellite’ as well.
A half square mile of PV @ 8% efficiency could yield 75MW

7. As John Brignell has pointed out time and again on Number Watch, tethered atmospheric power generation is idiotic. You will always run into problems stemming from a combination of cable mass and electrical insulation breakdown. Not to mention there was a time within living memory when we used to suspend cables tied to zeppelins all over the country. They were called ‘barrage balloons’. Bit dicey from an air-navigation perspective.

8. TDK says:

I don’t know what’s wrong with your link, David Gillies, but crashes my Firefox. I went to Number Watch and found the relevant link in the Forum: Something in the air…