Sunday, March 30, 2008

Solar Power cheaper than Coal?

Apparently it's finally coming. Solar may become cheaper than coal thanks to a company called 1366 Technologies (H/T Paul Kedrosky). I did a quick search and found this from an entirely different company, Nanosolar. While I've no doubt that it will be a hard road to commercialization, proving that concepts can work in the lab is the first step.

While some people seem to believe that oil prices will continue upwards forever, cheap solar or any other form of alternative energy for that matter (or even dramatically more efficient internal combustion engines), will mean that prices will one day collapse. High prices are only driving the speed of investment. While neither company are public, trying to project which company ultimately wins the race will be difficult (particularly since Nanosolar and 1366 aren't the only ones). The companies that may benefit the most may be those like Applied Materials who build the equipment to make the solar cells, and also firms where the cost of energy is a material amount of their direct costs and who will benefit from cheap energy.

Given the coming energy requirements of India and China alone, this will be great news.

No comments: