eco: solar progress uphill
Energy Innovations, founded by Idealab dot-com incubator guy Bill Gross, has thought so hard about this, it's inspiring.
- They're focused on a great mission: "Our immediate goal is to reduce the payback time for a solar system so that it becomes a sensible and logical investment to electricity users around the world."
- They're focused on a great market: the billions of square feet of roofs of commercial buildings that just lie there, unused, baking in the sun.
- They're focused on cost over technology. Read their entire Innovations section, especially the "Lessons Learned". They looked at Stirling cycle engines, servo-controlled "petal" mirrors, big heliostat arrays, Fresnel lens concentrators, ... and abandoned them because they couldn't get them cheap enough in a short timeframe.
There are other companies with big ideas: cheap PV films, PV coatings, nano-scale concentrators, etc. While these efforts that could change the fate of the Earth get a few millions in venture funding, the 2005 US energy bill gives around $6 billion dollars in tax breaks to carbon-spewing global-warming smog-creating oil, ethanol, and coal producers.
Categories: solar, house, eco, EnergyInnovations