Blog Action Day: Solar Energy

Blog Action Day?

On October 15th - Blog Action Day, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyones mind.

In its inaugural year, Blog Action Day will be co-ordinating bloggers to tackle the issue of the environment. Click on the image to learn more.

Al Gore just recently received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of the environment. Obviously there's some momentum building here. When I was in grade school, back in the early 1970s, the teachers often had us write letters to politicians decrying the state of the environment and pleading with them to "do something about it". That was over 30 years ago and solar is finally hitting the big time now.

According to an article in the October 15 issue of Forbes, The Future's so Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades, the market capitalization of solar energy companies has increased from $1 Billion in 2004 to $71 Billion in 2007. Capitalists tend to be realists. If they're buying shares of solar companies, there's a reason for it. They expect the solar energy area to finally be profitable---and that means that more people than ever will be using solar energy.

A very good online Forbes Solar energy info supplement can be found here.

The 2004 Solar Energy Conference gathered 800 people together... this year the conference was attended by over 10,000 people in Long Beach, CA with celebrities making presentations. After decades of waiting on scientific advances and popular acceptance, solar energy is finally poised to make a difference.

Currently solar energy costs about 23 cents a kilowatt / hour to produce. Power derived from the electrical grid is typically under 10 cents a k/h. However electricity obtained from coal and gas is increasing in price whereas solar power is dropping rapidly. Deutsche Bank projects the cost of Solar energy to drop below the critical 10 cent k/h mark by 2018 and they project the cost of solar to drop below conventionally obtained electricity by 2013.

With the subsidies that many governments offer, the price of home based solar is comparable to energy bought off of the grid today. But the real benefit will be taking power plants offline and replacing them with solar--and that's where the projections of solar dropping below coal in 2013 are so intriguing. When solar is cheaper, the big power companies--who are already testing solar and even today 140 megawatts of electricity are obtained from solar in the USA--will make the switch. Unfortunately it takes a long time to bring a power plant online so hopefully the power companies are already building those plants.

I mentioned that in the US we derive 140 megawatts of electricity from solar. Japan and Germany dwarf us in that regard with 300 and 968 megawatts each year. Those numbers are up 2fold to 12 fold in just 4 years. Solar is arriving so get out your shades.

Comments

SassyAssy said…
Guess I had better find my sunglasses ...
Into the Light said…
I'm sorry... what am I supposed to do???
GA Girl said…
Yea! Affordable solar is on the way!
Brit Blaise said…
Was that a compliment? LOL
My Den said…
Just wanted to say thanks for dropping by My Den. If only we have been using solar energy in a big way 30 years back, things might be a lot better now.Take care.

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