I remembered reading a while back about Nanosolar, the company trying to perfect extremely cheap, non-silicon based solar cells. And it occurred to me yesterday, “hey, how is that going, anyhow?”
After some Googling, it turns out that the answer to that question is very, very good indeed. The dawn of individual power generation is very nearly upon us, and it can’t come fast enough.
(Mind you, the United States alone uses over three terawatts of energy at peak hours right now, so, yeah, being able to produce 430 megawatts of generation capacity per year is, you know, not nearly enough. On the other hand, though, now that there’s a cheap model for people to copy, nanosolar production can be very easily advanced through government incentive programs. Imagine about a hundred of these factories and suddenly you’re producing 43 gigs of generation capacity every year; that’s the United States taken care of in a decade with room to spare. And that’s before someone unscrupulous just steals the technology outright and starts putting up factories in China.)