Cheap solar power poised to undercut oil and gas by half

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Fri, 23 Feb 2007 00:59:34 GMT  <== Science/Technology ==> 

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at The Telegraph - within five years, it may be possible to generate electricity from solar cells for cheaper than traditional methods. I hope so. [root]

Anil Sethi, the chief executive of the Swiss start-up company Flisom, says he looks forward to the day - not so far off - when entire cities in America and Europe generate their heating, lighting and air-conditioning needs from solar films on buildings with enough left over to feed a surplus back into the grid.

The secret? Mr Sethi lovingly cradles a piece of dark polymer foil, as thin a sheet of paper. It is 200 times lighter than the normal glass-based solar materials, which require expensive substrates and roof support. Indeed, it is so light it can be stuck to the sides of buildings.


Villages across Asia and Africa that have never seen electricity may soon leapfrog directly into the solar age, replicating the jump to mobile phones seen in countries that never had a network of fixed lines. As a by-product, India's rural poor will stop blanketing the subcontinent with soot from tens of millions of open stoves.

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One objection I've heard to

Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 28 Feb 2007 15:09:11 GMT

One objection I've heard to using vast amount of wind power is that the windmills actually change weather patterns. Is it possible that widespread use of solar panels could accomplish the same thing, as more and more solar energy is converted into electricity and less into heat on the Earth's surface?

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