Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Grid Parity"

I've been hearing about news like this for several months now, due to my work with Applied Materials, the company partly responsible for the technology revolution due to their production of the machines that make computer chips. Now Applied Materials is concentrating on producing the machines that will make photovoltaic solar arrays.

With increased capacity (and higher oil prices), we are now only a couple of years away from what is called "grid parity" -- the point when the cost to produce a kilowatt of power is the same for solar as it is for fossil fuels.

Money quote: "At the point of grid parity all kinds of things become possible, including the widespread introduction of plug-in hybrids, and a corresponding decrease in global dependence on oil for transportation needs. Sure all such predictions need to be taken with a grain of salt. But 40 percent annual growth -- which is what is occurring right now -- is nothing to sneeze at. We are getting closer."

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