Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday Links

  • The above shows recent and projected costs per watt for Chinese solar panels.  The recent price reductions have been incredible.  This is the primary reason why Solera went out of business and this is capitalism doing what it does best: brutal competition to get more and more efficient, the weakest going to the wall, and a critically important technology becoming cheaper and cheaper for global civilization to use.  (Source: Greentech Media).
  • Some of the US Great Lakes are at all-time record low levels.
  • Catherine Rampell is sceptical about the ability of robots/algorithms to displace people long-term.  However, I didn't think the piece was very insightful and in particular doesn't take on the strongest arguments for why this time is different. 
  • A bold choice for interior secretary.
  • Useful explanation from Heading Out of why recovery rates from fraccing tight oil rocks will necessarily be very low.
  • Places that wind power does not make sense.

4 comments:

Cyrus said...

Looks great but it doesnt look like Moore's law. I wonder how much the cost is subsidized by cheap coal or fossil fuels.

thanks again for the awesome blog.

Cyrus

Bob Carver said...

That leveling off of price declines for solar this year is worrying. If solar is going to replace fossil fuels, we need to keep that rate descending rapidly. Or, bring cheap storage on line. In that regard I think there's great hope for a particular supercapacitor technology to exceed chemical batteries in cost and energy density in the next couple of years, but that's all I can say about that subject right now (NDA). There's a leap between lab and production, so it's not certain that storage will make the leap. The lab results, though. look very exciting.

Brett said...

But the Chinese are pouring vast amounts of subsidies into the sector. Are things actually getting cheaper?

Mr. Sunshine said...

The majority of small wind power installations make little to no power, since nobody does an actual year-long wind resource inventory. I've taught my RE students for years to remember, "you can't have small wind without 'swindle.'
http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/mar/30/nv-energy-windmill-program-generates-rebates-littl/ "As first reported by the Reno Gazette-Journal, one turbine that cost the city $21,000 to install saved the city $4 on its energy bill."