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 Mar 02, 2009 - 08:00 AM - by Michael
* Affordable solar power?

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
This could be interesting - Popular Mechanics says that The $1/Watt solar power barrier may have been broken.

That's the price we need to have solar power "efficient" for home usage on a wide scale. The problem? They may have the process but lack enough raw materials to deliver to the demand:



First Solar's eventual goal is "grid parity," a phrase that refers to making solar power cost the same as competing conventional power sources without subsidies. Right now the cost of making panels accounts for a little less than half the total cost of installation. The company estimates that it needs to get manufacturing costs down to $0.65 to $0.70 per watt, and other installation costs down to $1 a watt in order to reach grid parity?goals First Solar plans to reach by 2012.

The question, though, is whether First Solar or any other solar manufacturer would be able to handle the flood of orders that would ensue if they reached competitive cost. At that point, it comes down to a matter of having enough of raw materials.
Intriguing. The other side we need is battery technology - most people aren't home during the time when these would be producing most heavily and will need some hefty battery storage in order to put it to use during the mornings/evenings.
 

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