Monthly Archives: March 2014

What can we really do about peak oil and global warming?

If you want to solve global warming, here is the method: help solar to beat the price per kilowatt-hour of natural gas. I think it can happen.

Consider the future of solar power. The price of panels is dropping quickly. A price of $0.50 per peak watt would have been absurdly optimistic a few years ago but it is now a virtual certainty. While solar panels may not advance as rapidly as Moore’s Law (as I read recently) they still fall in price by a significant margin every few years. I got my price data from renewableenergyworld.com. After removing the points from 2006-2008 because those years were hit hard by a silicon shortage, the data actually fit an exponential decay reasonably well.

 matlab_solar_energy_calcs

This graph shows the price of solar panels (blue circles) and an exponential fit to these data (green line). The black line indicates $0.50 per watt.

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