Thursday, November 29, 2007

Woo-Hoo. No Really. Solar panels at $USD0.30/watt

This is just the best news. Big award, for a deserving company.

With current solar at around$USD3-5/watt, buying say 2 or 3 kw of panels is economic madness, particularly when you do the conversion to the Kiwi Peso. Best price I've seen for silicon is around $NZD9/watt. Times that by, what the hell, 3000, and that's a lot of pesos.

No more.

Nanosolar (hmm, I seem to have figured this out early this year) is just, according to the money quote from the PopSci award linked above, "putting down factories instead of blathering to the press and doing endless experiments. These guys are getting on with it, and that is impressive."

And at say $NZD 50c/watt (once supply gets here, say 2009 - Nanosolar have a lot of pre-committed sales), why, that 2-3kw of solid generation you need, looks suddenly quite affordable. $NZD 1,500 for thin-film, versus $NZD 27,000 for silicon - well, I think dat's what dey call a no-brainer.

To be sure, there will be conversion efficiency differences, and other factors which will make the thin-film look less rosy. But there's a lot of wiggle room in that price diferential, to soak up these factors. Even if the thing ends up just being one-quarter of the silicon price, instead of well under one-tenth, the outlay is not too much of a stretch for households.

And that's the secret. really. Widespread adoption. Bring it on.

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