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Friday, August 2, 2013

This will put solar energy in warp speed

Recently, I wrote about the invention and development out of UCLA that allowed solar photovoltaic cells to be transparent. It would make the laying on of these clear cells as sheets, very likely, on existing glass and windows to create electricity quickly, far more clean and far less expensive.

Now, today, I found this and its prediction, mirroring mine but far more precisely:

Foster's Solar-Skinned Buildings Signal Market Tripling

From the article:

From stadiums in Brazil to a bank headquarters in Britain, architects led by Norman Foster are integrating solar cells into the skin of buildings, helping the market for the technology triple within two years.

Sun-powered systems will top the stadia hosting 2014 FIFA World Cup football in Brazil. In Manchester, northern England, the Co-operative Group Ltd. office has cells from Solar Century Holdings Ltd. clad into its vertical surfaces.

The projects mark an effort by designers to adopt building-integrated photovoltaics, or BIPV, where the power-generating features are planned from the start instead of tacked on as an afterthought. Foster and his customers are seeking to produce eye-catching works while meeting a European Union directive that new buildings should produce next to zero emissions after 2020.

“Building integrated solar in office buildings and factories which generate energy consistently during daylight hours, whilst not requiring additional expensive land space or unsightly installations, is seen as the most obvious energy solution,” said Gavin Rezos, principal of Viaticus Capital Ltd., an Australian corporate advisory company that’s one of the private equityfunds putting money into the technology.
Growing Market

The market for solar laid onto buildings and into building materials is expected to grow to $7.5 billion by 2015 from about $2.1 billion, according to Accenture Plc, citing research from NanoMarkets. Sales of solar glass are expected to reach as much as $4.2 billion by 2015, with walls integrating solar cellsat $830 million. About $1.5 billion is expected to be generated from solar tiles and shingles.

The technology provides a respite for solar manufacturers, opening the way for them to charge a premium for products. Traditional solar panel prices have fallen 90 percent since 2008 due to oversupply, cutting margins and pushing more than 30 companies including Q-Cells SE and a unit of Suntech Power Holdings Co. into bankruptcy.

We are truly, I think, clearly on the verge of an energy revolution that will take the world and rather quickly. A great deal of good will come from this, too, like far less expensive electricity for all and made far cleaner. Energy to our homes could nearly become like water, it seems. Possibly even less expensive than that. 

Imagine how quickly the owners of the businesses in the nation will want to buy up this technology, so they can create their own electricity so they cut their energy bill drastically.  Look at the Kansas City skyline alone:

And it's these businesses and corporations and buildings, doing this first--and likely very rapidly, since they'll save so much money so quickly--that will expedite this transition across the nation and world. Then, once that's forthcoming, it will be available for homes as well.

What's unfortunate is that all the governments across the world should respond to this a bit ahead of time by creating a necessary transition from our coal- and nuclear-based plants, generating power now, the way we're set up, to their being a "back up", which is what we'll need them for.

But governments, by and large, likely won't do that.

Here's hoping we get smart first, before this all takes place.

Solar panels will, very, very shortly, be a thing of the past, an energy dinosaur, as will coal and nuclear power.

Thank goodness and good riddance.

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