Solar will save us

USA Today busted out with a summary of the solar industry that shines the light of optimism for us all. Some choice quotes that make me hopeful:

The outlook for solar, though, is getting much brighter. A few dozen companies say advances in technology will let them halve the price of solar-panel installations in as little as three years. By 2014, solar-system prices will be competitive with conventional electricity when energy savings are figured in, Deutsche Bank says. And that’s without government incentives.

and

Wal-Mart recently said it’s putting solar panels on more than 20 of its stores in California and Hawaii. Google is blanketing its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters with 9,212 solar panels, enough to light 1,000 homes.

Solar power is one of my favorite solutions to global warming and the eventual oil supply peak. It’s totally clean and the raw material – sunlight – comes free of charge. Plus, no power lines, no reactors, no coal plants. Even as R & D departments solve the price problem by finding ways to generate more electricity from less sunlight, there is still one major flaw: batteries. At midday solar panels can produce more electricity then a given home requires, but at night, nothing. And then what about stormy days? You’re screwed. So we need good batteries. Still, the more solar panels, the better, I say.

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