Increasing the pie through Massive Scaling of Solar Energy

invVEST goals: Breakthrough scaling of Solar initiatives in the US.
Click here to view, participate or create initiatives to support this.
For more info, please read BreakThrough Solar Energy Initiative.

Moderators: Probir Ghosh, Dr. Rajan Kapur, Dr. John Barnes

Increasing the pie through Massive Scaling of Solar Energy

Postby Probir Ghosh » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:39 pm

In 2008, the total energy requirement from all fossil fuels, Hydro, Nuclear, and all other energy sources for our world is 100,000 times less than the amount of solar energy that falls on the earth. Even with our current technologies we will need 160,000 sq miles of solar panels on the ground to supply our total energy needs for our world.

Image

In 2008, Solar Energy generated less than 0.005% of total energy needs for our world. To generate 25% of our world’s total energy from solar energy, we need to scale at least 10,000 times more given that our energy consumption will double by 2030. That equates to a $6 Trillion Market at the very least, 30 times bigger than Exxon or a 150 times bigger than Microsoft.

So do we want to focus on slicing the pie or making the pie exponentially bigger through massive scaling?

For an indepth understanding, read invVEST Strategy (1.4mb PDF)
Probir Ghosh
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:13 pm

Re: Increasing the pie through Massive Scaling of Solar Energy

Postby Matt Baker » Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:29 pm

I wholeheartedly agree!
Matt Baker
Matt Baker
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:48 am

Re: Increasing the pie through Massive Scaling of Solar Energy

Postby Probir Ghosh » Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:38 pm

Massive Scaling in the flat plate PV Industry has already shown that First Solar can bring the price down below $1/W. While they do not have any competitor that can come close to their cost in the flat plate PV industry, and they were booked solid, they were not too flexible in their pricing until this year.

With serious competition from CPV side who are offering in the mid to high $2/W range plus the promise of a limited energy storage, First Solar is now trying to aggressively meet or beat the prices to protect their future growth. Massive scaling will enable new upstarts like Abound, PrimeStar, Ascent Solar to thrive so the nation and especially Colorado should ramp up up the Solar plan aggressively by creating significantly higher funding sources (5- 10X more) for the solar industry to thrive in Colorado. The single largest need is to have a long term program similar to the 20 year German model, but designed for US policies and parameters that will induce increased competition among low cost providers and bring the price/W down dramatically. We need to streamline BOS dramatically, starting with automating permiting procedures to cut down from the estimated $1/W cost.

The Massive Scale goal will be to get solar installed pricing below $2.50/W for rooftops and $1.50/W for utility scale solar plants. Whichever technology Flat Plate PV/ CPV can get to that price by 2015 will have a breakthrough.

A much more detailed indepth plan on how to massively scale the industry is available in BreakThrough Solar Energy Initiative document. We need to get key thought leaders together to brainstorm on policies and bottlenecks for funding and other areas to be sorted out for massive scaling. WE should be installing 8 GW/year if we were to install equivalent to Germany (equalized by GDP ratio). Our ability to ramp up is not technology, which is not the bottleneck to get to power parity with fossil fuels for solar; it is the lack of a comprehensive vision and focus that is stopping us.
Probir Ghosh
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:13 pm

Return to Solar Energy Cluster

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron