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For Those Who Think Solar Is Dead

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Old_Trapper70, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. Old_Trapper70

    Old_Trapper70 Well-Known Member

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    You really need to read this and educate yourselves:

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/06/26/the-race-to-solar-power-africa

    "Electrifying Africa is one of the largest development challenges on earth. Until recently, most people assumed that the continent would electrify in the same manner as the rest of the globe. “The belief was, you’d eventually build the U.S. grid here,” Xavier Helgesen, the American co-founder and C.E.O. of Off-Grid Electric, told me. “But the U.S. is the richest country on earth, and it wasn’t fully electrified until the nineteen-forties, and that was in an era of cheap copper for wires, cheap timber for poles, cheap coal, and cheap capital. None of that is so cheap anymore, at least not over here.
    Solar electricity, on the other hand, has become inexpensive, in part because the price of solar panels has fallen at the same time that the efficiency of light bulbs and appliances has dramatically increased. In 2009, a single compact fluorescent bulb and a lead-acid battery cost about forty dollars; now, using L.E.D. bulbs and lithium-ion batteries, you can get four times as much light for the same price. In 2009, a radio, a mobile-phone charger, and a solar system big enough to provide four hours of light and television a day would have cost a Kenyan a thousand dollars; now it’s three hundred and fifty dollars.

    President Trump has derided renewable energy as “really just an expensive way of making the tree huggers feel good about themselves.” But many Western entrepreneurs see solar power in Africa as a chance to reach a large market and make a substantial profit. This is a nascent industry, which, at the moment, represents a small percentage of the electrification in the region, and is mostly in rural areas. There’s plenty of uncertainty about its future, and no guarantee that it will spread at the pace of cell phones. Still, in the past eighteen months, these businesses have brought electricity to hundreds of thousands of consumers—many of them in places that the grid failed to reach, despite a hundred-year head start. Funding, much of it from private investors based in Silicon Valley or Europe, is flowing into this sector—more than two hundred million dollars in venture capital last year, up from nineteen million in 2013—and companies are rapidly expanding their operations with the new money. M-Kopa, an American startup that launched in Kenya, in 2011, now has half a million pay-as-you-go solar customers; d.light, a competitor with offices in California, Kenya, China, and India, says that it is adding eight hundred new households a day. Nicole Poindexter, the founder and C.E.O. of Black Star, told me that every million dollars the company raises in venture capital delivers power to seven thousand people. She expects Black Star to be profitable within the next three years"
     
  2. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Market forces dictate that solar and wind will gradually replace the old fossil fuel generators. It won't matter in the end whether the "left" or the "right" are in favor of solar, or who has promised coal miners their jobs back. Technology will determine the energy of the future.

    Eventually, we'll have matter to energy conversion. In the meantime, we'll harness the power of the sun. Standing in the way of progress is like insisting that whale oil is better than petroleum.
     
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  3. Openmind

    Openmind Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely!

    Only imbeciles and uneducated people continue to ignore the absolute inevitability of that!

    Solar Power: Price Drops Will Gut Coal Industry by 2040, Study Says ...
    fortune.com/2017/06/17/cheap-solar-power-coal-industry-crash/
    Jun 17, 2017 - A new report concludes that solar energy will be a cheaper way to generate electricity than coal in most parts of the world by 2021.
    The Coal Museum Switches To Solar : NPR
    www.npr.org/2017/04/07/522968575/the-coal-museum-switches-to-solar
    Apr 7, 2017 - The Kentucky Coal Museum depicts "the lives that revolve around the coal industry." But WYMT reports they now get their power from solar
     
  4. Aus22

    Aus22 Well-Known Member

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    Australia has more household with solar panels than anywhere else in the world. They keep down electricity bills.
     
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