Talk:Our Future and the Sun - Vinay Gupta
Very nice article. I think we are going to get there – already several thin film photovoltaic manufacturers First Solar and Oerlikon (they are actually an equipment manufacturer with many client companies that run the fabs) can produce PV at well under $1/W. They of course don't sell it for that because there is still not enough competition in that price range to drive down the margins.
The big first generation crystal silicon players (Suntech, Sharp, Q-Cells, Yingli, etc.) are also constantly pushing down costs as they continue to scale in the multi-GW range for factories. We still have a ways to go though – because that is just the PV panels. The balance of systems costs and the installation costs need to get below that $1/W line as well. I would caution tying the argument to specific companies (NanoSolar and Konarka) rather than using them specific examples in the chapter of. Both of them could end up to be great champions of inexpensive solar power – but they could also both bomb out. Even with proven lab cells – the challenges of scaling up manufacturing, encapsulation, long term reliability, stability, etc. are all non-trivial and can take a long time to master. There are a lot of other players looking at the PV on polymer space.
I am incredibly confident that we will get there technically. Already we could do it just by scaling up what we already know – I just hope we get our act together – so we don't end up with solar power chain saws trashing the last of the forests or some other solar powered nightmare....
--Joshua 12:31, 18 October 2010 (UTC)