U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner today announced that with DOE funding, a concentrator solar cell produced by Boeing-Spectrolab has recently achieved a world-record conversion efficiency of 40.7 percent, establishing a new milestone in sunlight-to-electricity performance. This breakthrough may lead to systems with an installation cost of only $3 per watt, producing electricity at a cost of 8-10 cents per kilowatt/hour, making solar electricity a more cost-competitive and integral part of our nation’s energy mix.
(Emphasis definitely freakin’ mine.)
Not to out do Kevin’s exuberance, this is definitely a huge deal. $3 per watt to install? A 62% reduction in installation cost for PV panels?
I mean a breakthrough of this magnitude, stipulating that it could be produced in an appropriate scale, could revolutionize our nation’s energy grid. Currently sagging infrastructure would not need extensive repair, local grids could be set up by neighborhood. The lists go on and on. Again, that is a large stipulation, but a bummed out peak oil boy can dream can’t he?
I’ll leave the behind the scenes conspiracies to Cryptogon (I have to admit following through his links did give me pause)