In response to:

The Pixie Dust Energy Source

Zircon Wrote: Aug 05, 2012 10:54 AM
You need to look beyond battery technology for the kind of storage necessary for the commercial grid. My point is that none of this is being done. My other discussion about batteries and submarines was to point out that when you can't get power (you're 30 mi from the nearest transmission line or 1,000' down in the ocean) there are alternatives available, people do use them, but they are not cheap, and there are obviously drawbacks. To Space's idea about central power being more efficient: it is. A central electric generating station runs at about 30 - 33% efficiency and it is possible to move this up into the 50% range with co-generation. Your average auto engine is lucky to achieve 20% efficiency.

Solar is the power of the future and the power of the past. What solar isn’t, is the power of the present. That’s because using solar power to generate electricity is expensive. Still. And that’s not going to change anytime soon, no matter how many political fundraisers are held by solar advocates.

According to Bloomberg, recent price decreases in solar equipment have driven costs from about 25 cents per kwh to 17 cents per kwh for photovoltaic (PV) powered solar energy, the least expensive form of solar power deployable at scale. But that’s a far cry from the average retail price...

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