A Silicon Valley start-up says it has developed technology that can deliver solar power in about a year at prices competitive with coal-fired electricity, a milestone that would leapfrog other more established players and turbocharge the fast-growing industry.
SUNRGI’s “concentrated photovoltaic” system relies on lenses to magnify sunlight 2,000 times, letting it produce as much electricity as standard panels with a far smaller system. Craig Goodman, head of the National Energy Marketers Association, is expected to announce the breakthrough Tuesday.
Under its plans, which experts call promising but highly ambitious, SUNRGI would initially target utilities and large industrial and commercial customers. The company — founded by veterans of computer, digital design, aerospace and solar industries — would market to homes within three years.
Executives of the year-old company say they’ll start producing solar panels by mid-2009 that will generate electricity for about 7 cents a kilowatt hour, including installation. That’s roughly the price of cheap coal-fired electricity. “We’re bringing the cost of solar electricity down to be competitive with” fossil fuels, says Bob Block, a co-founder of SUNRGI.
Only 7 cents.
That’s absolutely nothing.
Conventional energy costs about 12, 13, 14 cents per kilowatt hour, depending on who your electricity supplier is.
The future of energy looks bright, folks.
Whenever you see an optimist predicting that we’ll have 20% renewable energy by 2020, do him a favor… burst out in uncontrollable laughter for about 5 minutes or so.