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Power Hardware Science Technology

US Funds Aggressive Tech To Cut Solar Power Costs 272

coondoggie writes "The U.S Department of Energy wants researchers and scientists to 'think outside the box' and come up 'highly disruptive Concentrating Solar Power technologies that will meet 6/kWh cost targets by the end of the decade.' The DOE's 'SunShot Concentrating Solar Power R&D' is a multimillion dollar endeavor that intends to look beyond what it calls the incremental near-term to support research into transformative technologies that will break through performance barriers known today, such as efficiency and temperature limitations."
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US Funds Aggressive Tech To Cut Solar Power Costs

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  • 6 cents (Score:5, Informative)

    by earthman ( 12244 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @05:42AM (#37853454)

    I admit to reading the article (sorry), thus I know it's 6 cents.

  • Re:The other costs (Score:5, Informative)

    by hrvatska ( 790627 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @06:28AM (#37853632)

    Even if solar panels were free, solar electricity still has a high hurdle to jump before it becomes competitive with other sources.

    The costs include the mounting structure and the power inverter.

    The article isn't about electricity from photovoltaic panels mounted on roofs. It's about large industrial scale solar concentrators like this one. [ieee.org] It has the potential to be cheaper than PV generated electricity and it keeps producing electricity after the sun goes down.

  • Re:6 cents (Score:4, Informative)

    by Maury Markowitz ( 452832 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @07:33AM (#37853908) Homepage

    > That's still a mostly bogus number.

    Um no. The article is clearly talking about LCoE, the basis upon which all industrial power pricing is compared.

    > Besides the hard facts (cents per kW under STC, usually called kWp or kW peak) that number also includes
    > projections about the longevity of the cells and the environmental conditions of their use,
    > which are wide open to manipulation.

    If that were the number they were referring to, you might have a point. But it's not, and you're wrong anyway. STC measurements are normally done at 3rd party labs for just this reason.

  • by ciggieposeur ( 715798 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @09:15AM (#37854586)

    The tech belongs to Germany, Japan, China. They did the research and raced to the bottom with production lines churning out many solar panels.

    The key ingredient to solar panels (polysilicon) has a very strong U.S. player in the form of Dow Corning's Hemlock Semiconductor.

  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @12:54PM (#37857796) Homepage Journal

    It doesn't matter, all of those companies would have eventually ended up in the same place - having to interoperate. They would have come to that conclusion eventually on their own, but if gov't wasn't allowed to spend money, how much would have been saved?

    How many projects does a government start, that NEVER do anything, never end up with any outcome at all? That's all wasted money and it's all hurting the economy, not helping it, because the failure is not limited to some small private entity, it's distributed to everybody.

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