With Americans on to daylight saving now (even though my computer still insists that the time zone is ‘standard time’), they might look to the skies and wonder: whatever happened to Jimmy Carter’s dream that we would be using solar power to generate 20 per cent of the country’s electricity?
It’s unfair to put any blame on the former president. At least he provided a grand vision for 2000, which successive Republican and Democratic administrations have put aside while other issues were sorted. And the private sector has been quietly making solar cells more efﬁcient: the cost of generating 1 W is now $3–$4, down from twice that 10 years ago, around $20 30 years ago, and $300 50 years ago. Some predict this will fall to $1 by next year—which means there will be very few excuses left for not harnessing the sun’s energy.
Even in 2004, Business Week was upbeat about solar’s progress. I think it’s about to hit mainstream, ﬁnally—with some massive gains to be had.
The house of the future, as I imagined it around the time of President Carter’s speech, might come to pass. I am toying with getting a massive satellite dish to get a few foreign channels. Then, if I can get solar panels on the roof, I’ll be another step closer.
And you know, I never envisaged owning a ﬂying car.
Del.icio.us tags: solar power | energy | future Posted by Jack Yan, 12:39
fair go... it's 2006. shouldn't we have flying cars by now? and laser guns? i mean c'mon!
at the least, i want a 'hover board' a la back to the future.
but seriously though - solar power is the most common sense form of power generation.
I still prefer the ground-based car but a moon colony and regular space-station trips are way overdue.Post a Comment
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